Laws/Conflicts
Impacts
Science Behind Habitat Loss
Significance

100

What acts are polar bears protected under?

The Marine Mammal Protection Act. This act prevents hunters from killing them


100

What in the polar bears habitat is decreasing, causing habitat loss?

Sea ice is melting due to rising temperatures. 

100

What can delay the impact of polar bears habitat loss?

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can reduce global warming which is what causes the polar bears habitat to decrease. 

100

Why are Polar Bears important?

Polar Bears are at the top of the food web, they can also signal issues in the Arctic ecosystem.

200

Why are environmentalist organizations suing the Interior Department?

"The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal lands and natural resources" -United States Congress

Because soon we wont be able to recover polar bears habitats. The Interior Department is not considering polar bears an endangered species, preventing them from being protected.

200

Why is sea ice so importance for the survival of polar bears? Name at least two. 

Sea ice provides polar bears with, travel, hunting grounds, mating and shelter.


200

Why is this occurring? 

(tie back to climate change unit)

Global temperatures are rising due to the greenhouse gas effect. According to NASA the arctic will have no ice left by 2040.

200

How much is population of polar bears estimated to decrease by?

2/3 by 2050 and the arctic is predicted to have an ice free summer before the end of the century. 

300

What controversies prevent Polar bears from being apart of the endangered species act? Name a couple.

1) The arctic holds about 10 billion barrels, if these areas become protected gas prices will get jacked up. 2) Alaska's economy depends on energy production-for their economy and organizations to help the polar bars. 3) Since 1965 the amount of polar bears have doubled to they are not in danger.

300

Why cant polar bears adapt to their changing environment if they initially evolved from brown bears? (We learned this in our evolution unit)

Due to the polar bears long life expectancy's and low reproductive rates. Giving them limited chances for their DNA to evolve again. 

300

How does oil factor in?

oil spills can travel miles and can effect polar bears habitat as well as the ocean. However many economies depend on the oil to keep them afloat.

300

Why does climate change matter?

the ice caps melting is just further evidence of global climate change. The ice caps are melting twice as fast.

400

How many square miles is the US attempting to designate as critical habitat in Alaska?

18700 square miles.


400

In 2001-2010, how much did the polar bear population drop by?

40%

400

Why is their population is decreasing?

Polar Bears have high genetic diversity so they are able to adapt to the changes in the Arctic, but they can’t adapt as quickly as the arctic is changing. Due to their dependency on sea ice this makes them very vulnerable to climate change.

400

Over time what could happen?

Polar bears could become more and more endangered and eventually. Like snow leopards they could become a dwindling species.