Climate change a factor in Russian polar bear invasion

Prof. Douglas Clark, a researcher with the School of Environment and Sustainability (SENS), comments on how climate change and garbage disposal are impacting bear behaviour.

Clark was featured in an article by The Verge that offered insights into the recent polar bear invasion on the Russian village of Belushya Guba on the Novaya Zemlya islands.

According to the article, over 50 polar bears have visited the village and some have even managed to enter residential homes. These events have led to a state of emergency.

With sea ice melting, the bears needed to look elsewhere for food and open garbage heaps are easy pickings.

“Bears nutritionally do very well on garbage, but then they end up getting shot,” said Clark.

He added that he feels for the people tasked with managing the influx of polar bears in the Novaya Zemlya islands.

“It’s a really, really hard job right now, and everybody is looking at them.”

To learn more about the conflict and what this could mean for the future, read the original article here.

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