Steve Amstrup, chief scientist of Polar Bears International and a co-author of the study in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment said, “The bears are being forced off the ice earlier and they are not just going to sit around and wait for the sea ice to refreeze if there is something available for them to eat. The issue is whether or not eating these things will benefit the bears.”
“The one terrestrial food rich enough to support bears is bird eggs. But the problem is that there aren’t enough of those in the polar bear’s range to make much of a difference.”
Polar bear have believed to include berries, birds, eggs, grains in their diet but this will not be sufficient and compensate for the lipid rich seals.
The terrestrial regions are inhabited by the grizzly bears but they number very few because of food scarcity.
Food in terrestrial environment is rich in protein but not in fat and polar bear is not suited to ingest plant to sustain their large bodies.
Polar bear will have competitors on land, the grizzly bears for the food sources available.
Grizzly bear is smallest among their species because of their diet.
The small population of the grizzly bears in the Arctic indicates the nutrition limitation and it possibly raises a question how the polar bear could survive.
Polar bears are added to the list of endangered species.
The findings were published in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.