WorldWideScience

Sample records for range polar bears

  1. Polar bear den survey, Arctic National Wildlife Range

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In conjunction with the Polar Bear Research Project being supervised by Mr. Jack Lentfer of the Bureau of Sport Fisheries and Wildlife two Polar Bear den surveys...

  2. Polar bears, Ursus maritimus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Stirling, Ian

    2017-01-01

    Polar bears are the largest of the eight species of bears found worldwide and are covered in a pigment-free fur giving them the appearance of being white. They are the most carnivorous of bear species consuming a high-fat diet, primarily of ice-associated seals and other marine mammals. They range throughout the circumpolar Arctic to the southernmost extent of seasonal pack ice.

  3. Ethylene glycol (antifreeze) poisoning in a free-ranging polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Gardner, Craig L.; Myers, Kevin C.; Oehme, Frederick W.

    1989-01-01

    The bright, fluorescent pink-colored remains of a polar bear were found on an Alaskan island with the gravel and snow adjacent to the bear colored bright purple. Traces of fox urine and feces found nearby were also pink. The punk and purple colors were due to rhodamine B, and ethylene glycol (EG) was present in the soil under the carcass. Evidence is given to suggest the bear consumed a mixture of rhodamine B and EG commonly used to mark roads and runways during snow and ice periods. Such wildlife losses could be prevented by substituting propylene glycol for the EG in such mixtures.

  4. Characterization of blood lipoproteins and validation of cholesterol and triacylglycerol assays for free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, John P; Frank, Nicholas; Greller, Katie A; Harlow, Henry J; Ben-David, Merav

    2013-05-01

    Blood triacylglycerol (TG) and lipoproteins are important variables for evaluating nutritional status of wildlife, but measurements are often expensive and difficult. Performance of a small, portable blood analyzer intended for human medical diagnostics was evaluated in measuring these variables in plasma and serum from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which are experiencing nutritional stress related to sea ice loss. The analyzer accurately tracked changes in concentration of total cholesterol (Ctotal), cholesterol associated with high-density lipoprotein (CHDL), and TG during a validation protocol of diluting samples and spiking them with exogenous cholesterol and glycerol. Values of Ctotal and TG agreed well with values obtained by other methods (ultracentrifugation followed by colorimetric assays); agreement was variable for values of cholesterol associated with specific lipoproteins. Similar to a study of captive polar bears, ultracentrifugation methods revealed greater TG in very low-density lipoproteins than in low-density lipoprotein, which is unusual and merits additional study.

  5. Climate Drives Polar Bear Origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    In their provocative analysis of northern bears (“Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage,” Reports, 20 April, p. 344), F. Hailer et al. use independent nuclear loci to show that polar bears originated during the middle Pleistocene, rather than during t...

  6. Effects of climate change on polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Born, Erik W

    2008-01-01

    In this article, we review the effects on polar bears of global warming that have already been observed, and try to evaluate what may happen to the polar bears in the future. Many researchers have predicted a wide range of impacts of climate change on polar bear demography and conditions. A predicted major reduction in sea ice habitat will reduce the availability of ice associated seals, the main prey of polar bears, and a loss and fragmentation of polar bear habitat will ultimately lead to large future reductions in most subpopulations. It is likely that polar bears will be lost from many areas where they are common today and also that the total population will change into a few more distinctly isolated populations.

  7. Mass Loss Rates of Fasting Polar Bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilfold, Nicholas W; Hedman, Daryll; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Lunn, Nicholas J; Richardson, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have adapted to an annual cyclic regime of feeding and fasting, which is extreme in seasonal sea ice regions of the Arctic. As a consequence of climate change, sea ice breakup has become earlier and the duration of the open-water period through which polar bears must rely on fat reserves has increased. To date, there is limited empirical data with which to evaluate the potential energetic capacity of polar bears to withstand longer fasts. We measured the incoming and outgoing mass of inactive polar bears (n = 142) that were temporarily detained by Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship during the open-water period near the town of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, in 2009-2014. Polar bears were given access to water but not food and held for a median length of 17 d. Median mass loss rates were 1.0 kg/d, while median mass-specific loss rates were 0.5%/d, similar to other species with high adiposity and prolonged fasting capacities. Mass loss by unfed captive adult males was identical to that lost by free-ranging individuals, suggesting that terrestrial feeding contributes little to offset mass loss. The inferred metabolic rate was comparable to a basal mammalian rate, suggesting that while on land, polar bears can maintain a depressed metabolic rate to conserve energy. Finally, we estimated time to starvation for subadults and adult males for the on-land period. Results suggest that at 180 d of fasting, 56%-63% of subadults and 18%-24% of adult males in this study would die of starvation. Results corroborate previous assessments on the limits of polar bear capacity to withstand lengthening ice-free seasons and emphasize the greater sensitivity of subadults to changes in sea ice phenology.

  8. Population substructure and space use of Foxe Basin polar bears

    OpenAIRE

    Sahanatien, Vicki; Peacock, Elizabeth; Derocher, Andrew E

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has been identified as a major driver of habitat change, particularly for sea ice-dependent species such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Population structure and space use of polar bears have been challenging to quantify because of their circumpolar distribution and tendency to range over large areas. Knowledge of movement patterns, home range, and habitat is needed for conservation and management. This is the first study to examine the spatial ecology of polar bears in th...

  9. Climate Change, Polar Bears and their management

    OpenAIRE

    Derenchenko, Liza

    2010-01-01

    This is a literature study of polar bears in the context of climate change: what kind of creatures are polar bears, what are the main interpretations of current climate change, how might the polar bear adapt to these changes (feeding strategies) and how are the bears being managed (hunting)? These are relevant questions , since climate change is on the agenda, and polar bears being the apex predators of the Arctic are a key representation of the wildlife there. The third element of polar bear...

  10. Fractal analysis of polar bear hairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Qing-Li

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hairs of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus are of superior properties such as the excellent thermal protection. Why do polar bears can resist such cold environment? The paper concludes that its fractal porosity plays an important role, and its fractal dimensions are very close to the golden mean, 1.618, revealing the possible optimal structure of polar bear hair.

  11. Polar bear attacks on humans: Implications of a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilder, James; Vongraven, Dag; Atwood, Todd C.; Hansen, Bob; Jessen, Amalie; Kochnev, Anatoly A.; York, Geoff; Vallender, Rachel; Hedman, Daryll; Gibbons, Melissa

    2017-01-01

    Understanding causes of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) attacks on humans is critical to ensuring both human safety and polar bear conservation. Although considerable attention has been focused on understanding black (U. americanus) and grizzly (U. arctos) bear conflicts with humans, there have been few attempts to systematically collect, analyze, and interpret available information on human-polar bear conflicts across their range. To help fill this knowledge gap, a database was developed (Polar Bear-Human Information Management System [PBHIMS]) to facilitate the range-wide collection and analysis of human-polar bear conflict data. We populated the PBHIMS with data collected throughout the polar bear range, analyzed polar bear attacks on people, and found that reported attacks have been extremely rare. From 1870–2014, we documented 73 attacks by wild polar bears, distributed among the 5 polar bear Range States (Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and United States), which resulted in 20 human fatalities and 63 human injuries. We found that nutritionally stressed adult male polar bears were the most likely to pose threats to human safety. Attacks by adult females were rare, and most were attributed to defense of cubs. We judged that bears acted as a predator in most attacks, and that nearly all attacks involved ≤2 people. Increased concern for both human and bear safety is warranted in light of predictions of increased numbers of nutritionally stressed bears spending longer amounts of time on land near people because of the loss of their sea ice habitat. Improved conflict investigation is needed to collect accurate and relevant data and communicate accurate bear safety messages and mitigation strategies to the public. With better information, people can take proactive measures in polar bear habitat to ensure their safety and prevent conflicts with polar bears. This work represents an important first step towards improving our understanding of factors influencing

  12. Polar bear management in Alaska 1997-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schliebe, Scott L.; Bridges, John W.; Evans, Thomas J.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Kalxdorff, Susanne B.; Lierheimer, Lisa J.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Schliebe, Scott L.; Born, Erik W.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Schliebe, Scott L.; Born, Erik W.

    2002-01-01

    Since the Twelfth Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group in 1997, a number of changes in the management of polar bears have occurred in Alaska. On October 16, 2000, the governments of the United States and the Russian Federation signed the “Agreement on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population.” This agreement provides substantial benefits for the effective conservation of polar bears shared between the U.S. and Russia. It will require enactment of enabling legislation by the U.S. Congress and other steps by Russia before the agreement has the force of law. A copy of the agreement is included as Appendix 1 to this report. Also, during this period, regulations were developed to implement 1994 amendments to the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), which allow polar bear trophies taken in approved Canadian populations by U.S. citizens to be imported into the U.S. A summary of the regulatory actions and a table listing populations approved for importation and the number of polar bears imported into the U.S. since 1997 is included in this report. Regarding oil and gas activities in polar bear habitat, three sets of regulations were published authorizing the incidental, non-intentional, taking of small numbers of polar bears concurrent to oil and gas activities.Cooperation continued with the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, representing the polar bear hunting communities in Alaska, as well as with the North Slope Borough and the Inuvialuit Game Council in their agreement for the management of the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population. Harvest summaries and technical assistance in designing and assistance in conducting a National Park Service/Alaska Nanuuq Commission study to collect traditional ecological knowledge of polar bear habitat use in Chukotka were provided. In addition, a long-range plan was developed to address and minimize polar bear-human conflicts in North Slope communities.We continued to monitor

  13. Can polar bear hairs absorb environmental energy?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Ji-Huan

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available A polar bear (Ursus maritimus has superior ability to survive in harsh Arctic regions, why does the animal have such an excellent thermal protection? The present paper finds that the unique labyrinth cavity structure of the polar bear hair plays an important role. The hair can not only prevent body temperature loss but can also absorb energy from the environment.

  14. Introgressive hybridization: brown bears as vectors for polar bear alleles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailer, Frank

    2015-03-01

    The dynamics and consequences of introgression can inform about numerous evolutionary processes. Biologists have therefore long been interested in hybridization. One challenge, however, lies in the identification of nonadmixed genotypes that can serve as a baseline for accurate quantification of admixture. In this issue of Molecular Ecology, Cahill et al. (2015) analyse a genomic data set of 28 polar bears, eight brown bears and one American black bear. Polar bear alleles are found to be introgressed into brown bears not only near a previously identified admixture zone on the Alaskan Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof (ABC) Islands, but also far into the North American mainland. Elegantly contrasting admixture levels at autosomal and X chromosomal markers, Cahill and colleagues infer that male-biased dispersal has spread these introgressed alleles away from the Late Pleistocene contact zone. Compared to a previous study on the ABC Island population in which an Alaskan brown bear served as a putatively admixture-free reference, Cahill et al. (2015) utilize a newly sequenced Swedish brown bear as admixture baseline. This approach reveals that brown bears have been impacted by introgression from polar bears to a larger extent (up to 8.8% of their genome), than previously known, including the bear that had previously served as admixture baseline. No evidence for introgression of brown bear into polar bear is found, which the authors argue could be a consequence of selection. Besides adding new exciting pieces to the puzzle of polar/brown bear evolutionary history, the study by Cahill and colleagues highlights that wildlife genomics is moving from analysing single genomes towards a landscape genomics approach. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Cool Polar Bears: Dabbing on the Texture

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Jean

    2011-01-01

    In this article, the author describes how her second-graders created their cool polar bears. The students used the elements of shape and texture to create the bears. They used Monet's technique of dabbing paint so as to give the bear some texture on his fur.

  16. Comments to a polar bear population model

    OpenAIRE

    Øritsland, Nils Are

    1985-01-01

    Larsen, T. & Ugland, K. I. (Polar Research 2 n.s., 117-118) note correctly that a Leslie matrix model treats cubs and females as independent units which is not the case for polar bears. Population projections using the Leslie model with hunting mortalities added are instructive first approximations in evaluations of field data, however, and are recommended as exercises also for polar bear biologists. An APL programme for such projections is available.

  17. Population substructure and space use of Foxe Basin polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahanatien, Vicki; Peacock, Elizabeth; Derocher, Andrew E

    2015-07-01

    Climate change has been identified as a major driver of habitat change, particularly for sea ice-dependent species such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). Population structure and space use of polar bears have been challenging to quantify because of their circumpolar distribution and tendency to range over large areas. Knowledge of movement patterns, home range, and habitat is needed for conservation and management. This is the first study to examine the spatial ecology of polar bears in the Foxe Basin management unit of Nunavut, Canada. Foxe Basin is in the mid-Arctic, part of the seasonal sea ice ecoregion and it is being negatively affected by climate change. Our objectives were to examine intrapopulation spatial structure, to determine movement patterns, and to consider how polar bear movements may respond to changing sea ice habitat conditions. Hierarchical and fuzzy cluster analyses were used to assess intrapopulation spatial structure of geographic position system satellite-collared female polar bears. Seasonal and annual movement metrics (home range, movement rates, time on ice) and home-range fidelity (static and dynamic overlap) were compared to examine the influence of regional sea ice on movements. The polar bears were distributed in three spatial clusters, and there were differences in the movement metrics between clusters that may reflect sea ice habitat conditions. Within the clusters, bears moved independently of each other. Annual and seasonal home-range fidelity was observed, and the bears used two movement patterns: on-ice range residency and annual migration. We predict that home-range fidelity may decline as the spatial and temporal predictability of sea ice changes. These new findings also provide baseline information for managing and monitoring this polar bear population.

  18. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  19. Polar bear research in Alaska, spring 1981

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An investigation of the ecology and population dynamics of Alaskan polar bears has continued since 1967. As part of that program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...

  20. Polar bear research in Alaska, spring 1982

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — An investigation of the ecology and population dynamics of Alaskan polar bears has continued since 1967. As part of that program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service...

  1. Demography of an apex predator at the edge of its range: impacts of changing sea ice on polar bears in Hudson Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Nicholas J; Servanty, Sabrina; Regehr, Eric V; Converse, Sarah J; Richardson, Evan; Stirling, Ian

    2016-07-01

    Changes in the abundance and distribution of wildlife populations are common consequences of historic and contemporary climate change. Some Arctic marine mammals, such as the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), may be particularly vulnerable to such changes due to the loss of Arctic sea ice. We evaluated the impacts of environmental variation on demographic rates for the Western Hudson Bay (WH), polar bear subpopulation from 1984 to 2011 using live-recapture and dead-recovery data in a Bayesian implementation of multistate capture-recapture models. We found that survival of female polar bears was related to the annual timing of sea ice break-up and formation. Using estimated vital rates (e.g., survival and reproduction) in matrix projection models, we calculated the growth rate of the WH subpopulation and projected population responses under different environmental scenarios while accounting for parametric uncertainty, temporal variation, and demographic stochasticity. Our analysis suggested a long-term decline in the number of bears from 1185 (95% Bayesian credible interval [BCI] = 993-1411) in 1987 to 806 (95% BCI = 653-984) in 2011. In the last 10 yr of the study, the number of bears appeared stable due to temporary stability in sea ice conditions (mean population growth rate for the period 2001-2010 = 1.02, 95% BCI = 0.98-1.06). Looking forward, we estimated long-term growth rates for the WH subpopulation of ~1.02 (95% BCI = 1.00-1.05) and 0.97 (95% BCI = 0.92-1.01) under hypothetical high and low sea ice conditions, respectively. Our findings support previous evidence for a demographic linkage between sea ice conditions and polar bear population dynamics. Furthermore, we present a robust framework for sensitivity analysis with respect to continued climate change (e.g., to inform scenario planning) and for evaluating the combined effects of climate change and management actions on the status of wildlife populations. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of

  2. Dietary biomagnification of organochlorine contaminants in Alaskan polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentzen, T.W.; Follmann, E.H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; York, G.S.; Wooller, M.J.; Muir, D.C.G.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2008-01-01

    Concentrations of organochlorine contaminants in the adipose tissue of polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) vary throughout the Arctic. The range in concentrations has not been explained fully by bear age, sex, condition, location, or reproductive status. Dietary pathways expose polar bears to a variety of contaminant profiles and concentrations. Prey range from lower trophic level bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus L., 1758), one of the least contaminated marine mammals, to highly contaminated upper trophic level ringed seals (Phoca hispida (Schreber, 1775)). We used ??15N and ??13C signatures to estimate the trophic status of 42 polar bears sampled along Alaska's Beaufort Sea coast to determine the relationship between organochlorine concentration and trophic level. The ?? 15N values in the cellular portions of blood ranged from 18.2% to 20.7%. We found strong positive relationships between concentrations of the most recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and ??15N values in models incorporating age, lipid content, and ??13C value. Specifically these models accounted for 67% and 76% of the variation in PCB153 and oxychlordane concentration in male polar bears and 85% and 93% in females, respectively. These results are strong indicators of variation in diet and biomagnification of organochlorines among polar bears related to their sex, age, and trophic position. ?? 2008 NRC.

  3. A circumpolar monitoring framework for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vongraven, Dag; Aars, Jon; Amstrup, Steven C.; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; DeBruyn, T.D.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Durner, George M.; Gill, Michael J.; Lunn, Nicholas J.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Omelak, Jack; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Peacock, Elizabeth; Richardson, E.E.; Sahanatien, Vicki; Stirling, Ian; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) occupy remote regions that are characterized by harsh weather and limited access. Polar bear populations can only persist where temporal and spatial availability of sea ice provides adequate access to their marine mammal prey. Observed declines in sea ice availability will continue as long as greenhouse gas concentrations rise. At the same time, human intrusion and pollution levels in the Arctic are expected to increase. A circumpolar understanding of the cumulative impacts of current and future stressors is lacking, long-term trends are known from only a few subpopulations, and there is no globally coordinated effort to monitor effects of stressors. Here, we describe a framework for an integrated circumpolar monitoring plan to detect ongoing patterns, predict future trends, and identify the most vulnerable polar bear subpopulations. We recommend strategies for monitoring subpopulation abundance and trends, reproduction, survival, ecosystem change, human-caused mortality, human–bear conflict, prey availability, health, stature, distribution, behavioral change, and the effects that monitoring itself may have on polar bears. We assign monitoring intensity for each subpopulation through adaptive assessment of the quality of existing baseline data and research accessibility. A global perspective is achieved by recommending high intensity monitoring for at least one subpopulation in each of four major polar bear ecoregions. Collection of data on harvest, where it occurs, and remote sensing of habitat, should occur with the same intensity for all subpopulations. We outline how local traditional knowledge may most effectively be combined with the best scientific methods to provide comparable and complementary lines of evidence. We also outline how previously collected intensive monitoring data may be sub-sampled to guide future sampling frequencies and develop indirect estimates or indices of subpopulation status. Adoption of this framework

  4. Polar bears in a warming climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Derocher, Andrew E; Lunn, Nicholas J; Stirling, Ian

    2004-04-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) live throughout the ice-covered waters of the circumpolar Arctic, particularly in near shore annual ice over the continental shelf where biological productivity is highest. However, to a large degree under scenarios predicted by climate change models, these preferred sea ice habitats will be substantially altered. Spatial and temporal sea ice changes will lead to shifts in trophic interactions involving polar bears through reduced availability and abundance of their main prey: seals. In the short term, climatic warming may improve bear and seal habitats in higher latitudes over continental shelves if currently thick multiyear ice is replaced by annual ice with more leads, making it more suitable for seals. A cascade of impacts beginning with reduced sea ice will be manifested in reduced adipose stores leading to lowered reproductive rates because females will have less fat to invest in cubs during the winter fast. Non-pregnant bears may have to fast on land or offshore on the remaining multiyear ice through progressively longer periods of open water while they await freeze-up and a return to hunting seals. As sea ice thins, and becomes more fractured and labile, it is likely to move more in response to winds and currents so that polar bears will need to walk or swim more and thus use greater amounts of energy to maintain contact with the remaining preferred habitats. The effects of climate change are likely to show large geographic, temporal and even individual differences and be highly variable, making it difficult to develop adequate monitoring and research programs. All ursids show behavioural plasticity but given the rapid pace of ecological change in the Arctic, the long generation time, and the highly specialised nature of polar bears, it is unlikely that polar bears will survive as a species if the sea ice disappears completely as has been predicted by some.

  5. Hibernation and seasonal fasting in bears: the energetic costs and consequences for polar bears

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Charles T. Robbins; Claudia Lopez-Alfaro; Karyn D. Rode; Øivind Tøien; O. Lynne Nelson

    2012-01-01

    ...–fall fasting when polar bears (Ursus maritimus) lose access to most marine mammals. To evaluate the consequences of such changes, we compared the cost of fasting by polar bears with hibernation by brown bears (U. arctos...

  6. Polar bears: the fate of an icon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzgerald, Kevin T

    2013-11-01

    Polar bears are one of the most iconic animals on our planet. Worldwide, even people who would never see one are drawn to these charismatic arctic ice hunters. They are the world's largest terrestrial carnivore, and despite being born on land, they spend most of their lives out on the sea ice and are considered a marine mammal. Current global studies estimate there are around 20,000 animals in some 19 discrete circumpolar populations. Aside from pregnant females denning in the winter months to give birth, the white bears do not hibernate. They spend their winters on the sea ice hunting seals, an activity they are spectacularly adapted for. Research on these animals is incredibly difficult because of the inhospitable surroundings they inhabit and how inaccessible they make the bears. For many years, the sum of our understanding of the natural history of polar bears came from tracks, scats, the remains of their kills, abandoned dens, and anecdotal observations of native hunters, explorers, and early biologists. Nonetheless, the last 40 years have seen a much better picture of their biology emerge thanks to, first, dedicated Canadian researchers and, later, truly international efforts of workers from many countries. Veterinarians have contributed to our knowledge of the bears by delivering and monitoring anesthesia, obtaining blood samples, performing necropsies, investigating their reproduction, conducting radiotelemetry studies, and examining their behavior. Recently, new technologies have been developed that revolutionize the study of the lives and natural history of undisturbed polar bears. These advances include better satellite radiotelemetry equipment and the development of remote-controlled miniature devices equipped with high-definition cameras. Such new modalities provide dramatic new insights into the life of polar bears. The remarkable degree of specialized adaptation to life on the sea ice that allowed the bears to be successful is the very reason that

  7. Mercury and cortisol in Western Hudson Bay polar bear hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechshoft, T; Derocher, A E; Richardson, E; Mislan, P; Lunn, N J; Sonne, C; Dietz, R; Janz, D M; St Louis, V L

    2015-08-01

    Non-invasive methods of assessing animal health and life history are becoming increasingly popular in wildlife research; hair samples from polar bears (Ursus maritimus), are being used to study an ever broader range of anthropogenic and endocrine compounds. A number of contaminants are known to disrupt endocrine function in polar bears. However, the relationship between mercury and cortisol remains unknown, although mercury is an endocrine disruptor in other species. Here, we examine the relationship between concentrations of cortisol and total mercury (THg) analyzed in guard hair from 378 polar bears (184 females, 194 males) sampled in Western Hudson Bay, 2004-2012. The difference in mean cortisol concentration between female (0.8 ± 0.6 pg/mg) and male (0.7 ± 0.5 pg/mg) polar bears bordered on significance (p = 0.054). However, mean mercury concentration was significantly greater (p = 0.009) in females (4.7 ± 1.4 μg/g) than males (4.3 ± 1.2 μg/g). Hair cortisol in males was significantly influenced by mercury, age, and fatness, as well as interactions between mercury and year, mercury and fatness, and year and fatness (all: p polar bears.

  8. Can polar bears use terrestrial foods to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Robbins, Charles T.; Nelson, Lynne; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2015-01-01

    Increased land use by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) due to climate-change-induced reduction of their sea-ice habitat illustrates the impact of climate change on species distributions and the difficulty of conserving a large, highly specialized carnivore in the face of this global threat. Some authors have suggested that terrestrial food consumption by polar bears will help them withstand sea-ice loss as they are forced to spend increasing amounts of time on land. Here, we evaluate the nutritional needs of polar bears as well as the physiological and environmental constraints that shape their use of terrestrial ecosystems. Only small numbers of polar bears have been documented consuming terrestrial foods even in modest quantities. Over much of the polar bear's range, limited terrestrial food availability supports only low densities of much smaller, resident brown bears (Ursus arctos), which use low-quality resources more efficiently and may compete with polar bears in these areas. Where consumption of terrestrial foods has been documented, polar bear body condition and survival rates have declined even as land use has increased. Thus far, observed consumption of terrestrial food by polar bears has been insufficient to offset lost ice-based hunting opportunities but can have ecological consequences for other species. Warming-induced loss of sea ice remains the primary threat faced by polar bears.

  9. Using tri-axial accelerometers to identify wild polar bear behaviors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Anthony M.; Rode, Karyn D.; Cutting, A.; Owen, M.A.; Jensen, S.; Ware, J.V.; Robbins, C.T.; Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Obbard, M.E.; Middel, K.R.; Thiemann, G.W.; Williams, T.M.

    2017-01-01

    Tri-axial accelerometers have been used to remotely identify the behaviors of a wide range of taxa. Assigning behaviors to accelerometer data often involves the use of captive animals or surrogate species, as their accelerometer signatures are generally assumed to be similar to those of their wild counterparts. However, this has rarely been tested. Validated accelerometer data are needed for polar bears Ursus maritimus to understand how habitat conditions may influence behavior and energy demands. We used accelerometer and water conductivity data to remotely distinguish 10 polar bear behaviors. We calibrated accelerometer and conductivity data collected from collars with behaviors observed from video-recorded captive polar bears and brown bears U. arctos, and with video from camera collars deployed on free-ranging polar bears on sea ice and on land. We used random forest models to predict behaviors and found strong ability to discriminate the most common wild polar bear behaviors using a combination of accelerometer and conductivity sensor data from captive or wild polar bears. In contrast, models using data from captive brown bears failed to reliably distinguish most active behaviors in wild polar bears. Our ability to discriminate behavior was greatest when species- and habitat-specific data from wild individuals were used to train models. Data from captive individuals may be suitable for calibrating accelerometers, but may provide reduced ability to discriminate some behaviors. The accelerometer calibrations developed here provide a method to quantify polar bear behaviors to evaluate the impacts of declines in Arctic sea ice.

  10. Cortisol levels in hair of East Greenland polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechshøft, T Ø; Sonne, C; Dietz, R; Born, E W; Novak, M A; Henchey, E; Meyer, J S

    2011-01-15

    To demonstrate the ability to assess long-term hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity in polar bears (Ursus maritimus), a pilot study was conducted in which cortisol concentrations was analyzed in hair from 7 female (3-19 years) and 10 male (6-19 years) East Greenland polar bears sampled in 1994-2006. The hair was chosen as matrix as it is non-invasive, seasonally harmonized, and has been validated as an index of long-term changes in cortisol levels. The samples were categorized according to contamination: eight were clean (2 females, 6 males), 5 had been contaminated with bear blood (2 F, 3 M), and 4 with bear fat (3 F, 1 M). There was no significant difference in cortisol concentration between the three categories after external contamination was removed. However, contaminated hair samples should be cleaned before cortisol determination. Average hair cortisol concentration was 8.90 pg/mg (range: 5.5 to 16.4 pg/mg). There was no significant correlation between cortisol concentration and age (p=0.81) or sampling year (p=0.11). However, females had higher mean cortisol concentration than males (females mean: 11.0 pg/mg, males: 7.3 pg/mg; p=0.01). The study showed that polar bear hair contains measurable amounts of cortisol and that cortisol in hair may be used in studies of long-term stress in polar bears. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Genomic evidence of geographically widespread effect of gene flow from polar bears into brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James A; Stirling, Ian; Kistler, Logan; Salamzade, Rauf; Ersmark, Erik; Fulton, Tara L; Stiller, Mathias; Green, Richard E; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-03-01

    Polar bears are an arctic, marine adapted species that is closely related to brown bears. Genome analyses have shown that polar bears are distinct and genetically homogeneous in comparison to brown bears. However, these analyses have also revealed a remarkable episode of polar bear gene flow into the population of brown bears that colonized the Admiralty, Baranof and Chichagof islands (ABC islands) of Alaska. Here, we present an analysis of data from a large panel of polar bear and brown bear genomes that includes brown bears from the ABC islands, the Alaskan mainland and Europe. Our results provide clear evidence that gene flow between the two species had a geographically wide impact, with polar bear DNA found within the genomes of brown bears living both on the ABC islands and in the Alaskan mainland. Intriguingly, while brown bear genomes contain up to 8.8% polar bear ancestry, polar bear genomes appear to be devoid of brown bear ancestry, suggesting the presence of a barrier to gene flow in that direction. © 2014 The Authors. Molecular Ecology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. An experimental investigation of chemical communication in the polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, Megan A.; Swaisgood, Ronald R.; Slocomb, C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Pessier, Allan P.

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), with its wide-ranging movements, solitary existence and seasonal reproduction, is expected to favor chemosignaling over other communication modalities. However, the topography of its Arctic sea ice habitat is generally lacking in stationary vertical substrates routinely used for targeted scent marking in other bears. These environmental constraints may have shaped a marking strategy, unique to polar bears, for widely dispersed continuous dissemination of scent via foot pads. To investigate the role of chemical communication, pedal scents were collected from free-ranging polar bears of different sex and reproductive classes captured on spring sea ice in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas, and presented in a controlled fashion to 26 bears in zoos. Results from behavioral bioassays indicated that bears, especially females, were more likely to approach conspecific scent during the spring than the fall. Male flehmen behavior, indicative of chemosignal delivery to the vomeronasal organ, differentiated scent donor by sex and reproductive condition. Histologic examination of pedal skin collected from two females indicated prominent and profuse apocrine glands in association with large compound hair follicles, suggesting that they may produce scents that function as chemosignals. These results suggest that pedal scent, regardless of origin, conveys information to conspecifics that may facilitate social and reproductive behavior, and that chemical communication in this species has been adaptively shaped by environmental constraints of its habitat. However, continuously distributed scent signals necessary for breeding behavior may prove less effective if current and future environmental conditions cause disruption of scent trails due to increased fracturing of sea ice.

  13. Lactational transfer of mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls in polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Katrina K; Boyd, Daryle; Ylitalo, Gina M; O'Hara, Todd M

    2012-07-01

    We examined concentrations of total mercury (tHg, inorganic and methylated forms) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in blood and milk from free-ranging Southern Beaufort-Chukchi Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to assess maternal transfer of contaminants during lactation and the potential health risk to nursing young. Concentrations of contaminants in the blood of dependent and juvenile animals (ages 1-5 years) ranged from 35.9 to 52.2 μg kg(-1) ww for tHg and 13.9 to 52.2 μg kg(-1) ww (3255.81-11067.79 μg kg(-1) lw) for ΣPCB(7)s, similar to those of adult females, but greater than adult males. Contaminant concentrations in milk ranged from 5.7 to 71.8 μg tHg kg(-1)ww and 160 to 690 μg ΣPCB(11)s kg(-1) ww (547-5190 μg kg(-1) lw). The daily intake levels for tHg by milk consumption estimated for dependent young were below the tolerable daily intake level (TDIL) of tHg established for adult humans. Although the daily intake levels of PCBs through milk consumption for cubs of the year exceeded the TDIL thresholds, calculated dioxin equivalents for PCBs in milk were below adverse physiological thresholds for aquatic mammals. Relatively high concentrations of non-dioxin like PCBs in polar bear milk and blood could impact endocrine function of Southern Beaufort-Chukchi Sea polar bears, but this is uncertain. Transfer of contaminants during mid to late lactation likely limits bioaccumulation of dietary contaminants in female polar bears during spring. As polar bears respond to changes in their arctic sea ice habitat, the adverse health impacts associated with nutritional stress may be exacerbated by tHg and PCBs exposure, especially in ecologically and toxicologically sensitive polar bear cohorts such as reproductive females and young. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  14. Implications of rapid environmental change for polar bear behavior and sociality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.

    2017-01-01

    Historically, the Arctic sea ice has functioned as a structural barrier that has limited the nature and extent of interactions between humans and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). However, declining sea ice extent, brought about by global climate change, is increasing the potential for human-polar bear interactions. Loss of sea ice habitat is driving changes to both human and polar bear behavior—it is facilitating increases in human activities (e.g., offshore oil and gas exploration and extraction, trans-Arctic shipping, recreation), while also causing the displacement of bears from preferred foraging habitat (i.e., sea ice over biologically productive shallow) to land in some portions of their range. The end result of these changes is that polar bears are spending greater amounts of time in close proximity to people. Coexistence between humans and polar bears will require imposing mechanisms to manage further development, as well as mitigation strategies that reduce the burden to local communities.

  15. Trichinella and polar bears: a limited risk for humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupouy-Camet, J; Bourée, P; Yera, H

    2017-07-01

    In this review, we identified 63 cases reported since World War II of human trichinellosis linked to the consumption of parasitized polar bear (Ursus maritimus) meat. This low number contrasts to the numerous cases of human trichinellosis related to consumption of the meat of black (U. americanus) or brown bears (U. arctos). The prevalence of Trichinella infection is high in bears, but larval muscular burden is usually lower in polar bears compared to other bear species. Polar bears, therefore, seem to play a limited role in the transmission of trichinellosis to humans, as native residents living in the Arctic traditionally consume well-cooked bear meat, and travellers and foreign hunters have only limited access to this protected species due to the declining polar bear population.

  16. Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailer, Frank; Kutschera, Verena E; Hallström, Björn M; Klassert, Denise; Fain, Steven R; Leonard, Jennifer A; Arnason, Ulfur; Janke, Axel

    2012-04-20

    Recent studies have shown that the polar bear matriline (mitochondrial DNA) evolved from a brown bear lineage since the late Pleistocene, potentially indicating rapid speciation and adaption to arctic conditions. Here, we present a high-resolution data set from multiple independent loci across the nuclear genomes of a broad sample of polar, brown, and black bears. Bayesian coalescent analyses place polar bears outside the brown bear clade and date the divergence much earlier, in the middle Pleistocene, about 600 (338 to 934) thousand years ago. This provides more time for polar bear evolution and confirms previous suggestions that polar bears carry introgressed brown bear mitochondrial DNA due to past hybridization. Our results highlight that multilocus genomic analyses are crucial for an accurate understanding of evolutionary history.

  17. Ancient hybridization and an Irish origin for the modern polar bear matriline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J; Suchard, Marc A; Lemey, Philippe; Welch, John J; Barnes, Ian; Fulton, Tara L; Barnett, Ross; O'Connell, Tamsin C; Coxon, Peter; Monaghan, Nigel; Valdiosera, Cristina E; Lorenzen, Eline D; Willerslev, Eske; Baryshnikov, Gennady F; Rambaut, Andrew; Thomas, Mark G; Bradley, Daniel G; Shapiro, Beth

    2011-08-09

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among those species most susceptible to the rapidly changing arctic climate, and their survival is of global concern. Despite this, little is known about polar bear species history. Future conservation strategies would significantly benefit from an understanding of basic evolutionary information, such as the timing and conditions of their initial divergence from brown bears (U. arctos) or their response to previous environmental change. We used a spatially explicit phylogeographic model to estimate the dynamics of 242 brown bear and polar bear matrilines sampled throughout the last 120,000 years and across their present and past geographic ranges. Our results show that the present distribution of these matrilines was shaped by a combination of regional stability and rapid, long-distance dispersal from ice-age refugia. In addition, hybridization between polar bears and brown bears may have occurred multiple times throughout the Late Pleistocene. The reconstructed matrilineal history of brown and polar bears has two striking features. First, it is punctuated by dramatic and discrete climate-driven dispersal events. Second, opportunistic mating between these two species as their ranges overlapped has left a strong genetic imprint. In particular, a likely genetic exchange with extinct Irish brown bears forms the origin of the modern polar bear matriline. This suggests that interspecific hybridization not only may be more common than previously considered but may be a mechanism by which species deal with marginal habitats during periods of environmental deterioration. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Ancient Hybridization and an Irish Origin for the Modern Polar Bear Matriline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Suchard, Marc A.; Lemey, Philippe; Welch, John J.; Barnes, Ian; Fulton, Tara L.; Barnett, Ross; O’Connell, Tamsin C.; Coxon, Peter; Monaghan, Nigel; Valdiosera, Cristina E.; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Willerslev, Eske; Baryshnikov, Gennady F.; Rambaut, Andrew; Thomas, Mark G.; Bradley, Daniel G.; Shapiro, Beth

    2015-01-01

    Summary Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among those species most susceptible to the rapidly changing arctic climate, and their survival is of global concern. Despite this, little is known about polar bear species history. Future conservation strategies would significantly benefit from an understanding of basic evolutionary information, such as the timing and conditions of their initial divergence from brown bears (U. arctos) or their response to previous environmental change. Results We used a spatially explicit phylogeographic model to estimate the dynamics of 242 brown bear and polar bear matrilines sampled throughout the last 120,000 years and across their present and past geographic ranges. Our results show that the present distribution of these matrilines was shaped by a combination of regional stability and rapid, long-distance dispersal from ice-age refugia. In addition, hybridization between polar bears and brown bears may have occurred multiple times throughout the Late Pleistocene. Conclusions The reconstructed matrilineal history of brown and polar bears has two striking features. First, it is punctuated by dramatic and discrete climate-driven dispersal events. Second, opportunistic mating between these two species as their ranges overlapped has left a strong genetic imprint. In particular, a likely genetic exchange with extinct Irish brown bears forms the origin of the modern polar bear matriline. This suggests that interspecific hybridization not only may be more common than previously considered but may be a mechanism by which species deal with marginal habitats during periods of environmental deterioration. PMID:21737280

  19. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, K. L.; Regehr, E. V.; Akcakaya, H. R.; Amstrup, S. C.; Atwood, T.; Lunn, N.; Obbard, M.; Stern, H. L., III; Thiemann, G.; Wiig, O.

    2016-12-01

    Loss of Arctic sea ice due to climate change is the most serious threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus) throughout their circumpolar range. We performed a data-based sensitivity analysis with respect to this threat by evaluating the potential response of the global polar bear population to projected sea-ice conditions. We conducted 1) an assessment of generation length for polar bears, 2) developed of a standardized sea-ice metric representing important habitat characteristics for the species; and 3) performed population projections over three generations, using computer simulation and statistical models representing alternative relationships between sea ice and polar bear abundance. Using three separate approaches, the median percent change in mean global population size for polar bears between 2015 and 2050 ranged from -4% (95% CI = -62%, 50%) to -43% (95% CI = -76%, -20%). Results highlight the potential for large reductions in the global population if sea-ice loss continues. They also highlight the large amount of uncertainty in statistical projections of polar bear abundance and the sensitivity of projections to plausible alternative assumptions. The median probability of a reduction in the mean global population size of polar bears greater than 30% over three generations was approximately 0.71 (range 0.20-0.95. The median probability of a reduction greater than 50% was approximately 0.07 (range 0-0.35), and the probability of a reduction greater than 80% was negligible.

  20. Gene transcription in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from disparate populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Waters, Shannon C.; Meyerson, Randi; Rode, Karyn D.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    Polar bears in the Beaufort (SB) and Chukchi (CS) Seas experience different environments due primarily to a longer history of sea ice loss in the Beaufort Sea. Ecological differences have been identified as a possible reason for the generally poorer body condition and reproduction of Beaufort polar bears compared to those from the Chukchi, but the influence of exposure to other stressors remains unknown. We use molecular technology, quantitative PCR, to identify gene transcription differences among polar bears from the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas as well as captive healthy polar bears. We identified significant transcriptional differences among a priori groups (i.e., captive bears, SB 2012, SB 2013, CS 2013) for ten of the 14 genes of interest (i.e., CaM, HSP70, CCR3, TGFβ, COX2, THRα, T-bet, Gata3, CD69, and IL17); transcription levels of DRβ, IL1β, AHR, and Mx1 did not differ among groups. Multivariate analysis also demonstrated separation among the groups of polar bears. Specifically, we detected transcript profiles consistent with immune function impairment in polar bears from the Beaufort Sea, when compared with Chukchi and captive polar bears. Although there is no strong indication of differential exposure to contaminants or pathogens between CS and SB bears, there are clearly differences in important transcriptional responses between populations. Further investigation is warranted to refine interpretation of potential effects of described stress-related conditions for the SB population.

  1. Steroid hormone profile in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Jenssen, Bjorn Munro; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear is an iconic Arctic species, threatened by anthropogenic impacts such as pollution and climate change. Successful reproduction of polar bears depends on a functioning steroid hormone system, which is susceptible to effects of persistent organic pollutants. The present study...... is the first study to report circulating concentrations of nine steroid hormones (i.e., estrogens, androgens and progestagens) in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of age, condition, location and reproductive status on steroid profile in female polar...... bears. Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone, androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, dihydrotestosterone, estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in blood (serum) of free-living female polar bears (n = 15) from Svalbard, Norway, by gas...

  2. East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pertoldi, Cino; Sonne, Christian; Wiig, Øystein

    2012-01-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on four skull traits of 37 male and 18 female adult East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) collected 18921968, and on 54 male and 44 female adult Barents Sea polar bears collected 19501969. The aim was to compare differences in size and shape of the bear...... and three clusters for Barents Sea females. East Greenland consisted of one female and one male cluster. A principal component analysis (PCA) conducted on the clusters defined by the mixture analysis, showed that East Greenland and Barents Sea polar bear populations overlapped to a large degree, especially...... and genetic factors seem to have contributed to the observed skull differences between the two populations. Overall, results indicate that many Barents Sea polar bears are morphometrically similar to the East Greenland ones, suggesting an exchange of individuals between the two populations. Furthermore...

  3. Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karyn D Rode

    Full Text Available Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986-1995 and 2008-2013 when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In both time periods, polar bears predominantly occupied sea-ice, although land was used during the summer sea-ice retreat and during the winter for maternal denning. However, the proportion of bears on land for > 7 days between August and October increased between the two periods from 20.0% to 38.9%, and the average duration on land increased by 30 days. The majority of bears that used land in the summer and for denning came to Wrangel and Herald Islands (Russia, highlighting the importance of these northernmost land habitats to Chukchi Sea polar bears. Where bears summered and denned, and how long they spent there, was related to the timing and duration of sea ice retreat. Our results are consistent with other studies supporting increased land use as a common response of polar bears to sea-ice loss. Implications of increased land use for Chukchi Sea polar bears are unclear, because a recent study observed no change in body condition or reproductive indices between the two periods considered here. This result suggests that the ecology of this region may provide a degree of resilience to sea ice loss. However, projections of continued sea ice loss suggest that polar bears in the Chukchi Sea and other parts of the Arctic may increasingly use land habitats in the future, which has the potential to increase nutritional stress and human-polar bear interactions.

  4. Increased land use by Chukchi Sea polar bears in relation to changing sea ice conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Douglas, David; Olson, Jay

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986–1995 and 2008–2013) when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In both time periods, polar bears predominantly occupied sea-ice, although land was used during the summer sea-ice retreat and during the winter for maternal denning. However, the proportion of bears on land for > 7 days between August and October increased between the two periods from 20.0% to 38.9%, and the average duration on land increased by 30 days. The majority of bears that used land in the summer and for denning came to Wrangel and Herald Islands (Russia), highlighting the importance of these northernmost land habitats to Chukchi Sea polar bears. Where bears summered and denned, and how long they spent there, was related to the timing and duration of sea ice retreat. Our results are consistent with other studies supporting increased land use as a common response of polar bears to sea-ice loss. Implications of increased land use for Chukchi Sea polar bears are unclear, because a recent study observed no change in body condition or reproductive indices between the two periods considered here. This result suggests that the ecology of this region may provide a degree of resilience to sea ice loss. However, projections of continued sea ice loss suggest that polar bears in the Chukchi Sea and other parts of the Arctic may increasingly use land habitats in the future, which has the potential to increase nutritional stress and human-polar bear interactions.

  5. Increased Land Use by Chukchi Sea Polar Bears in Relation to Changing Sea Ice Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D; Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; St Martin, Michelle; Douglas, David C; Olson, Jay

    2015-01-01

    Recent observations suggest that polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land habitats in some parts of their range, where they have minimal access to their preferred prey, likely in response to loss of their sea ice habitat associated with climatic warming. We used location data from female polar bears fit with satellite radio collars to compare land use patterns in the Chukchi Sea between two periods (1986-1995 and 2008-2013) when substantial summer sea-ice loss occurred. In both time periods, polar bears predominantly occupied sea-ice, although land was used during the summer sea-ice retreat and during the winter for maternal denning. However, the proportion of bears on land for > 7 days between August and October increased between the two periods from 20.0% to 38.9%, and the average duration on land increased by 30 days. The majority of bears that used land in the summer and for denning came to Wrangel and Herald Islands (Russia), highlighting the importance of these northernmost land habitats to Chukchi Sea polar bears. Where bears summered and denned, and how long they spent there, was related to the timing and duration of sea ice retreat. Our results are consistent with other studies supporting increased land use as a common response of polar bears to sea-ice loss. Implications of increased land use for Chukchi Sea polar bears are unclear, because a recent study observed no change in body condition or reproductive indices between the two periods considered here. This result suggests that the ecology of this region may provide a degree of resilience to sea ice loss. However, projections of continued sea ice loss suggest that polar bears in the Chukchi Sea and other parts of the Arctic may increasingly use land habitats in the future, which has the potential to increase nutritional stress and human-polar bear interactions.

  6. Climate change and the increasing impact of polar bears on bird populations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jouke eProp

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The Arctic is becoming warmer at a high rate, and contractions in the extent of sea ice are currently changing the habitats of marine top-predators dependent on ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice for hunting seals. For these top-predators, longer ice-free seasons are hypothesized to force the bears to hunt for alternative terrestrial food, such as eggs from colonial breeding birds. We analyzed time-series of polar bear observations at four locations on Spitsbergen (Svalbard and one in east Greenland. Summer occurrence of polar bears, measured as the probability of encountering bears and the number of days with bear presence, has increased significantly from the 1970/80s to the present. The shifts in polar bear occurrence coincided with trends for shorter sea ice seasons and less sea ice during the spring in the study area. This resulted in a strong inverse relationship between the probability of bear encounters on land and the length of the sea ice season. Within ten years after their first appearance on land, polar bears had advanced their arrival dates by almost 30 days. Direct observations of nest predation showed that polar bears may severely affect reproductive success of the barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis, common eider (Somateria mollissima and glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus. Nest predation was strongest in years when the polar bears arrived well before hatch, with more than 90% of all nests being predated. The results are similar to findings from Canada, and large-scale processes, such as climate and subsequent habitat changes, are pinpointed as the most likely drivers in various parts of the Arctic. We suggest that the increasing, earlier appearance of bears on land in summer reflects behavioral adaptations by a small segment of the population to cope with a reduced hunting range on sea ice. This exemplifies how behavioral adaptations may contribute to the cascading effects of climate change.

  7. Biomechanical consequences of rapid evolution in the polar bear lineage.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Graham J Slater

    Full Text Available The polar bear is the only living ursid with a fully carnivorous diet. Despite a number of well-documented craniodental adaptations for a diet of seal flesh and blubber, molecular and paleontological data indicate that this morphologically distinct species evolved less than a million years ago from the omnivorous brown bear. To better understand the evolution of this dietary specialization, we used phylogenetic tests to estimate the rate of morphological specialization in polar bears. We then used finite element analysis (FEA to compare the limits of feeding performance in the polar bear skull to that of the phylogenetically and geographically close brown bear. Results indicate that extremely rapid evolution of semi-aquatic adaptations and dietary specialization in the polar bear lineage produced a cranial morphology that is weaker than that of brown bears and less suited to processing tough omnivorous or herbivorous diets. Our results suggest that continuation of current climate trends could affect polar bears by not only eliminating their primary food source, but also through competition with northward advancing, generalized brown populations for resources that they are ill-equipped to utilize.

  8. Biomechanical consequences of rapid evolution in the polar bear lineage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slater, Graham J; Figueirido, Borja; Louis, Leeann; Yang, Paul; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire

    2010-11-05

    The polar bear is the only living ursid with a fully carnivorous diet. Despite a number of well-documented craniodental adaptations for a diet of seal flesh and blubber, molecular and paleontological data indicate that this morphologically distinct species evolved less than a million years ago from the omnivorous brown bear. To better understand the evolution of this dietary specialization, we used phylogenetic tests to estimate the rate of morphological specialization in polar bears. We then used finite element analysis (FEA) to compare the limits of feeding performance in the polar bear skull to that of the phylogenetically and geographically close brown bear. Results indicate that extremely rapid evolution of semi-aquatic adaptations and dietary specialization in the polar bear lineage produced a cranial morphology that is weaker than that of brown bears and less suited to processing tough omnivorous or herbivorous diets. Our results suggest that continuation of current climate trends could affect polar bears by not only eliminating their primary food source, but also through competition with northward advancing, generalized brown populations for resources that they are ill-equipped to utilize.

  9. Phylogeography of mitochondrial DNA variation in brown bears and polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shields, Gerald F.; Adams, Deborah; Garner, Gerald W.; Labelle, Martine; Pietsch, Jacy; Ramsay, Malcolm; Schwartz, Charles; Titus, Kimberly; Williamson, Scott

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed 286 nucleotides of the middle portion of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene of 61 brown bears from three locations in Alaska and 55 polar bears from Arctic Canada and Arctic Siberia to test our earlier observations of paraphyly between polar bears and brown bears as well as to test the extreme uniqueness of mitochondrial DNA types of brown bears on Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof (ABC) islands of southeastern Alaska. We also investigated the phylogeography of brown bears of Alaska's Kenai Peninsula in relation to other Alaskan brown bears because the former are being threatened by increased human development. We predicted that: (1) mtDNA paraphyly between brown bears and polar bears would be upheld, (2) the mtDNA uniqueness of brown bears of the ABC islands would be upheld, and (3) brown bears of the Kenai Peninsula would belong to either clade II or clade III of brown bears of our earlier studies of mtDNA. All of our predictions were upheld through the analysis of these additional samples.

  10. Lumbar laminectomy in a captive, adult polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

    OpenAIRE

    Morrison, John F.; Vakharia, Kunal; Moreland, Douglas B.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Animals held in captivity tend to live longer than do their wild counterparts, and as such, are prone to developing age-related degenerative injuries. Here, we present a case of an adult female polar bear with symptomatic lumbar stenosis. There is a paucity of literature on large mammalian spine surgery, and anatomical differences between humans and other vertebrates must be taken into consideration. Case Description: A 24-year-old female polar bear residing at the zoo was found t...

  11. A Review of Infectious Agents in Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus) and Their Long-Term Ecological Relevance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fagre, Anna C; Patyk, Kelly A; Nol, Pauline; Atwood, Todd; Hueffer, Karsten; Duncan, Colleen

    2015-09-01

    Disease was a listing criterion for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 2008; it is therefore important to evaluate the current state of knowledge and identify any information gaps pertaining to diseases in polar bears. We conducted a systematic literature review focused on infectious agents and associated health impacts identified in polar bears. Overall, the majority of reports in free-ranging bears concerned serosurveys or fecal examinations with little to no information on associated health effects. In contrast, most reports documenting illness or pathology referenced captive animals and diseases caused by etiologic agents not representative of exposure opportunities in wild bears. As such, most of the available infectious disease literature has limited utility as a basis for development of future health assessment and management plans. Given that ecological change is a considerable risk facing polar bear populations, future work should focus on cumulative effects of multiple stressors that could impact polar bear population dynamics.

  12. Omental torsion in a captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez-Angulo, Jose L; Funes, Francisco J; Trent, Ava M; Willette, Michelle; Woodhouse, Kerry; Renier, Anna C

    2014-03-01

    This is the first case report of an omental torsion in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus). A captive, 23-yr-old, 250-kg, intact female polar bear presented to the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center with a 2-day history of lethargy, depression, and vomiting. Abdominal ultrasound identified large amounts of hyperechoic free peritoneal fluid. Ultrasound-guided abdominocentesis was performed and yielded thick serosanguinous fluid compatible with a hemoabdomen. An exploratory laparotomy revealed a large amount of malodorous, serosanguineous fluid and multiple necrotic blood clots associated with a torsion of the greater omentum and rupture of a branch of the omental artery. A partial omentectomy was performed to remove the necrotic tissue and the abdomen was copiously lavaged. The polar bear recovered successfully and is reported to be clinically well 6 mo later. This condition should be considered as a differential in bears with clinical signs of intestinal obstruction and hemoabdomen.

  13. Predicting 21st-century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, G.M.; Douglas, D.C.; Nielson, R.M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, T.L.; Stirling, I.; Mauritzen, Mette; Born, E.W.; Wiig, O.; Deweaver, E.; Serreze, M.C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Holland, M.M.; Maslanik, J.; Aars, Jon; Bailey, D.A.; Derocher, A.E.

    2009-01-01

    effects may become important as polar bears make long-distance annual migrations from traditional winter ranges to remnant high-latitude summer sea ice. These impacts will likely affect specific sex and age groups differently and may ultimately preclude bears from seasonally returning to their traditional ranges.

  14. Does taurine deficiency cause metabolic bone disease and rickets in polar bear cubs raised in captivity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesney, Russell W; Hedberg, Gail E; Rogers, Quinton R; Dierenfeld, Ellen S; Hollis, Bruce E; Derocher, Andrew; Andersen, Magnus

    2009-01-01

    Rickets and fractures have been reported in captive polar bears. Taurine (TAU) is key for the conjugation of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), a bile acid unique to bears. Since TAU-conjugated UDCA optimizes fat and fat-soluble vitamin absorption, we asked if TAU deficiency could cause vitamin D malabsorption and lead to metabolic bone disease in captive polar bears. We measured TAU levels in plasma (P) and whole blood (WB) from captive and free-ranging cubs and adults, and vitamin D3 and TAU concentrations in milk samples from lactating sows. Plasma and WB TAU levels were significantly higher in cubs vs captive and free-ranging adult bears. Vitamin D in polar bear milk was 649.2 +/- 569.2 IU/L, similar to that found in formula. The amount of TAU in polar bear milk is 3166.4 +/- 771 nmol/ml, 26-fold higher than in formula. Levels of vitamin D in bear milk and formula as well as in plasma do not indicate classical nutritional vitamin D deficiency. Higher dietary intake of TAU by free-ranging cubs may influence bile acid conjugation and improve vitamin D absorption.

  15. Comment on "Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakagome, Shigeki; Mano, Shuhei; Hasegawa, Masami

    2013-03-29

    Based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA, Hailer et al. (Reports, 20 April 2012, p. 344) suggested early divergence of polar bears from a common ancestor with brown bears and subsequent introgression. Our population genetic analysis that traces each of the genealogies in the independent nuclear loci does not support the evolutionary model proposed by the authors.

  16. Identifying polar bear resource selection patterns to inform offshore development in a dynamic and changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Horne, Jon S.; Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Durner, George M.

    2014-01-01

    Although sea ice loss is the primary threat to polar bears (Ursus maritimus), little can be done to mitigate its effects without global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Other factors, however, could exacerbate the impacts of sea ice loss on polar bears, such as exposure to increased industrial activity. The Arctic Ocean has enormous oil and gas potential, and its development is expected to increase in the coming decades. Estimates of polar bear resource selection will inform managers how bears use areas slated for oil development and to help guide conservation planning. We estimated temporally-varying resource selection patterns for non-denning adult female polar bears in the Chukchi Sea population (2008–2012) at two scales (i.e., home range and weekly steps) to identify factors predictive of polar bear use throughout the year, before any offshore development. From the best models at each scale, we estimated scale-integrated resource selection functions to predict polar bear space use across the population's range and determined when bears were most likely to use the region where offshore oil and gas development in the United States is slated to occur. Polar bears exhibited significant intra-annual variation in selection patterns at both scales but the strength and annual patterns of selection differed between scales for most variables. Bears were most likely to use the offshore oil and gas planning area during ice retreat and growth with the highest predicted use occurring in the southern portion of the planning area. The average proportion of predicted high-value habitat in the planning area was >15% of the total high-value habitat for the population during sea ice retreat and growth and reached a high of 50% during November 2010. Our results provide a baseline on which to judge future changes to non-denning adult female polar bear resource selection in the Chukchi Sea and help guide offshore development in the region. Lastly, our study provides a

  17. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. L. Stern

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology – the cycle of biological events – is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979–2014 mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from −3 to −9 days decade−1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade−1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of −7 to −19 days decade−1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June–October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from −1 to −9 percent decade−1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in

  18. Sea-ice indicators of polar bear habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Harry L.; Laidre, Kristin L.

    2016-09-01

    Nineteen subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic, and in all regions they depend on sea ice as a platform for traveling, hunting, and breeding. Therefore polar bear phenology - the cycle of biological events - is linked to the timing of sea-ice retreat in spring and advance in fall. We analyzed the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in all 19 polar bear subpopulation regions from 1979 to 2014, using daily sea-ice concentration data from satellite passive microwave instruments. We define the dates of sea-ice retreat and advance in a region as the dates when the area of sea ice drops below a certain threshold (retreat) on its way to the summer minimum or rises above the threshold (advance) on its way to the winter maximum. The threshold is chosen to be halfway between the historical (1979-2014) mean September and mean March sea-ice areas. In all 19 regions there is a trend toward earlier sea-ice retreat and later sea-ice advance. Trends generally range from -3 to -9 days decade-1 in spring and from +3 to +9 days decade-1 in fall, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The trends are not sensitive to the threshold. We also calculated the number of days per year that the sea-ice area exceeded the threshold (termed ice-covered days) and the average sea-ice concentration from 1 June through 31 October. The number of ice-covered days is declining in all regions at the rate of -7 to -19 days decade-1, with larger trends in the Barents Sea and central Arctic Basin. The June-October sea-ice concentration is declining in all regions at rates ranging from -1 to -9 percent decade-1. These sea-ice metrics (or indicators of habitat change) were designed to be useful for management agencies and for comparative purposes among subpopulations. We recommend that the National Climate Assessment include the timing of sea-ice retreat and advance in future reports.

  19. Lumbar laminectomy in a captive, adult polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, John F; Vakharia, Kunal; Moreland, Douglas B

    2017-01-01

    Animals held in captivity tend to live longer than do their wild counterparts, and as such, are prone to developing age-related degenerative injuries. Here, we present a case of an adult female polar bear with symptomatic lumbar stenosis. There is a paucity of literature on large mammalian spine surgery, and anatomical differences between humans and other vertebrates must be taken into consideration. A 24-year-old female polar bear residing at the zoo was found to have decreased motor function in her hind legs. Diagnostic myelography performed at the L7/S1 level demonstrated lumbar stenosis at L5/6 for which a laminectomy was performed. Postoperatively, she returned to premorbid functional level, with no apparent associated adverse sequelae. To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of spine surgery in a polar bear and demonstrates that neurosurgical diagnostic and operative techniques developed for humans can also be applied to large mammals with successful results.

  20. What Colour Is a Polar Bear's Skin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Truchot, Sandrine; Weber, Agathe

    2005-01-01

    The association "Participe Futur", based in France, has set up a fantastic sailing and educational adventure with the help of the International Polar Foundation. A group of scientists left the South of France on 20 March 2005 on a sailing boat named "Alcyon". They will be on board for nine months, travelling all the way from…

  1. Remote biopsy darting and marking of polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pagano, Anthony M.; Peacock, Elizabeth; McKinney, Melissa A.

    2014-01-01

    Remote biopsy darting of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) is less invasive and time intensive than physical capture and is therefore useful when capture is challenging or unsafe. We worked with two manufacturers to develop a combination biopsy and marking dart for use on polar bears. We had an 80% success rate of collecting a tissue sample with a single biopsy dart and collected tissue samples from 143 polar bears on land, in water, and on sea ice. Dye marks ensured that 96% of the bears were not resampled during the same sampling period, and we recovered 96% of the darts fired. Biopsy heads with 5 mm diameters collected an average of 0.12 g of fur, tissue, and subcutaneous adipose tissue, while biopsy heads with 7 mm diameters collected an average of 0.32 g. Tissue samples were 99.3% successful (142 of 143 samples) in providing a genetic and sex identification of individuals. We had a 64% success rate collecting adipose tissue and we successfully examined fatty acid signatures in all adipose samples. Adipose lipid content values were lower compared to values from immobilized or harvested polar bears, indicating that our method was not suitable for quantifying adipose lipid content.

  2. Organophosphate esters in East Greenland polar bears and ringed seals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strobel, Adelle; Willmore, William G; Sonne, Christian

    2018-01-01

    influenced by biotransformation. In the present study, the hepatic in vitro metabolism of six environmentally relevant organophosphate (OP) triesters and corresponding OP diester formation were investigated in East Greenland polar bears (PBs) and ringed seals (RSs). The in vitro metabolism assay results were...

  3. Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, E.V.; Hunter, C.M.; Caswell, H.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.

    2010-01-01

    1. Observed and predicted declines in Arctic sea ice have raised concerns about marine mammals. In May 2008, the US Fish and Wildlife Service listed polar bears (Ursus maritimus) - one of the most ice-dependent marine mammals - as threatened under the US Endangered Species Act. 2. We evaluated the effects of sea ice conditions on vital rates (survival and breeding probabilities) for polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Although sea ice declines in this and other regions of the polar basin have been among the greatest in the Arctic, to date population-level effects of sea ice loss on polar bears have only been identified in western Hudson Bay, near the southern limit of the species' range. 3. We estimated vital rates using multistate capture-recapture models that classified individuals by sex, age and reproductive category. We used multimodel inference to evaluate a range of statistical models, all of which were structurally based on the polar bear life cycle. We estimated parameters by model averaging, and developed a parametric bootstrap procedure to quantify parameter uncertainty. 4. In the most supported models, polar bear survival declined with an increasing number of days per year that waters over the continental shelf were ice free. In 2001-2003, the ice-free period was relatively short (mean 101 days) and adult female survival was high (0 ∙ 96-0 ∙ 99, depending on reproductive state). In 2004 and 2005, the ice-free period was longer (mean 135 days) and adult female survival was low (0 ∙ 73-0 ∙ 79, depending on reproductive state). Breeding rates and cub litter survival also declined with increasing duration of the ice-free period. Confidence intervals on vital rate estimates were wide. 5. The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines. Our findings

  4. Development of a pan-Arctic monitoring plan for polar bears: Background paper

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vongraven, Dag; Peacock, Lily

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), by their very nature, and the extreme, remote environment in which they live, are inherently difficult to study and monitor. Monitoring polar bear populations is both arduous and costly and, to be effective, must be a long-term commitment. There are few jurisdictional governments and management boards with a mandate for polar bear research and management, and many have limited resources. Although population monitoring of polar bears has been a focus to some degree within most jurisdictions around the Arctic, of the 19 subpopulations recognised by the IUCN/Species Survival Commission Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), adequate scientific trend data exist for only three of the subpopulations, fair trend data for five and poor or no trend data for the remaining 11 subpopulations (PBSG 2010a). There are especially critical knowledge gaps for the subpopulations in East Greenland, in the Russian Kara and Laptev seas, and in the Chukchi Sea, which is shared between Russia and the United States. The range covered by these subpopulations represents a third of the total area (approx. 23 million km2) of polar bears’ current range, and more than half if the Arctic Basin is included. If we use popular terms, we know close to nothing about polar bears in this portion of their range.As summer sea-ice extent, and to a lesser degree, spring-time extent, continues to retreat, outpacing model forecasts (Stroeve et al. 2007, Pedersen et al. 2009), polar bears face the challenge of adapting to rapidly changing habitats. There is a need to use current and synthesised information across the Arctic, and to develop new methods that will facilitate monitoring to generate new knowledge at a pan-Arctic scale. The circumpolar dimension can be lost when efforts are channelled into regional monitoring. Developing and implementing a plan that harmonises local, regional and global efforts will increase our power to detect and understand important trends for polar

  5. Molecular phylogeny and SNP variation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) derived from genome sequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A; Rincon, Gonzalo; Meredith, Robert W; MacNeil, Michael D; Islas-Trejo, Alma; Cánovas, Angela; Medrano, Juan F

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the relationships of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus) with high throughput genomic sequencing data with an average coverage of 25× for each species. A total of 1.4 billion 100-bp paired-end reads were assembled using the polar bear and annotated giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) genome sequences as references. We identified 13.8 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the 3 species aligned to the polar bear genome. These data indicate that polar bears and brown bears share more SNP with each other than either does with black bears. Concatenation and coalescence-based analysis of consensus sequences of approximately 1 million base pairs of ultraconserved elements in the nuclear genome resulted in a phylogeny with black bears as the sister group to brown and polar bears, and all brown bears are in a separate clade from polar bears. Genotypes for 162 SNP loci of 336 bears from Alaska and Montana showed that the species are genetically differentiated and there is geographic population structure of brown and black bears but not polar bears.

  6. Increased Arctic sea ice drift alters adult female polar bear movements and energetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Albeke, Shannon; Whiteman, John P.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Richardson, Evan; Wilson, Ryan R.; Ben-David, Merav

    2017-01-01

    Recent reductions in thickness and extent have increased drift rates of Arctic sea ice. Increased ice drift could significantly affect the movements and the energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which forage, nearly exclusively, on this substrate. We used radio-tracking and ice drift data to quantify the influence of increased drift on bear movements, and we modeled the consequences for energy demands of adult females in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during two periods with different sea ice characteristics. Westward and northward drift of the sea ice used by polar bears in both regions increased between 1987–1998 and 1999–2013. To remain within their home ranges, polar bears responded to the higher westward ice drift with greater eastward movements, while their movements north in the spring and south in fall were frequently aided by ice motion. To compensate for more rapid westward ice drift in recent years, polar bears covered greater daily distances either by increasing their time spent active (7.6%–9.6%) or by increasing their travel speed (8.5%–8.9%). This increased their calculated annual energy expenditure by 1.8%–3.6% (depending on region and reproductive status), a cost that could be met by capturing an additional 1–3 seals/year. Polar bears selected similar habitats in both periods, indicating that faster drift did not alter habitat preferences. Compounding reduced foraging opportunities that result from habitat loss; changes in ice drift, and associated activity increases, likely exacerbate the physiological stress experienced by polar bears in a warming Arctic.

  7. Increased Arctic sea ice drift alters adult female polar bear movements and energetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M; Douglas, David C; Albeke, Shannon E; Whiteman, John P; Amstrup, Steven C; Richardson, Evan; Wilson, Ryan R; Ben-David, Merav

    2017-09-01

    Recent reductions in thickness and extent have increased drift rates of Arctic sea ice. Increased ice drift could significantly affect the movements and the energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which forage, nearly exclusively, on this substrate. We used radio-tracking and ice drift data to quantify the influence of increased drift on bear movements, and we modeled the consequences for energy demands of adult females in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas during two periods with different sea ice characteristics. Westward and northward drift of the sea ice used by polar bears in both regions increased between 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. To remain within their home ranges, polar bears responded to the higher westward ice drift with greater eastward movements, while their movements north in the spring and south in fall were frequently aided by ice motion. To compensate for more rapid westward ice drift in recent years, polar bears covered greater daily distances either by increasing their time spent active (7.6%-9.6%) or by increasing their travel speed (8.5%-8.9%). This increased their calculated annual energy expenditure by 1.8%-3.6% (depending on region and reproductive status), a cost that could be met by capturing an additional 1-3 seals/year. Polar bears selected similar habitats in both periods, indicating that faster drift did not alter habitat preferences. Compounding reduced foraging opportunities that result from habitat loss; changes in ice drift, and associated activity increases, likely exacerbate the physiological stress experienced by polar bears in a warming Arctic. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  8. Genomic evidence for island population conversion resolves conflicting theories of polar bear evolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James A Cahill

    Full Text Available Despite extensive genetic analysis, the evolutionary relationship between polar bears (Ursus maritimus and brown bears (U. arctos remains unclear. The two most recent comprehensive reports indicate a recent divergence with little subsequent admixture or a much more ancient divergence followed by extensive admixture. At the center of this controversy are the Alaskan ABC Islands brown bears that show evidence of shared ancestry with polar bears. We present an analysis of genome-wide sequence data for seven polar bears, one ABC Islands brown bear, one mainland Alaskan brown bear, and a black bear (U. americanus, plus recently published datasets from other bears. Surprisingly, we find clear evidence for gene flow from polar bears into ABC Islands brown bears but no evidence of gene flow from brown bears into polar bears. Importantly, while polar bears contributed <1% of the autosomal genome of the ABC Islands brown bear, they contributed 6.5% of the X chromosome. The magnitude of sex-biased polar bear ancestry and the clear direction of gene flow suggest a model wherein the enigmatic ABC Island brown bears are the descendants of a polar bear population that was gradually converted into brown bears via male-dominated brown bear admixture. We present a model that reconciles heretofore conflicting genetic observations. We posit that the enigmatic ABC Islands brown bears derive from a population of polar bears likely stranded by the receding ice at the end of the last glacial period. Since then, male brown bear migration onto the island has gradually converted these bears into an admixed population whose phenotype and genotype are principally brown bear, except at mtDNA and X-linked loci. This process of genome erosion and conversion may be a common outcome when climate change or other forces cause a population to become isolated and then overrun by species with which it can hybridize.

  9. Genomic evidence for island population conversion resolves conflicting theories of polar bear evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahill, James A; Green, Richard E; Fulton, Tara L; Stiller, Mathias; Jay, Flora; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Salamzade, Rauf; St John, John; Stirling, Ian; Slatkin, Montgomery; Shapiro, Beth

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive genetic analysis, the evolutionary relationship between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (U. arctos) remains unclear. The two most recent comprehensive reports indicate a recent divergence with little subsequent admixture or a much more ancient divergence followed by extensive admixture. At the center of this controversy are the Alaskan ABC Islands brown bears that show evidence of shared ancestry with polar bears. We present an analysis of genome-wide sequence data for seven polar bears, one ABC Islands brown bear, one mainland Alaskan brown bear, and a black bear (U. americanus), plus recently published datasets from other bears. Surprisingly, we find clear evidence for gene flow from polar bears into ABC Islands brown bears but no evidence of gene flow from brown bears into polar bears. Importantly, while polar bears contributed bear, they contributed 6.5% of the X chromosome. The magnitude of sex-biased polar bear ancestry and the clear direction of gene flow suggest a model wherein the enigmatic ABC Island brown bears are the descendants of a polar bear population that was gradually converted into brown bears via male-dominated brown bear admixture. We present a model that reconciles heretofore conflicting genetic observations. We posit that the enigmatic ABC Islands brown bears derive from a population of polar bears likely stranded by the receding ice at the end of the last glacial period. Since then, male brown bear migration onto the island has gradually converted these bears into an admixed population whose phenotype and genotype are principally brown bear, except at mtDNA and X-linked loci. This process of genome erosion and conversion may be a common outcome when climate change or other forces cause a population to become isolated and then overrun by species with which it can hybridize.

  10. Uncertainties in forecasting the response of polar bears to global climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, David C.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    Several sources of uncertainty affect how precisely the future status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be forecasted. Foremost are unknowns about the future levels of global greenhouse gas emissions, which could range from an unabated increase to an aggressively mitigated reduction. Uncertainties also arise because different climate models project different amounts and rates of future warming (and sea ice loss)—even for the same emission scenario. There are also uncertainties about how global warming could affect the Arctic Ocean’s food web, so even if climate models project the presence of sea ice in the future, the availability of polar bear prey is not guaranteed. Under a worst-case emission scenario in which rates of greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise unabated to century’s end, the uncertainties about polar bear status center on a potential for extinction. If the species were to persist, it would likely be restricted to a high-latitude refugium in northern Canada and Greenland—assuming a food web also existed with enough accessible prey to fuel weight gains for surviving onshore during the most extreme years of summer ice melt. On the other hand, if emissions were to be aggressively mitigated at the levels proposed in the Paris Climate Agreement, healthy polar bear populations would probably continue to occupy all but the most southern areas of their contemporary summer range. While polar bears have survived previous warming phases—which indicate some resiliency to the loss of sea ice habitat—what is certain is that the present pace of warming is unprecedented and will increasingly expose polar bears to historically novel stressors.

  11. Comparison of methanol and isopropanol as wash solvents for determination of hair cortisol concentration in grizzly bears and polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kroshko, Thomas; Kapronczai, Luciene; Cattet, Marc R L; Macbeth, Bryan J; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Obbard, Martyn E; Janz, David M

    2017-01-01

    Methodological differences among laboratories are recognized as significant sources of variation in quantification of hair cortisol concentration (HCC). An important step in processing hair, particularly when collected from wildlife, is the choice of solvent used to remove or "wash" external hair shaft cortisol prior to quantification of HCC. The present study systematically compared methanol and isopropanol as wash solvents for their efficiency at removing external cortisol without extracting internal hair shaft cortisol in samples collected from free-ranging grizzly bears and polar bears. Cortisol concentrations in solvents and hair were determined in each of one to eight washes of hair with each solvent independently. •There were no significant decreases in internal hair shaft cortisol among all eight washes for either solvent, although methanol removed detectable hair surface cortisol after one wash in grizzly bear hair whereas hair surface cortisol was detected in all eight isopropanol washes.•There were no significant differences in polar bear HCC washed one to eight times with either solvent, but grizzly bear HCC was significantly greater in hair washed with isopropanol compared to methanol.•There were significant differences in HCC quantified using different commercial ELISA kits commonly used for HCC determinations.

  12. Alaska polar bear harvest characteristics 1980-1982: Status report: Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Polar bear harvests in Alaska coastal villages from November 1980 to April 1982. Hunters from 13 villages killed polar bears during this period. The documented...

  13. Habitat degradation affects the summer activity of polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Jasmine V.; Rode, Karyn D.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Douglas, David C.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Durner, George M.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Olson, Jay; Robbins, Charles T.; Jansen, Heiko T

    2017-01-01

    Understanding behavioral responses of species to environmental change is critical to forecasting population-level effects. Although climate change is significantly impacting species’ distributions, few studies have examined associated changes in behavior. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations have varied in their near-term responses to sea ice decline. We examined behavioral responses of two adjacent subpopulations to changes in habitat availability during the annual sea ice minimum using activity data. Location and activity sensor data collected from 1989 to 2014 for 202 adult female polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea (SB) and Chukchi Sea (CS) subpopulations were used to compare activity in three habitat types varying in prey availability: (1) land; (2) ice over shallow, biologically productive waters; and (3) ice over deeper, less productive waters. Bears varied activity across and within habitats with the highest activity at 50–75% sea ice concentration over shallow waters. On land, SB bears exhibited variable but relatively high activity associated with the use of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale carcasses, whereas CS bears exhibited low activity consistent with minimal feeding. Both subpopulations had fewer observations in their preferred shallow-water sea ice habitats in recent years, corresponding with declines in availability of this substrate. The substantially higher use of marginal habitats by SB bears is an additional mechanism potentially explaining why this subpopulation has experienced negative effects of sea ice loss compared to the still-productive CS subpopulation. Variability in activity among, and within, habitats suggests that bears alter their behavior in response to habitat conditions, presumably in an attempt to balance prey availability with energy costs.

  14. Habitat degradation affects the summer activity of polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ware, Jasmine V; Rode, Karyn D; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Douglas, David C; Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C; Durner, George M; Pagano, Anthony M; Olson, Jay; Robbins, Charles T; Jansen, Heiko T

    2017-05-01

    Understanding behavioral responses of species to environmental change is critical to forecasting population-level effects. Although climate change is significantly impacting species' distributions, few studies have examined associated changes in behavior. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations have varied in their near-term responses to sea ice decline. We examined behavioral responses of two adjacent subpopulations to changes in habitat availability during the annual sea ice minimum using activity data. Location and activity sensor data collected from 1989 to 2014 for 202 adult female polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea (SB) and Chukchi Sea (CS) subpopulations were used to compare activity in three habitat types varying in prey availability: (1) land; (2) ice over shallow, biologically productive waters; and (3) ice over deeper, less productive waters. Bears varied activity across and within habitats with the highest activity at 50-75% sea ice concentration over shallow waters. On land, SB bears exhibited variable but relatively high activity associated with the use of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale carcasses, whereas CS bears exhibited low activity consistent with minimal feeding. Both subpopulations had fewer observations in their preferred shallow-water sea ice habitats in recent years, corresponding with declines in availability of this substrate. The substantially higher use of marginal habitats by SB bears is an additional mechanism potentially explaining why this subpopulation has experienced negative effects of sea ice loss compared to the still-productive CS subpopulation. Variability in activity among, and within, habitats suggests that bears alter their behavior in response to habitat conditions, presumably in an attempt to balance prey availability with energy costs.

  15. 50 CFR 18.30 - Polar bear sport-hunted trophy import permits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... 50 Wildlife and Fisheries 6 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Polar bear sport-hunted trophy import... IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MARINE MAMMALS Special Exceptions § 18.30 Polar bear sport... estate, must submit an application for a permit to import a trophy of a polar bear taken in Canada to the...

  16. One-dimensional heat conduction equation of the polar bear hair

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Wei-Hong

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Hairs of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus possess special membrane-pore structure. The structure enables the polar bear to survive in the harsh Arctic regions. In this paper, the membrane-pore structure be approximately considered as fractal space, 1-D heat conduction equation of the polar bear hair is established and the solution of the equation is obtained.

  17. 77 FR 23432 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-04-19

    ...; Special Rule for the Polar Bear AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Proposed rule... that are necessary and advisable to provide for the conservation of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus). The Secretary has the discretion to prohibit by regulation with respect to the polar bear any act...

  18. Trends of perfluorochemicals in Greenland ringed seals and polar bears: indications of shifts to decreasing trends.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigét, Frank; Bossi, Rossana; Sonne, Christian; Vorkamp, Katrin; Dietz, Rune

    2013-11-01

    Time-series of perfluorinated alkylated substances (PFASs) in East Greenland polar bears and East and West Greenland ringed seals were updated in order to deduce whether a response to the major reduction in perfluoroalkyl production in the early 2000s had occurred. Previous studies had documented an exponential increase of perfluorooctane sulphonate (PFOS) in liver tissue from both species. In the present study, PFOS was still the far most dominant compound constituting 92% (West Greenland ringed seals), 88% (East Greenland ringed seals) and 85% (East Greenland polar bears). The PFOS concentrations increased up to 2006 with doubling times of approximately 6 years for the ringed seal populations and 14 years in case of polar bears. Since then a rapid decrease has occurred with clearing half-lives of approximately 1, 2 and 4 years, respectively. In polar bears perfluorohexane sulphonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctane sulphonamide (PFOSA) also showed decreasing trends in recent years as do perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA) and perfluoroundecanoic acid (PFUnA). For the West Greenland ringed seal population perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA), PFDA and PFUnA peaked in the mid 2000s, whereas PFNA, PFDA and PFUnA in the East Greenland population have been stable or increasing in recent years. The peak of PFASs in Greenland ringed seals and polar bears occurred at a later time than in Canadian seals and polar bears and considerably later than observed in seal species from more southern latitudes. We suggest that this could be explained by the distance to emission hot-spots and differences in long-range transport to the Arctic. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Fractional model for heat conduction in polar bear hairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Qing-Li

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Time-fractional differential equations can accurately describe heat conduction in fractal media, such as wool fibers, goose down and polar bear hair. The fractional complex transform is used to convert time-fractional heat conduction equations with the modified Riemann-Liouville derivative into ordinary differential equations, and exact solutions can be easily obtained. The solution process is straightforward and concise.

  20. Predicting climate change impacts on polar bear litter size

    OpenAIRE

    Molnár, Péter K.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Klanjšček, Tin; Lewis, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    Predicting the ecological impacts of climate warming is critical for species conservation. Incorporating future warming into population models, however, is challenging because reproduction and survival cannot be measured for yet unobserved environmental conditions. In this study, we use mechanistic energy budget models and data obtainable under current conditions to predict polar bear litter size under future conditions. In western Hudson Bay, we predict climate warming-induced litter size de...

  1. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): Biomarker for an arctic ecosystem health sentinel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ???5, than lactating adult females ages ???5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel. ?? 2010 International Association for Ecology and Health.

  2. Hematology of southern Beaufort Sea polar bears (2005-2007): biomarker for an Arctic ecosystem health sentinel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Cassandra M; Amstrup, Steven; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M

    2010-09-01

    Declines in sea-ice habitats have resulted in declining stature, productivity, and survival of polar bears in some regions. With continuing sea-ice declines, negative population effects are projected to expand throughout the polar bear's range. Precise causes of diminished polar bear life history performance are unknown, however, climate and sea-ice condition change are expected to adversely impact polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health and population dynamics. As apex predators in the Arctic, polar bears integrate the status of lower trophic levels and are therefore sentinels of ecosystem health. Arctic residents feed at the apex of the ecosystem, thus polar bears can serve as indicators of human health in the Arctic. Despite their value as indicators of ecosystem welfare, population-level health data for U.S. polar bears are lacking. We present hematological reference ranges for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears. Hematological parameters in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears varied by age, geographic location, and reproductive status. Total leukocytes, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and serum immunoglobulin G were significantly greater in males than females. These measures were greater in nonlactating females ages ≥5, than lactating adult females ages ≥5, suggesting that females encumbered by young may be less resilient to new immune system challenges that may accompany ongoing climate change. Hematological values established here provide a necessary baseline for anticipated changes in health as arctic temperatures warm and sea-ice declines accelerate. Data suggest that females with dependent young may be most vulnerable to these changes and should therefore be a targeted cohort for monitoring in this sentinel.

  3. Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) pregnane X receptors (PXR, NR1I2) differently

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lille-Langøy, Roger, E-mail: Roger.lille-langoy@bio.uib.no [University of Bergen, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Goldstone, Jared V. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, 02543-1050 Woods Hole, MA (United States); Rusten, Marte [University of Bergen, Department of Molecular Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Milnes, Matthew R. [Mars Hill University, 100 Athletic Street, Box 6671, Mars Hill, 28754 NC (United States); Male, Rune [University of Bergen, Department of Molecular Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Stegeman, John J. [Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 266 Woods Hole Road, 02543-1050 Woods Hole, MA (United States); Blumberg, Bruce [University of California, Irvine, 92697 CA (United States); Goksøyr, Anders [University of Bergen, Department of Biology, P.O. Box 7803, N-5020 Bergen (Norway)

    2015-04-01

    Background: Many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) accumulate readily in polar bears because of their position as apex predators in Arctic food webs. The pregnane X receptor (PXR, formally NR1I2, here proposed to be named promiscuous xenobiotic receptor) is a xenobiotic sensor that is directly involved in metabolizing pathways of a wide range of environmental contaminants. Objectives: In the present study, we comparably assess the ability of 51 selected pharmaceuticals, pesticides and emerging contaminants to activate PXRs from polar bears and humans using an in vitro luciferase reporter gene assay. Results: We found that polar bear PXR is activated by a wide range of our test compounds (68%) but has a slightly more narrow ligand specificity than human PXR that was activated by 86% of the 51 test compounds. The majority of the agonists identified (70%) produces a stronger induction of the reporter gene via human PXR than via polar bear PXR, however with some notable and environmentally relevant exceptions. Conclusions: Due to the observed differences in activation of polar bear and human PXRs, exposure of each species to environmental agents is likely to induce biotransformation differently in the two species. Bioinformatics analyses and structural modeling studies suggest that amino acids that are not part of the ligand-binding domain and do not interact with the ligand can modulate receptor activation. - Highlights: • Comparative study of ligand activation of human and polar bear PXRs. • Polar bear PXR is a promiscuous ligand-activated nuclear receptor but less so than human PXR. • Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear PXRs differently. • Expression and ligand promiscuity indicate that PXR is a xenosensor in polar bears.

  4. Effects of climate warming on polar bears: a review of the evidence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E

    2012-09-01

    Climate warming is causing unidirectional changes to annual patterns of sea ice distribution, structure, and freeze-up. We summarize evidence that documents how loss of sea ice, the primary habitat of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), negatively affects their long-term survival. To maintain viable subpopulations, polar bears depend on sea ice as a platform from which to hunt seals for long enough each year to accumulate sufficient energy (fat) to survive periods when seals are unavailable. Less time to access to prey, because of progressively earlier breakup in spring, when newly weaned ringed seal (Pusa hispida) young are available, results in longer periods of fasting, lower body condition, decreased access to denning areas, fewer and smaller cubs, lower survival of cubs as well as bears of other age classes and, finally, subpopulation decline toward eventual extirpation. The chronology of climate-driven changes will vary between subpopulations, with quantifiable negative effects being documented first in the more southerly subpopulations, such as those in Hudson Bay or the southern Beaufort Sea. As the bears' body condition declines, more seek alternate food resources so the frequency of conflicts between bears and humans increases. In the most northerly areas, thick multiyear ice, through which little light penetrates to stimulate biological growth on the underside, will be replaced by annual ice, which facilitates greater productivity and may create habitat more favorable to polar bears over continental shelf areas in the short term. If the climate continues to warm and eliminate sea ice as predicted, polar bears will largely disappear from the southern portions of their range by mid-century. They may persist in the northern Canadian Arctic Islands and northern Greenland for the foreseeable future, but their long-term viability, with a much reduced global population size in a remnant of their former range, is uncertain. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  5. Lumbar laminectomy in a captive, adult polar bear (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, John F.; Vakharia, Kunal; Moreland, Douglas B.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Animals held in captivity tend to live longer than do their wild counterparts, and as such, are prone to developing age-related degenerative injuries. Here, we present a case of an adult female polar bear with symptomatic lumbar stenosis. There is a paucity of literature on large mammalian spine surgery, and anatomical differences between humans and other vertebrates must be taken into consideration. Case Description: A 24-year-old female polar bear residing at the zoo was found to have decreased motor function in her hind legs. Diagnostic myelography performed at the L7/S1 level demonstrated lumbar stenosis at L5/6 for which a laminectomy was performed. Postoperatively, she returned to premorbid functional level, with no apparent associated adverse sequelae. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first reported case of spine surgery in a polar bear and demonstrates that neurosurgical diagnostic and operative techniques developed for humans can also be applied to large mammals with successful results. PMID:28680731

  6. Bearings Only Air-to-Air Ranging

    Science.gov (United States)

    1988-07-25

    TERMS (Continue on reverse it necessarv and identify WIock numberl FIELD GROUP’ SUB- GIR Air to Air RangingRange Estimationt Min..a simtr Passive...by uarget rnge sad direction or by observer motion in the statistical behavior of the 4.2 &Awo 0*l LA Sqvwnr. Rmng IoiamIin. Since it hu alredy bin...lengths, sad while they indicate irreularty in the estimation processt, they do nix explain its source. Figure 22, whMc as typical of whet can arise

  7. Testing methods for using high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor polar bear abundance and distribution

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaRue, Michelle A.; Stapleton, Seth P.; Porter, Claire; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Atwood, Todd C.; Dyck, Markus; Lecomte, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    High-resolution satellite imagery is a promising tool for providing coarse information about polar species abundance and distribution, but current applications are limited. With polar bears (Ursus maritimus), the technique has only proven effective on landscapes with little topographic relief that are devoid of snow and ice, and time-consuming manual review of imagery is required to identify bears. Here, we evaluated mechanisms to further develop methods for satellite imagery by examining data from Rowley Island, Canada. We attempted to automate and expedite detection via a supervised spectral classification and image differencing to expedite image review. We also assessed what proportion of a region should be sampled to obtain reliable estimates of density and abundance. Although the spectral signature of polar bears differed from nontarget objects, these differences were insufficient to yield useful results via a supervised classification process. Conversely, automated image differencing—or subtracting one image from another—correctly identified nearly 90% of polar bear locations. This technique, however, also yielded false positives, suggesting that manual review will still be required to confirm polar bear locations. On Rowley Island, bear distribution approximated a Poisson distribution across a range of plot sizes, and resampling suggests that sampling >50% of the site facilitates reliable estimation of density (CV <15%). Satellite imagery may be an effective monitoring tool in certain areas, but large-scale applications remain limited because of the challenges in automation and the limited environments in which the method can be effectively applied. Improvements in resolution may expand opportunities for its future uses.

  8. Penile density and globally used chemicals in Canadian and Greenland polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Dyck, Markus; Rigét, Frank F; Beck Jensen, Jens-Erik; Hyldstrup, Lars; Letcher, Robert J; Gustavson, Kim; Gilbert, M Thomas P; Dietz, Rune

    2015-02-01

    Industrially produced chemicals have been a major environmental concern across our entire Globe since the onset of rapid industrial development around the early 1900. Many of the substances being used are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are also known to be long-range dispersed and to biomagnify to very high concentrations in the tissues of Arctic apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). A major concern relating to EDCs is their effects on vital organ-tissues such as bone and it is possible that EDCs represent a more serious challenge to the species' survival than the more conventionally proposed prey reductions linked to climate change. We therefore analyzed penile bone mineral density (BMD) as a key phenotype for reproductive success in 279 polar bear samples born 1990-2000 representing eight polar bear subpopulations. Since EDC concentrations were not available from the same specimens, we compared BMD with published literature information on EDC concentrations. Latitudinal and longitudinal BMD and EDC gradients were clearly observed, with Western Hudson bears having the highest BMD and lowest EDCs, and North East Greenland polar bears carrying the lowest BMD and highest EDCs. A BMD vs. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) regression analysis showed that BMD decreased as a function of the eight subpopulations' PCB concentrations and this relationship was close to being significant (p=0.10, R(2)=0.39). Risk quotient (RQ) estimation demonstrated that PCBs could be in a range that may lead to disruption of normal reproduction and development. It is therefore likely that EDCs directly affect development and bone density in polar bears. Canadian bears had in general the best health and the North East Greenland subpopulation being at the highest risk of having negative health effects. While reductions in BMD is in general unhealthy, reductions in penile BMD could lead to increased risk of species extinction because of mating and subsequent

  9. Costs of locomotion in polar bears: when do the costs outweigh the benefits of chasing down terrestrial prey?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; McWilliams, Scott R; Iles, David T; Rockwell, Robert F

    2016-01-01

    Trade-offs between locomotory costs and foraging gains are key elements in determining constraints on predator-prey interactions. One intriguing example involves polar bears pursuing snow geese on land. As climate change forces polar bears to spend more time ashore, they may need to expend more energy to obtain land-based food. Given that polar bears are inefficient at terrestrial locomotion, any extra energy expended to pursue prey could negatively impact survival. However, polar bears have been regularly observed engaging in long pursuits of geese and other land animals, and the energetic worth of such behaviour has been repeatedly questioned. We use data-driven energetic models to examine how energy expenditures vary across polar bear mass and speed. For the first time, we show that polar bears in the 125-235 kg size range can profitably pursue geese, especially at slower speeds. We caution, however, that heat build-up may be the ultimate limiting factor in terrestrial chases, especially for larger bears, and this limit would be reached more quickly with warmer environmental temperatures.

  10. Hydrology of two Hillslope Streams, Polar Bear Pass, Nunavut, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Miranda, N.; Young, K. L.

    2009-05-01

    Polar Bear Pass (PBP) is a large low-gradient wetland which spans east-west across the central part of Bathurst Island, in the Canadian High Arctic (75o44'N, 98o25'W). It is about 20 km long and about 4 km wide, dotted by ponds, two large lakes and is bordered by low-lying hills with an elevation of about 90 m. Valleys and incised streams ranging from single order to higher dissect the hills and act to channel meltwater, rainwater and nutrients into the low-lying wetland. While the biology of PBP is well known, its hydrology and future sustainability in response to climate warming is not clear. In 2007, we investigated the hydrology of channel snow in a single-order stream near base camp and in 2008; we expanded our study to include a 2nd order hillslope stream. In this study, we investigate the seasonal hydrology of two hillslope streams (small-0.2 km2, large-4.2 km2) from the end of winter to freeze-back. Eventually, we want to assess the importance of these lateral water sources in the resilience of this High Arctic wetland. Snowcover was thin in 2008 but summer precipitation was higher than normal for this polar desert environment (> 90 mm). Air temperatures were lower than in 2007 but above average for the area. The two hillslope watersheds depict nival regimes where snowmelt is a major component of the streamflow pattern, with diurnal pulses driven by meteorologic conditions (e.g. radiation receipt, Ta > 0oC). In the post- snowmelt period, streamflow was maintained in the large basin but not in the smaller one. The large basin had zones within its tributaries with thick organic material, ground ice and thin frost tables (ca. 0.40 m), which likely limited infiltration and water storage, prolonging streamflow. The small basin was largely devoid of vegetation and had a deep frost table (ca. 0.7 m). Streamflow did not occur until basin storage (e.g. soil moisture) was satisfied. Consequently, seasonal water budgets and runoff ratios for the two hillslope

  11. Climate change threatens polar bear populations: a stochastic demographic analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Christine M; Caswell, Hal; Runge, Michael C; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steve C; Stirling, Ian

    2010-10-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice for feeding, breeding, and movement. Significant reductions in Arctic sea ice are forecast to continue because of climate warming. We evaluated the impacts of climate change on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea by means of a demographic analysis, combining deterministic, stochastic, environment-dependent matrix population models with forecasts of future sea ice conditions from IPCC general circulation models (GCMs). The matrix population models classified individuals by age and breeding status; mothers and dependent cubs were treated as units. Parameter estimates were obtained from a capture-recapture study conducted from 2001 to 2006. Candidate statistical models allowed vital rates to vary with time and as functions of a sea ice covariate. Model averaging was used to produce the vital rate estimates, and a parametric bootstrap procedure was used to quantify model selection and parameter estimation uncertainty. Deterministic models projected population growth in years with more extensive ice coverage (2001-2003) and population decline in years with less ice coverage (2004-2005). LTRE (life table response experiment) analysis showed that the reduction in lambda in years with low sea ice was due primarily to reduced adult female survival, and secondarily to reduced breeding. A stochastic model with two environmental states, good and poor sea ice conditions, projected a declining stochastic growth rate, log lambdas, as the frequency of poor ice years increased. The observed frequency of poor ice years since 1979 would imply log lambdas approximately - 0.01, which agrees with available (albeit crude) observations of population size. The stochastic model was linked to a set of 10 GCMs compiled by the IPCC; the models were chosen for their ability to reproduce historical observations of sea ice and were forced with "business as usual" (A1B) greenhouse gas emissions. The resulting stochastic population

  12. Climate change threatens polar bear populations: A stochastic demographic analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, C.M.; Caswell, H.; Runge, M.C.; Regehr, E.V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.

    2010-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice for feeding, breeding, and movement. Significant reductions in Arctic sea ice are forecast to continue because of climate warming. We evaluated the impacts of climate change on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea by means of a demographic analysis, combining deterministic, stochastic, environment-dependent matrix population models with forecasts of future sea ice conditions from IPCC general circulation models (GCMs). The matrix population models classified individuals by age and breeding status; mothers and dependent cubs were treated as units. Parameter estimates were obtained from a capture-recapture study conducted from 2001 to 2006. Candidate statistical models allowed vital rates to vary with time and as functions of a sea ice covariate. Model averaging was used to produce the vital rate estimates, and a parametric bootstrap procedure was used to quantify model selection and parameter estimation uncertainty. Deterministic models projected population growth in years with more extensive ice coverage (2001-2003) and population decline in years with less ice coverage (2004-2005). LTRE (life table response experiment) analysis showed that the reduction in ?? in years with low sea ice was due primarily to reduced adult female survival, and secondarily to reduced breeding. A stochastic model with two environmental states, good and poor sea ice conditions, projected a declining stochastic growth rate, log ??s, as the frequency of poor ice years increased. The observed frequency of poor ice years since 1979 would imply log ??s ' - 0.01, which agrees with available (albeit crude) observations of population size. The stochastic model was linked to a set of 10 GCMs compiled by the IPCC; the models were chosen for their ability to reproduce historical observations of sea ice and were forced with "business as usual" (A1B) greenhouse gas emissions. The resulting stochastic population projections showed drastic

  13. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2017-11-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma. Subsequently, associations between hormone concentrations (9 steroids), POPs (21 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 OH-PCBs, 8 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and OCP metabolites, and 2 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and biological variables (age, head length, body mass, girth, body condition index), capture date, location (latitude and longitude), lipid content and cholesterol levels were examined using principal component analysis (PCA) and orthogonal projections to latent structures (OPLS) modelling. Average concentrations of androgens, estrogens and progestagens were in the range of 0.57-83.7 (0.57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen/estrogen ratios being approximately 60 times higher in adult males than in subadult males. PCA plots and OPLS models indicated that TS was positively related to biometrics, such as body condition index in male polar bears. A negative relationship was also observed between POPs and DHT. Consequently, POPs and body condition may potentially affect the endocrinological function of steroids, including development of reproductive tissues and sex organs and the

  14. Circumpolar Genetic Structure and Recent Gene Flow of Polar Bears: A Reanalysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    René M Malenfant

    Full Text Available Recently, an extensive study of 2,748 polar bears (Ursus maritimus from across their circumpolar range was published in PLOS ONE, which used microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes to apparently show altered population structure and a dramatic change in directional gene flow towards the Canadian Archipelago-an area believed to be a future refugium for polar bears as their southernmost habitats decline under climate change. Although this study represents a major international collaborative effort and promised to be a baseline for future genetics work, methodological shortcomings and errors of interpretation undermine some of the study's main conclusions. Here, we present a reanalysis of this data in which we address some of these issues, including: (1 highly unbalanced sample sizes and large amounts of systematically missing data; (2 incorrect calculation of FST and of significance levels; (3 misleading estimates of recent gene flow resulting from non-convergence of the program BayesAss. In contrast to the original findings, in our reanalysis we find six genetic clusters of polar bears worldwide: the Hudson Bay Complex, the Western and Eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Western and Eastern Polar Basin, and-importantly-we reconfirm the presence of a unique and possibly endangered cluster of bears in Norwegian Bay near Canada's expected last sea-ice refugium. Although polar bears' abundance, distribution, and population structure will certainly be negatively affected by ongoing-and increasingly rapid-loss of Arctic sea ice, these genetic data provide no evidence of strong directional gene flow in response to recent climate change.

  15. Circumpolar Genetic Structure and Recent Gene Flow of Polar Bears: A Reanalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malenfant, René M; Davis, Corey S; Cullingham, Catherine I; Coltman, David W

    2016-01-01

    Recently, an extensive study of 2,748 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from across their circumpolar range was published in PLOS ONE, which used microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes to apparently show altered population structure and a dramatic change in directional gene flow towards the Canadian Archipelago-an area believed to be a future refugium for polar bears as their southernmost habitats decline under climate change. Although this study represents a major international collaborative effort and promised to be a baseline for future genetics work, methodological shortcomings and errors of interpretation undermine some of the study's main conclusions. Here, we present a reanalysis of this data in which we address some of these issues, including: (1) highly unbalanced sample sizes and large amounts of systematically missing data; (2) incorrect calculation of FST and of significance levels; (3) misleading estimates of recent gene flow resulting from non-convergence of the program BayesAss. In contrast to the original findings, in our reanalysis we find six genetic clusters of polar bears worldwide: the Hudson Bay Complex, the Western and Eastern Canadian Arctic Archipelago, the Western and Eastern Polar Basin, and-importantly-we reconfirm the presence of a unique and possibly endangered cluster of bears in Norwegian Bay near Canada's expected last sea-ice refugium. Although polar bears' abundance, distribution, and population structure will certainly be negatively affected by ongoing-and increasingly rapid-loss of Arctic sea ice, these genetic data provide no evidence of strong directional gene flow in response to recent climate change.

  16. High‐frequency induced polarization measurements of hydrocarbon‐bearing rocks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Burtman, Vladimir; Endo, Masashi; Zhdanov, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    We have investigated induced polarization (IP) effects in hydrocarbon‐bearing artificial rocks at frequencies greater than 100 Hz. We have examined the instrumental and electrode phase responses of Zonge International's complex resistivity (CR) system, and optimized the performance of the Zonge...... system for IP measurements over the 1 mHz to 10 kHz frequency range. The reliability of the high‐frequency IP measurements were confirmed by independent measurement of the same samples using the Novocontrol BDS 80 system. Our results confirm the presence of IP effects in hydrocarbon‐bearing rocks...

  17. Demography and population status of polar bears in western Hudson Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lunn, Nicholas J.; Regher, Eric V; Servanty, Sabrina; Converse, Sarah J.; Richardson, Evan S.; Stirling, Ian

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated the demography and population status of the Western Hudson Bay (WH) polar bear subpopulation for the period 1984-2011, using live-recapture data from research studies and management actions, and dead-recovery data from polar bears harvested for subsistence purposes or removed during human-bear conflicts.

  18. Population genomics reveal recent speciation and rapid evolutionary adaptation in polar bears

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Fumagalli, Matteo

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyperlipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show...

  19. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in Arctic Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glad, Trine; Bernhardsen, Pål; Nielsen, Kaare M; Brusetti, Lorenzo; Andersen, Magnus; Aars, Jon; Sundset, Monica A

    2010-01-14

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81 degrees N, 10-33 degrees E). In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr) were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70%) were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 x 10(4) to 1.6 x 10(6) colony forming units (cfu)/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 x 10(3) to 1.0 x 10(5) cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic beta-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  20. Bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Arctic Svalbard

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brusetti Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Polar bears (Ursus maritimus are major predators in the Arctic marine ecosystem, feeding mainly on seals, and living closely associated with sea ice. Little is known of their gut microbial ecology and the main purpose of this study was to investigate the microbial diversity in faeces of polar bears in Svalbard, Norway (74-81°N, 10-33°E. In addition the level of blaTEM alleles, encoding ampicillin resistance (ampr were determined. In total, ten samples were collected from ten individual bears, rectum swabs from five individuals in 2004 and faeces samples from five individuals in 2006. Results A 16S rRNA gene clone library was constructed, and all sequences obtained from 161 clones showed affiliation with the phylum Firmicutes, with 160 sequences identified as Clostridiales and one sequence identified as unclassified Firmicutes. The majority of the sequences (70% were affiliated with the genus Clostridium. Aerobic heterotrophic cell counts on chocolate agar ranged between 5.0 × 104 to 1.6 × 106 colony forming units (cfu/ml for the rectum swabs and 4.0 × 103 to 1.0 × 105 cfu/g for the faeces samples. The proportion of ampr bacteria ranged from 0% to 44%. All of 144 randomly selected ampr isolates tested positive for enzymatic β-lactamase activity. Three % of the ampr isolates from the rectal samples yielded positive results when screened for the presence of blaTEM genes by PCR. BlaTEM alleles were also detected by PCR in two out of three total faecal DNA samples from polar bears. Conclusion The bacterial diversity in faeces from polar bears in their natural environment in Svalbard is low compared to other animal species, with all obtained clones affiliating to Firmicutes. Furthermore, only low levels of blaTEM alleles were detected in contrast to their increasing prevalence in some clinical and commensal bacterial populations.

  1. Ancestral polymorphisms and sex-biased migration shaped the demographic history of brown bears and polar bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shigeki Nakagome

    Full Text Available Recent studies have reported discordant gene trees in the evolution of brown bears and polar bears. Genealogical histories are different among independent nuclear loci and between biparentally inherited autosomal DNA (aDNA and matrilineal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA. Based on multi-locus genomic sequences from aDNA and mtDNA, we inferred the population demography of brown and polar bears and found that brown bears have 6 times (aDNA or more than 14 times (mtDNA larger population sizes than polar bears and that polar bear lineage is derived from within brown bear diversity. In brown bears, the effective population size ratio of mtDNA to aDNA was at least 0.62, which deviated from the expected value of 0.25, suggesting matriarchal population due to female philopatry and male-biased migration. These results emphasize that ancestral polymorphisms and sex-biased migration may have contributed to conflicting branching patterns in brown and polar bears across aDNA genes and mtDNA.

  2. Predicting climate change impacts on polar bear litter size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, Péter K; Derocher, Andrew E; Klanjscek, Tin; Lewis, Mark A

    2011-02-08

    Predicting the ecological impacts of climate warming is critical for species conservation. Incorporating future warming into population models, however, is challenging because reproduction and survival cannot be measured for yet unobserved environmental conditions. In this study, we use mechanistic energy budget models and data obtainable under current conditions to predict polar bear litter size under future conditions. In western Hudson Bay, we predict climate warming-induced litter size declines that jeopardize population viability: ∼28% of pregnant females failed to reproduce for energetic reasons during the early 1990s, but 40-73% could fail if spring sea ice break-up occurs 1 month earlier than during the 1990s, and 55-100% if break-up occurs 2 months earlier. Simultaneously, mean litter size would decrease by 22-67% and 44-100%, respectively. The expected timeline for these declines varies with climate-model-specific sea ice predictions. Similar litter size declines may occur in over one-third of the global polar bear population.

  3. A Thermally Insulating Textile Inspired by Polar Bear Hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Ying; Gong, Huaxin; Wang, Yujie; Li, Dewen; Bai, Hao

    2018-02-14

    Animals living in the extremely cold environment, such as polar bears, have shown amazing capability to keep warm, benefiting from their hollow hairs. Mimicking such a strategy in synthetic fibers would stimulate smart textiles for efficient personal thermal management, which plays an important role in preventing heat loss and improving efficiency in house warming energy consumption. Here, a "freeze-spinning" technique is used to realize continuous and large-scale fabrication of fibers with aligned porous structure, mimicking polar bear hairs, which is difficult to achieve by other methods. A textile woven with such biomimetic fibers shows an excellent thermal insulation property as well as good breathability and wearability. In addition to passively insulating heat loss, the textile can also function as a wearable heater, when doped with electroheating materials such as carbon nanotubes, to induce fast thermal response and uniform electroheating while maintaining its soft and porous nature for comfortable wearing. © 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  4. Bearing fault detection in the acoustic emission frequency range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavakoli, Massoud S.

    The effectiveness of using bearing fault detection in the acoustic-emission frequency range is demonstrated using a vertical milling machine as the testbed. The experimental testbed is monitored by an accelerometer and an acoustic emission sensor, and the signals are demodulated by rms enveloping and then fast-Fourier-transformed. The analytical computation of the defect characteristic frequency is explained, and the time histories are given of the enveloped signal and its spectrum. The method is shown to be useful for extracting the repetition rate of the repetitive component of the general signal, and the signal generated by the bearing defect is identified in the frequency ranges of mechanical vibration and acoustic emission. The signal in the acoustic-emission frequency range is shown to be helpful for detecting bearing defects because it not affected by repetitive mechanical noise.

  5. Reduced body size and cub recruitment in polar bears associated with sea ice decline

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, K.D.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Regehr, E.V.

    2010-01-01

    Rates of reproduction and survival are dependent upon adequate body size and condition of individuals. Declines in size and condition have provided early indicators of population decline in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) near the southern extreme of their range. We tested whether patterns in body size, condition, and cub recruitment of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska were related to the availability of preferred sea ice habitats and whether these measures and habitat availability exhibited trends over time, between 1982 and 2006. The mean skull size and body length of all polar bears over three years of age declined over time, corresponding with long-term declines in the spatial and temporal availability of sea ice habitat. Body size of young, growing bears declined over time and was smaller after years when sea ice availability was reduced. Reduced litter mass and numbers of yearlings per female following years with lower availability of optimal sea ice habitat, suggest reduced reproductive output and juvenile survival. These results, based on analysis of a longterm data set, suggest that declining sea ice is associated with nutritional limitations that reduced body size and reproduction in this population. ?? 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Reduced body size and cub recruitment in polar bears associated with sea ice decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D; Amstrup, Steven C; Regehr, Eric V

    2010-04-01

    Rates of reproduction and survival are dependent upon adequate body size and condition of individuals. Declines in size and condition have provided early indicators of population decline in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) near the southern extreme of their range. We tested whether patterns in body size, condition, and cub recruitment of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska were related to the availability of preferred sea ice habitats and whether these measures and habitat availability exhibited trends over time, between 1982 and 2006. The mean skull size and body length of all polar bears over three years of age declined over time, corresponding with long-term declines in the spatial and temporal availability of sea ice habitat. Body size of young, growing bears declined over time and was smaller after years when sea ice availability was reduced. Reduced litter mass and numbers of yearlings per female following years with lower availability of optimal sea ice habitat, suggest reduced reproductive output and juvenile survival. These results, based on analysis of a long-term data set, suggest that declining sea ice is associated with nutritional limitations that reduced body size and reproduction in this population.

  7. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindqvist, Charlotte; Schuster, Stephan C; Sun, Yazhou; Talbot, Sandra L; Qi, Ji; Ratan, Aakrosh; Tomsho, Lynn P; Kasson, Lindsay; Zeyl, Eve; Aars, Jon; Miller, Webb; Ingólfsson, Olafur; Bachmann, Lutz; Wiig, Oystein

    2010-03-16

    The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is undisputed from analyses of mitochondrial (mt) DNA that polar bears constitute a lineage within the genetic diversity of brown bears, timing estimates of their divergence have differed considerably. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we have generated a complete, high-quality mt genome from a stratigraphically validated 130,000- to 110,000-year-old polar bear jawbone. In addition, six mt genomes were generated of extant polar bears from Alaska and brown bears from the Admiralty and Baranof islands of the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska and Kodiak Island. We show that the phylogenetic position of the ancient polar bear lies almost directly at the branching point between polar bears and brown bears, elucidating a unique morphologically and molecularly documented fossil link between living mammal species. Molecular dating and stable isotope analyses also show that by very early in their evolutionary history, polar bears were already inhabitants of the Artic sea ice and had adapted very rapidly to their current and unique ecology at the top of the Arctic marine food chain. As such, polar bears provide an excellent example of evolutionary opportunism within a widespread mammalian lineage.

  8. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindqvist, Charlotte; Schuster, Stephan C.; Sun, Yazhou; Talbot, Sandra L.; Qi, Ji; Ratan, Aakrosh; Tomsho, Lynn P.; Kasson, Lindsay; Zeyl, Eve; Aars, Jon; Miller, Webb; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Bachmann, Lutz; Wiig, Øystein

    2010-01-01

    The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is undisputed from analyses of mitochondrial (mt) DNA that polar bears constitute a lineage within the genetic diversity of brown bears, timing estimates of their divergence have differed considerably. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we have generated a complete, high-quality mt genome from a stratigraphically validated 130,000- to 110,000-year-old polar bear jawbone. In addition, six mt genomes were generated of extant polar bears from Alaska and brown bears from the Admiralty and Baranof islands of the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska and Kodiak Island. We show that the phylogenetic position of the ancient polar bear lies almost directly at the branching point between polar bears and brown bears, elucidating a unique morphologically and molecularly documented fossil link between living mammal species. Molecular dating and stable isotope analyses also show that by very early in their evolutionary history, polar bears were already inhabitants of the Artic sea ice and had adapted very rapidly to their current and unique ecology at the top of the Arctic marine food chain. As such, polar bears provide an excellent example of evolutionary opportunism within a widespread mammalian lineage. PMID:20194737

  9. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindqvist, Charlotte; Schuster, Stephan C.; Sun, Yazhou; Talbot, Sandra L.; Qi, Ji; Ratan, Aakrosh; Tomsho, Lynn P.; Kasson, Lindsay; Zeyl, Eve; Aars, Jon; Miller, Webb; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Bachmann, Lutz; Wiig, Øystein

    2010-01-01

    The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is undisputed from analyses of mitochondrial (mt) DNA that polar bears constitute a lineage within the genetic diversity of brown bears, timing estimates of their divergence have differed considerably. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we have generated a complete, high-quality mt genome from a stratigraphically validated 130,000- to 110,000-year-old polar bear jawbone. In addition, six mt genomes were generated of extant polar bears from Alaska and brown bears from the Admiralty and Baranof islands of the Alexander Archipelago of southeastern Alaska and Kodiak Island. We show that the phylogenetic position of the ancient polar bear lies almost directly at the branching point between polar bears and brown bears, elucidating a unique morphologically and molecularly documented fossil link between living mammal species. Molecular dating and stable isotope analyses also show that by very early in their evolutionary history, polar bears were already inhabitants of the Artic sea ice and had adapted very rapidly to their current and unique ecology at the top of the Arctic marine food chain. As such, polar bears provide an excellent example of evolutionary opportunism within a widespread mammalian lineage.

  10. Polar bear population status in the northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971-2006.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirling, Ian; McDonald, Trent L; Richardson, E S; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C

    2011-04-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the northern Beaufort Sea (NB) population occur on the perimeter of the polar basin adjacent to the northwestern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Sea ice converges on the islands through most of the year. We used open-population capture-recapture models to estimate population size and vital rates of polar bears between 1971 and 2006 to: (1) assess relationships between survival, sex and age, and time period; (2) evaluate the long-term importance of sea ice quality and availability in relation to climate warming; and (3) note future management and conservation concerns. The highest-ranking models suggested that survival of polar bears varied by age class and with changes in the sea ice habitat. Model-averaged estimates of survival (which include harvest mortality) for senescent adults ranged from 0.37 to 0.62, from 0.22 to 0.68 for cubs of the year (COY) and yearlings, and from 0.77 to 0.92 for 2-4 year-olds and adults. Horvtiz-Thompson (HT) estimates of population size were not significantly different among the decades of our study. The population size estimated for the 2000s was 980 +/- 155 (mean and 95% CI). These estimates apply primarily to that segment of the NB population residing west and south of Banks Island. The NB polar bear population appears to have been stable or possibly increasing slightly during the period of our study. This suggests that ice conditions have remained suitable and similar for feeding in summer and fall during most years and that the traditional and legal Inuvialuit harvest has not exceeded sustainable levels. However, the amount of ice remaining in the study area at the end of summer, and the proportion that continues to lie over the biologically productive continental shelf (polar bear population in the northern Beaufort Sea will eventually decline. Management and conservation practices for polar bears in relation to both aboriginal harvesting and offshore industrial activity will need to

  11. Polar bear population status in the northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stirling, I.; McDonald, T.L.; Richardson, E.S.; Regehr, E.V.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the northern Beaufort Sea (NB) population occur on the perimeter of the polar basin adjacent to the northwestern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Sea ice converges on the islands through most of the year. We used open-population capture–recapture models to estimate population size and vital rates of polar bears between 1971 and 2006 to: (1) assess relationships between survival, sex and age, and time period; (2) evaluate the long-term importance of sea ice quality and availability in relation to climate warming; and (3) note future management and conservation concerns. The highest-ranking models suggested that survival of polar bears varied by age class and with changes in the sea ice habitat. Model-averaged estimates of survival (which include harvest mortality) for senescent adults ranged from 0.37 to 0.62, from 0.22 to 0.68 for cubs of the year (COY) and yearlings, and from 0.77 to 0.92 for 2–4 year-olds and adults. Horvtiz-Thompson (HT) estimates of population size were not significantly different among the decades of our study. The population size estimated for the 2000s was 980 ± 155 (mean and 95% CI). These estimates apply primarily to that segment of the NB population residing west and south of Banks Island. The NB polar bear population appears to have been stable or possibly increasing slightly during the period of our study. This suggests that ice conditions have remained suitable and similar for feeding in summer and fall during most years and that the traditional and legal Inuvialuit harvest has not exceeded sustainable levels. However, the amount of ice remaining in the study area at the end of summer, and the proportion that continues to lie over the biologically productive continental shelf (climate continues to warm as predicted, we predict that the polar bear population in the northern Beaufort Sea will eventually decline. Management and conservation practices for polar bears in relation to both

  12. Barents Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus: population biology and anthropogenic threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Magnus Andersen

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper examines how anthropogenic threats, such as disturbance, pollution and climate change, are linked to polar bear (Ursus maritimus population biology in the Svalbard and Barents Sea area, with the aim to increase our understanding of how human activity may impact the population. Overharvesting drastically reduced the population of polar bears in the Barents Sea region from about 1870 to 1970. After harvesting was stopped—in 1956 in Russia and 1973 in Norway—the population grew to an estimated 2650 individuals (95% confidence interval 1900–3600 in 2004, and maternity denning in the Svalbard Archipelago became more widely distributed. During recent decades, the population has faced challenges from a variety of new anthropogenic impacts: a range of pollutants, an increasing level of human presence and activity as well as changes in ice conditions. Contaminants bioaccumulate up through the marine food web, culminating in this top predator that consumes ringed, bearded and harp seals. Females with small cubs use land-fast sea ice for hunting and are therefore vulnerable to disturbance by snowmobile drivers. Sea-ice diminution, associated with climate change, reduces polar bears’ access to denning areas and could negatively affect the survival of cubs. There are clear linkages between population biology and current anthropogenic threats, and we suggest that future research and management should focus on and take into consideration the combined effects of several stressors on polar bears.

  13. Enlarged clitoris in wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be misdiagnosed as pseudohermaphroditism

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C; Leifsson, P S; Dietz, R

    2004-01-01

    A 23-year-old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) killed in an Inuit hunt in East Greenland on July 9, 1999 had a significantly enlarged clitoris resembling, in size, form and colour, those of previously reported 'pseudohermaphroditic' polar bears from Svalbard. It has been suggested that an enzy...... Greenland polar bear. Furthermore, caution should be exercised in suggesting linkages of such inflammatory abnormalities with correlations to anthropogenic pollutant exposures. Udgivelsesdato: 2005-Jan-20...

  14. Genomic Evidence for Island Population Conversion Resolves Conflicting Theories of Polar Bear Evolution

    OpenAIRE

    Cahill, James A.; Green, Richard E.; Fulton, Tara L.; Stiller, Mathias; Jay, Flora; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Salamzade, Rauf; St. John, John; Stirling, Ian; Slatkin, Montgomery; Shapiro, Beth

    2013-01-01

    Despite extensive genetic analysis, the evolutionary relationship between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and brown bears (U. arctos) remains unclear. The two most recent comprehensive reports indicate a recent divergence with little subsequent admixture or a much more ancient divergence followed by extensive admixture. At the center of this controversy are the Alaskan ABC Islands brown bears that show evidence of shared ancestry with polar bears. We present an analysis of genome-wide sequence ...

  15. Population Genomics Reveal Recent Speciation and Rapid Evolutionary Adaptation in Polar Bears

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Fumagalli, Matteo; Li, Bo; Harris, Kelley; Xiong, Zijun; ZHOU, Long; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Somel, Mehmet; Babbitt, Courtney; Wray, Greg; Li, Jianwen; He, Weiming; Wang, Zhuo; Fu, Wenjing

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyperlipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479–343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under...

  16. Forecasting the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on polar bears

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Atwood, Todd C; Marcot, Bruce G; Douglas, David C; Amstrup, Steven C; Rode, Karyn D; Durner, George M; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F

    2016-01-01

    .... We developed a Bayesian network model to evaluate the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors, and their mitigation, on the persistence of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus...

  17. An analysis of heat conduction in polar bear hairs using one-dimensional fractional model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhu Wei-Hong

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Hairs of a polar bear are of superior properties such as the excellent thermal protection. The polar bears can perennially live in an extremely cold environment and can maintain body temperature at around 37 °C. Why do polar bears can resist such cold environment? Its membrane-pore structure plays an important role. In the previous work, we established a 1-D fractional heat conduction equation to reveal the hidden mechanism for the hairs. In this paper, we further discuss solutions and parameters of the equation established and analyze heat conduction in polar bear hairs.

  18. Rebuttal of "Polar bear population forecasts: a public-policy forecasting audit"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Caswell, Hal; DeWeaver, Eric; Stirling, Ian; Douglas, David C.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Hunter, Christine M.

    2009-01-01

    Observed declines in the Arctic sea ice have resulted in a variety of negative effects on polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Projections for additional future declines in sea ice resulted in a proposal to list polar bears as a threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act. To provide information for the Department of the Interior's listing-decision process, the US Geological Survey (USGS) produced a series of nine research reports evaluating the present and future status of polar bears throughout their range. In response, Armstrong et al. [Armstrong, J. S., K. C. Green, W. Soon. 2008. Polar bear population forecasts: A public-policy forecasting audit. Interfaces 38(5) 382–405], which we will refer to as AGS, performed an audit of two of these nine reports. AGS claimed that the general circulation models upon which the USGS reports relied were not valid forecasting tools, that USGS researchers were not objective or lacked independence from policy decisions, that they did not utilize all available information in constructing their forecasts, and that they violated numerous principles of forecasting espoused by AGS. AGS (p. 382) concluded that the two USGS reports were "unscientific and inconsequential to decision makers." We evaluate the AGS audit and show how AGS are mistaken or misleading on every claim. We provide evidence that general circulation models are useful in forecasting future climate conditions and that corporate and government leaders are relying on these models to do so. We clarify the strict independence of the USGS from the listing decision. We show that the allegations of failure to follow the principles of forecasting espoused by AGS are either incorrect or are based on misconceptions about the Arctic environment, polar bear biology, or statistical and mathematical methods. We conclude by showing that the AGS principles of forecasting are too ambiguous and subjective to be used as a reliable basis for auditing scientific

  19. Crescentic glomerulonephritis in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baba, Hiroshi; Kudo, Tomoo; Makino, Yoshinori; Mochizuki, Yasumasa; Takagi, Takayo; Une, Yumi

    2013-11-01

    Spontaneous crescentic glomerulonephritis (CrGN) in animals has only been reported in dog and sheep. We report the pathological features of CrGN in a 17-year-old male polar bear that died due to renal failure. Histologically, the lesions were characterized by fibrocellular crescents, adhesion between Bowman's capsule and the glomerular capillary tuft and an increase in the mesangial matrix in glomeruli. The proliferating cells in the crescent were partly immunopositive for cytokeratin and intensely positive for vimentin, WT-1 and α-smooth muscle actin, suggesting they originated from parietal epithelial cells. Ultrastructually, thickening of the glomerular basement membrane and loss of epithelial cell foot processes were observed with electron-dense deposits.

  20. Crescentic Glomerulonephritis in a Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    BABA, Hiroshi; KUDO, Tomoo; MAKINO, Yoshinori; MOCHIZUKI, Yasumasa; TAKAGI, Takayo; UNE, Yumi

    2013-01-01

    ABSTRACT Spontaneous crescentic glomerulonephritis (CrGN) in animals has only been reported in dog and sheep. We report the pathological features of CrGN in a 17-year-old male polar bear that died due to renal failure. Histologically, the lesions were characterized by fibrocellular crescents, adhesion between Bowman’s capsule and the glomerular capillary tuft and an increase in the mesangial matrix in glomeruli. The proliferating cells in the crescent were partly immunopositive for cytokeratin and intensely positive for vimentin, WT-1 and α-smooth muscle actin, suggesting they originated from parietal epithelial cells. Ultrastructually, thickening of the glomerular basement membrane and loss of epithelial cell foot processes were observed with electron-dense deposits. PMID:23856758

  1. Using satellite telemetry to define spatial population structure in polar bears in the Norwegian and western Russian Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauritzen, Mette; Derocher, Andrew E.; Wiig, Øystein; Belikov, Stanislav; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Garner, Gerald W.

    2002-01-01

    1. Animal populations, defined by geographical areas within a species’ distribution where population dynamics are largely regulated by births and deaths rather than by migration from surrounding areas, may be the correct unit for wildlife management. However, in heterogeneous landscapes varying habitat quality may yield subpopulations with distinct patterns in resource use and demography significant to the dynamics of populations.2. To define the spatial population structure of polar bears Ursus maritimus in the Norwegian and western Russian Arctic, and to assess the existence of a shared population between the two countries, we analysed satellite telemetry data obtained from 105 female polar bears over 12 years.3. Using both cluster analyses and home-range estimation methods, we identified five population units inhabiting areas with different sea-ice characteristics and prey availability.4. The continuous distribution of polar bear positions indicated that the different subpopulations formed one continuous polar bear population in the Norwegian and western Russian Arctic. Hence, Norway and Russia have a shared management responsibility.5. The spatial population structure identified will provide a guide for evaluating geographical patterns in polar bear ecology, the dynamics of polar bear–seal relationships and the effects of habitat alteration due to climate change. The work illustrates the importance of defining population borders and subpopulation structure in understanding the dynamics and management of larger animals.

  2. Differences in mercury bioaccumulation between polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Canadian high- and sub-Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    St Louis, Vincent L; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Graydon, Jennifer A; Lee, Caroline; Jocksch, Erin; Richardson, Evan; Ghorpade, Sarah; Kwan, Alvin K; Kirk, Jane L; Lehnherr, Igor; Swanson, Heidi K

    2011-07-15

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are being impacted by climate change and increased exposure to pollutants throughout their northern circumpolar range. In this study, we quantified concentrations of total mercury (THg) in the hair of polar bears from Canadian high- (southern Beaufort Sea, SBS) and sub- (western Hudson Bay, WHB) Arctic populations. Concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS population (14.8 ± 6.6 μg g(-1)) were significantly higher than in polar bears from WHB (4.1 ± 1.0 μg g(-1)). On the basis of δ(15)N signatures in hair, in conjunction with published δ(15)N signatures in particulate organic matter and sediments, we estimated that the pelagic and benthic food webs in the SBS are ∼ 4.7 and ∼ 4.0 trophic levels long, whereas in WHB they are only ∼ 3.6 and ∼ 3.3 trophic levels long. Furthermore, the more depleted δ(13)C ratios in hair from SBS polar bears relative to those from WHB suggests that SBS polar bears feed on food webs that are relatively more pelagic (and longer), whereas polar bears from WHB feed on those that are relatively more benthic (and shorter). Food web length and structure accounted for ∼ 67% of the variation we found in THg concentrations among all polar bears across both populations. The regional difference in polar bear hair THg concentrations was also likely due to regional differences in water-column concentrations of methyl Hg (the toxic form of Hg that biomagnifies through food webs) available for bioaccumulation at the base of the food webs. For example, concentrations of methylated Hg at mid-depths in the marine water column of the northern Canadian Arctic Archipelago were 79.8 ± 37.3 pg L(-1), whereas, in HB, they averaged only 38.3 ± 16.6 pg L(-1). We conclude that a longer food web and higher pelagic concentrations of methylated Hg available to initiate bioaccumulation in the BS resulted in higher concentrations of THg in polar bears from the SBS region compared to those inhabiting the western

  3. Environmental contaminants activate human and polar bear (Ursus maritimus) pregnane X receptors (PXR, NR1I2) differently.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lille-Langøy, Roger; Goldstone, Jared V; Rusten, Marte; Milnes, Matthew R; Male, Rune; Stegeman, John J; Blumberg, Bruce; Goksøyr, Anders

    2015-04-01

    Many persistent organic pollutants (POPs) accumulate readily in polar bears because of their position as apex predators in Arctic food webs. The pregnane X receptor (PXR, formally NR1I2, here proposed to be named promiscuous xenobiotic receptor) is a xenobiotic sensor that is directly involved in metabolizing pathways of a wide range of environmental contaminants. In the present study, we comparably assess the ability of 51 selected pharmaceuticals, pesticides and emerging contaminants to activate PXRs from polar bears and humans using an in vitro luciferase reporter gene assay. We found that polar bear PXR is activated by a wide range of our test compounds (68%) but has a slightly more narrow ligand specificity than human PXR that was activated by 86% of the 51 test compounds. The majority of the agonists identified (70%) produces a stronger induction of the reporter gene via human PXR than via polar bear PXR, however with some notable and environmentally relevant exceptions. Due to the observed differences in activation of polar bear and human PXRs, exposure of each species to environmental agents is likely to induce biotransformation differently in the two species. Bioinformatics analyses and structural modeling studies suggest that amino acids that are not part of the ligand-binding domain and do not interact with the ligand can modulate receptor activation. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Brucella species survey in polar bears (ursus maritimus) of northern Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Hara, Todd M; Holcomb, Darce; Elzer, Philip; Estepp, Jessica; Perry, Quinesha; Hagius, Sue; Kirk, Cassandra

    2010-07-01

    We report on the presence of specific antibodies to Brucella spp. and Yersinia enterocolitica in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from northern Alaska (southern Beaufort Sea) during 2003-2006. Based on numerous known stressors (e.g., climate change and loss of sea ice habitat, contaminants), there is increased concern regarding the status of polar bears. Considering these changes, it is important to assess exposure to potentially pathogenic organisms and to improve understanding of transmission pathways. Brucella or specific antibodies to Brucella spp. has been reported in marine mammals. Various assays were used to elucidate the pathway or source of exposure (e.g., "marine" vs. "terrestrial" Brucella spp.) of northern Alaska polar bears to Brucella spp. The standard plate test (SPT) and the buffered Brucella antigen card test (BBA) were used for initial screening for antibodies specific to Brucella. We then evaluated positive reactors (presence of serum antibody specific for Brucella spp.) using immunoblots and competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA; based on pinniped-derived Brucella spp. antigen). Annual prevalence of antibody (BBA and SPT) for Brucella spp. ranged from 6.8% to 18.5% over 2003-2006, with an overall prevalence of 10.2%. Prevalence of Brucella spp. antibody did vary by age class. Western blot analyses indicated 17 samples were positive for Brucella spp. antibody; of these, 13 were negative by marine (pinniped) derived Brucella antigen cELISA and four were positive by marine cELISA. Of the four samples positive for Brucella antibody by marine cELISA, three cross-reacted with Y. enterocolitica and Brucella spp. (one sample was Brucella negative and Y. enterocolitica positive). It appears the polar bear antibody does not react with the antigens used on the marine cELISA assay, potentially indicating a terrestrial (nonpinniped) source of Brucella spp.

  5. Individual effects of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear behavior on stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Krista R; Harrison, Michelle L; Size, Daniele D; MacDonald, Suzanne E

    2015-01-01

    Stereotypical behaviors in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus) can be detrimental to their welfare. These behaviors can be reduced through enrichment programs but are often not completely eliminated, so identifying potential triggers is important. The present study investigated the influences of seasonal changes, visitor density, and concurrent bear activity on stereotypical behaviors exhibited by 3 captive polar bears at the Toronto Zoo. All bears exhibited these behaviors; however, individual differences were found in duration and form. The male exhibited less stereotypical behavior during spring, and the females exhibited less stereotypical behavior during winter. An increase in visitor density was associated with more stereotypical behavior in 1 female but less stereotypical behavior in the other 2 bears. All bears engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were inactive, and 1 female engaged in more stereotypical behaviors when the other bears were out of sight. Further, when conspecifics were active, all bears engaged in less stereotypical behaviors. Given the variability among individual bears, future enrichment programs must be tailored to the needs of individuals to maximize efficacy.

  6. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the arctic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Andreanna J; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-02-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate whether polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide (NO), which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of NO as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of adenosine triphosphate versus generation of heat (thermogenesis).

  7. Polar bears exhibit genome-wide signatures of bioenergetic adaptation to life in the Arctic environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welch, Andreanna J.; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Carretero-Paulet, Lorenzo; Miller, Webb; Rode, Karyn D.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) face extremely cold temperatures and periods of fasting, which might result in more severe energetic challenges than those experienced by their sister species, the brown bear (U. arctos). We have examined the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes of polar and brown bears to investigate if polar bears demonstrate lineage-specific signals of molecular adaptation in genes associated with cellular respiration/energy production. We observed increased evolutionary rates in the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I gene in polar but not brown bears. An amino acid substitution occurred near the interaction site with a nuclear-encoded subunit of the cytochrome c oxidase complex, and was predicted to lead to a functional change, although the significance of this remains unclear. The nuclear genomes of brown and polar bears demonstrate different adaptations related to cellular respiration. Analyses of the genomes of brown bears exhibited substitutions that may alter the function of proteins that regulate glucose uptake, which could be beneficial when feeding on carbohydrate-dominated diets during hyperphagia, followed by fasting during hibernation. In polar bears, genes demonstrating signatures of functional divergence and those potentially under positive selection were enriched in functions related to production of nitric oxide, which can regulate energy production in several different ways. This suggests that polar bears may be able to fine-tune intracellular levels of nitric oxide as an adaptive response to control trade-offs between energy production in the form of ATP versus generation of heat (thermogenesis).

  8. Spatial and temporal variation in size of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sexual organs and its use in pollution and climate change studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W; Riget, Frank F; Leifsson, Pall S; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Kirkegaard, Maja

    2007-11-15

    Sexual organs and their development are susceptible to atmospheric transported environmental xenoendocrine pollutants and climate change (food availability). We therefore investigated sexual organs from 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to obtain information about growth/size and sexual maturity. Then, the genitalia size was compared with those previously reported from Canadian and Svalbard polar bears. Growth models showed that East Greenland male polar bears reached sexual maturity around 7 years of age and females around 4 years of age. When comparing East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears, the size of baculum and uterus were significantly lower in the East Greenland polar bears (ANOVA: all p polar bears, a similar baculum pattern was found for East Greenland vs. Canadian polar bears. It is speculated whether this could be a result of the general high variation in polar bear body size, temporal distribution patterns of anthropogenic long-range transported persistent organic pollutants or climate change (decreasing food availability). The present investigation represents conservation and background data for future spatial and temporal assessments of hunting, pollution and climate change scenarios.

  9. A new fractional derivative and its application to explanation of polar bear hairs

    OpenAIRE

    He, Ji-Huan; Li, Zheng-Biao; Wang, Qing-li

    2016-01-01

    A new fractional derivative is defined through the variational iteration method, and its application in explaining the excellent thermal protection of polar bear hairs is elucidated. The fractal porosity of its inner structure makes a polar bear mathematically adapted for living in a harsh Arctic region.

  10. Is bone mineral composition disrupted by organochlorines in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Born, Erik W

    2004-01-01

    We analyzed bone mineral density (BMD) in skulls of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 139) from East Greenland sampled during 1892-2002. Our primary goal was to detect possible changes in bone mineral content (osteopenia) due to elevated exposure to organochlorine [polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs.......04) and SigmaCHL (p polar...... bears may have been caused by organochlorine exposure. Udgivelsesdato: 2004-Dec...

  11. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nuijten, R.J.M.; Hendriks, A.J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Schipper, A.M.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds

  12. A new fractional derivative and its application to explanation of polar bear hairs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji-Huan He

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available A new fractional derivative is defined through the variational iteration method, and its application in explaining the excellent thermal protection of polar bear hairs is elucidated. The fractal porosity of its inner structure makes a polar bear mathematically adapted for living in a harsh Arctic region.

  13. PREVALENCE OF ANTIBODIES AGAINST TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN POLAR BEARS (URSUS MARITIMUS) FROM SVALBARD AND EAST GREENLAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serum samples from 419 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard and the Barents Sea (collected 1990 - 2000) and 108 polar bears from East Greenland (collected 1999 - 2004) were assayed for antibodies against Toxoplasma gondii using the modified agglutination test (MAT). Antibody prevalences were ...

  14. Rebuttal of "Polar bear population forecasts: a public-policy forecasting audit"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven C. Amstrup; Hal Caswell; Eric DeWeaver; Ian Stirling; David C. Douglas; Bruce G. Marcot; Christine M. Hunter

    2009-01-01

    Observed declines in the Arctic sea ice have resulted in a variety of negative effects on polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Projections for additional future declines in sea ice resulted in a proposal to list polar bears as a threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act. To provide information for the Department of the Interior...

  15. Effects of earlier sea ice breakup on survival and population size of polar bears in western Hudson Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, E.V.; Lunn, N.J.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.

    2007-01-01

    Some of the most pronounced ecological responses to climatic warming are expected to occur in polar marine regions, where temperature increases have been the greatest and sea ice provides a sensitive mechanism by which climatic conditions affect sympagic (i.e., with ice) species. Population-level effects of climatic change, however, remain difficult to quantify. We used a flexible extension of Cormack-Jolly-Seber capture-recapture models to estimate population size and survival for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), one of the most ice-dependent of Arctic marine mammals. We analyzed data for polar bears captured from 1984 to 2004 along the western coast of Hudson Bay and in the community of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. The Western Hudson Bay polar bear population declined from 1,194 (95% CI = 1,020-1,368) in 1987 to 935 (95% CI = 794-1,076) in 2004. Total apparent survival of prime-adult polar bears (5-19 yr) was stable for females (0.93; 95% CI = 0.91-0.94) and males (0.90; 95% CI = 0.88-0.91). Survival of juvenile, subadult, and senescent-adult polar bears was correlated with spring sea ice breakup date, which was variable among years and occurred approximately 3 weeks earlier in 2004 than in 1984. We propose that this correlation provides evidence for a causal association between earlier sea ice breakup (due to climatic warming) and decreased polar bear survival. It may also explain why Churchill, like other communities along the western coast of Hudson Bay, has experienced an increase in human-polar bear interactions in recent years. Earlier sea ice breakup may have resulted in a larger number of nutritionally stressed polar bears, which are encroaching on human habitations in search of supplemental food. Because western Hudson Bay is near the southern limit of the species' range, our findings may foreshadow the demographic responses and management challenges that more northerly polar bear populations will experience if climatic warming in the Arctic continues as

  16. POPULATION GENOMICS REVEAL RECENT SPECIATION AND RAPID EVOLUTIONARY ADAPTATION IN POLAR BEARS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D.; Fumagalli, Matteo; Li, Bo; Harris, Kelley; Xiong, Zijun; Zhou, Long; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Somel, Mehmet; Babbitt, Courtney; Wray, Greg; Li, Jianwen; He, Weiming; Wang, Zhuo; Fu, Wenjing; Xiang, Xueyan; Morgan, Claire C.; Doherty, Aoife; O’Connell, Mary J.; McInerney, James O.; Born, Erik W.; Dalén, Love; Dietz, Rune; Orlando, Ludovic; Sonne, Christian; Zhang, Guojie; Nielsen, Rasmus; Willerslev, Eske; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyperlipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479–343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under strong positive selection are associated with cardiomyopathy and vascular disease, implying important reorganization of the cardio-vascular system. One of the genes showing the strongest evidence of selection, APOB, encodes the primary lipoprotein component of low-density lipoprotein (LDL); functional mutations in APOB may explain how polar bears are able to cope with life-long elevated LDL levels that are associated with high risk of heart disease in humans. PMID:24813606

  17. Future for polar bears in a declining sea ice environment: What do we know?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.

    2006-01-01

    During an April 22, 2006, interview on the CBC radio program “The House,” Tim Flannery, author of the recent book “The Weathermakers,” stated, “Projections of the polar bear specialists are that by about 2030, around that date, the species will be extinct because of global warming induced changes in the Arctic sea ice.” That statement was followed on May 4th by quotations in the Toronto Globe and Mail from Dr. Mitch Taylor, a polar bear researcher in Nunavut, Canada, claiming, “polar bears have survived both warmer times and colder times than these,” that “nothing has melted the Arctic sea ice for 30 million years,” that “polar bears are remarkably adaptable,” and that “a warming climate might even benefit polar bears.”

  18. Ancient hybridization and an Irish origin for the modern polar bear matriline

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Edwards, Ceiridwen J.; Suchard, Marc A.; Lemey, Philippe

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among those species most susceptible to the rapidly changing arctic climate, and their survival is of global concern. Despite this, little is known about polar bear species history. Future conservation strategies would significantly benefit from an understanding...... of basic evolutionary information, such as the timing and conditions of their initial divergence from brown bears (U. arctos) or their response to previous environmental change....

  19. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear

    OpenAIRE

    Lindqvist, Charlotte; Schuster, Stephan C.; Sun, Yazhou; Talbot, Sandra L.; Qi, Ji; Ratan, Aakrosh; Tomsho, Lynn P.; Kasson, Lindsay; Zeyl, Eve; Aars, Jon; Miller, Webb; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Bachmann, Lutz; Wiig, Øystein

    2010-01-01

    The polar bear has become the flagship species in the climate-change discussion. However, little is known about how past climate impacted its evolution and persistence, given an extremely poor fossil record. Although it is undisputed from analyses of mitochondrial (mt) DNA that polar bears constitute a lineage within the genetic diversity of brown bears, timing estimates of their divergence have differed considerably. Using next-generation sequencing technology, we have generated a complete, ...

  20. Skull pathology in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) during 1892 to 2002 in relation to organochlorine pollution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sonne, Christian [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark) and Department of Veterinary Basic Sciences, Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Buelowsvej 17, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C (Denmark)]. E-mail: csh@dmu.dk; Riget, Frank F. [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Dietz, Rune [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Wiig, Oystein [Natural History Museum, University of Oslo, PO Box 1172 Blindern, N-0562 Oslo (Norway); Kirkegaard, Maja [National Environmental Research Institute, Department of Arctic Environment, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Born, Erik W. [Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, PO Box 570, DK-3900 Nuuk, Greenland (Denmark)

    2007-01-01

    East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are heavily polluted with long-range transported organochlorines such as PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls). To investigate the negative health impacts, a time-trend study of skull pathology was conducted on 269 East Greenland and 241 Svalbard polar bears. The skulls were sampled during 1892-2002 and 1964-1992, respectively. Seven different pathological changes were found: adonti, displacement of teeth, caries, osseous proliferations, exostosis, tooth wear and periodontitis. Only tooth wear and periodontitis was in a prevalence that allowed statistical treatment. The most severe cases of tooth wear and periodontitis were accompanied by a substantial loss of alveolar bone structure. The prevalence of tooth wear and periodontitis increased significantly with age (p < 0.001) with incisor wear being more severe than in canines, premolars and molars (p < 0.001). No sex difference was found for tooth wear (p = 0.22) while a significant difference between sexes was found for periodontitis (p = 0.01) with males having higher prevalence than females (odds ratio of 2.5 for males:females). In East Greenland, the prevalence of tooth wear was significantly higher in polar bears collected in the pre pollution period (< 1960) than in bears sampled during polluted periods (1960-1980 and 1981-2002) (p < 0.001). Regarding periodontitis, the prevalence was not significantly different between pre-pollution and pollution periods (p = 0.309). Polar bears from Svalbard had significantly higher prevalence of tooth wear (p < 0.001) and periodontitis (p = 0.02) than polar bears from East Greenland. The tooth wear and periodontitis odds ratios for Svalbard:East Greenland were 135 and 2.6, respectively. Hence, we found a clear age/sex link and geographical difference but no evidence for an association between skull pathology and exposure to organochlorines in East Greenland and Svalbard polar bears.

  1. 75 FR 65507 - U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission Adopts an Annual Taking Limit for the Alaska-Chukotka Polar...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-25

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission Adopts an Annual Taking Limit for the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: On June 9, 2010, by unanimous vote, the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Commission established by the...

  2. Dental and Temporomandibular Joint Pathology of the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winer, J N; Arzi, B; Leale, D M; Kass, P H; Verstraete, F J M

    2016-01-01

    Museum specimens (maxillae and/or mandibles) from 317 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were examined macroscopically according to predefined criteria and 249 specimens were included in this study. The specimens were acquired between 1906 and 2011. There were 126 specimens (50.6%) from male animals, 93 (37.3%) from female animals and 30 (12.1%) from animals of unknown sex. The ages of the animals ranged from neonate to adult, with 125 adults (50.2%) and 124 young adults (49.8%) included and neonates/juveniles excluded from the study. The number of teeth available for examination was 7,638 (73.5%); 12.3% of teeth were absent artefactually, 0.8% were deemed absent due to acquired tooth loss and 13.4% were absent congenitally. With respect to tooth morphology, 20 teeth (0.26% of available teeth) in 18 specimens (7.2% of available specimens) were small vestigial structures with crowns that were flush with the level of surrounding alveolar bone. One supernumerary tooth and one tooth with enamel hypoplasia were encountered. Persistent deciduous teeth and teeth with an aberrant number of roots were not found. Relatively few teeth (3.7%) displayed attrition/abrasion, 90% of which were the maxillary and mandibular incisor teeth, in 41 polar bears (16.5%). Nearly twice as many adult specimens exhibited attrition/abrasion as those from young adults; significantly more males were affected than females. Dental fractures were noted in 52 polar bears, affecting 20.9% of specimens and 1.3% of the total number of teeth present. More adult polar bears had dental fractures than young adults. There were 21 specimens (8.4%) that displayed overt periapical disease, affecting a total of 24 dental alveoli (0.23%). Some degree of periodontitis was seen in 199 specimens (79.9%); however, only 12.6% of dental alveoli had bony changes indicative of periodontitis. Lesions consistent with temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis (TMJ-OA) were found in 23 specimens (9.2%). TMJ-OA was significantly

  3. The use of sea ice habitat by female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Nielson, Ryan M.; McDonald, Trent

    2003-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on ice-covered seas to satisfy life history requirements. Modern threats to polar bears include oil spills in the marine environment and changes in ice composition resulting from climate change. Managers need practical models that explain the distribution of bears in order to assess the impacts of these threats. We used stepwise procedures to create resource selection models of habitat use for radio-collared female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea. Sea ice characteristics and ocean depths at known polar bear locations were compared to the same features at randomly selected locations. Models generated for each of four seasons confirmed complexities of habitat use by polar bears and their response to numerous factors. Bears preferred shallow water areas where ice concentrations were > 80 % and different ice types intersected. Variation among seasons was reflected mainly in differential selection of ice stages, floe sizes, and their interactions. Water depth, total ice concentration and distance to the nearest interface between different ice types were significant terms in models for most seasons. Variation in ice stage and form also appeared in three models, and several interaction effects were identified. Habitat selection by polar bears is likely related to prey abundance and availability. Use of habitats in shallow water possibly reflects higher productivity in those areas. Habitat use in close proximity to ice edges is probably related to greater access of prey in those habitats.

  4. Is the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) a hibernator? Continued studies on opioids and hibernation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce, David S.; Darling, Nancy K.; Seeland, Katheleen J.; Oeltgen, Peter R.; Nilekani, Sita P.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    1990-01-01

    Polar bear behavior and biochemistry suggest they may have the ability to hibernate year-round, even though this species is not considered to be a true hibernator. This observation, plus the discovery of a hibernation-induced trigger (HIT) in the blood of black bears, prompted the examination of polar bear blood collected thoughout the year for evidence ofr HIT, and to determine if it displayed opioid activity, as black bear blood does. A bioassay was conducted by injected summer 13-lined ground squirrels with serum collected from polar bears at different seasons. One group of squirrels was previously implanted with osmotic pumps containing naloxone. The rest had pumps containing saline. Squirrels with saline pumps all hibernated significantly more than those with naloxone, except the group receiving blood from a November polar bear, observed to be highly active and hyperphagic. An in vitro study, using guinea pig ileum, showed that 400 nM morphine inhibited induced contractions and 100 nM naloxone reversed the inhibition. Ten mg of winter polar bear serum albumin fraction (to which HIT binds in ground squirrels and woodchucks) had a similar inhibiting effect, but naloxone, even at 4,000 nM, didn't reverse it. It is concluded that polar bear contains HIT, that it has an opioid effct, but may not itself be an opioid.

  5. Polar bear adipose tissue-derived stem cells as an in vitro model for effects of environmental contaminants on adipogenesis

    OpenAIRE

    Øygarden, Lene Eidsvik

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is currently listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN red list, mainly due to the predicted decline in sea ice caused by global warming. Polar bears are dependent on sea ice for hunting their main prey, the ringed seal (Phoca hispida). Shrinkage of sea ice can result in energetic challenges and increased mortality rates in polar bear populations, as their access to prey declines and the seasonal fasting period gets prolonged. Also affecting polar bears is th...

  6. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Stephen G; Castro de la Guardia, Laura; Derocher, Andrew E; Sahanatien, Vicki; Tremblay, Bruno; Huard, David

    2014-01-01

    Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling. Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands. Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  7. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: a guide to research and management activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patyk, Kelly A; Duncan, Colleen; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, Christian; Laidre, Kristin; Obbard, Martyn; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric; Gustafson, Lori L; Atwood, Todd

    2015-05-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  8. Projected polar bear sea ice habitat in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen G Hamilton

    Full Text Available Sea ice across the Arctic is declining and altering physical characteristics of marine ecosystems. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus have been identified as vulnerable to changes in sea ice conditions. We use sea ice projections for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago from 2006 - 2100 to gain insight into the conservation challenges for polar bears with respect to habitat loss using metrics developed from polar bear energetics modeling.Shifts away from multiyear ice to annual ice cover throughout the region, as well as lengthening ice-free periods, may become critical for polar bears before the end of the 21st century with projected warming. Each polar bear population in the Archipelago may undergo 2-5 months of ice-free conditions, where no such conditions exist presently. We identify spatially and temporally explicit ice-free periods that extend beyond what polar bears require for nutritional and reproductive demands.Under business-as-usual climate projections, polar bears may face starvation and reproductive failure across the entire Archipelago by the year 2100.

  9. Establishing a definition of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) health: A guide to research and management activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patyk, Kelly A.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Nol, Pauline; Sonne, C.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Wiig, Øystein; Aars, Jon; Regehr, Eric V.; Gustafson, L.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important metrics for monitoring health. The expert opinion elicited through the exercise agreed that polar bear health is defined by characteristics and knowledge at the individual, population, and ecosystem level. The most important threats identified were in decreasing order: climate change, increased nutritional stress, chronic physiological stress, harvest management, increased exposure to contaminants, increased frequency of human interaction, diseases and parasites, and increased exposure to competitors. Fifteen metrics were identified to monitor polar bear health. Of these, indicators of body condition, disease and parasite exposure, contaminant exposure, and reproductive success were ranked as most important. We suggest that a cumulative effects approach to research and monitoring will improve the ability to assess the biological, ecological, and social determinants of polar bear health and provide measurable objectives for conservation goals and priorities and to evaluate progress.

  10. Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nuijten, R J M; Hendriks, A J; Jenssen, B M; Schipper, A M

    2016-11-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) currently receive much attention in the context of global climate change. However, there are other stressors that might threaten the viability of polar bear populations as well, such as exposure to anthropogenic pollutants. Lipophilic organic compounds bio-accumulate and bio-magnify in the food chain, leading to high concentrations at the level of top-predators. In Arctic wildlife, including the polar bear, various adverse health effects have been related to internal concentrations of commercially used anthropogenic chemicals like PCB and DDT. The extent to which these individual health effects are associated to population-level effects is, however, unknown. In this study we assembled data on adipose tissue concentrations of ∑PCB, ∑DDT, dieldrin and ∑PBDE in individual polar bears from peer-reviewed scientific literature. Data were available for 14 out of the 19 subpopulations. We found that internal concentrations of these contaminants exceed threshold values for adverse individual health effects in several subpopulations. In an exploratory regression analysis we identified a clear negative correlation between polar bear population density and sub-population specific contaminant concentrations in adipose tissue. The results suggest that adverse health effects of contaminants in individual polar bears may scale up to population-level consequences. Our study highlights the need to consider contaminant exposure along with other threats in polar bear population viability analyses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) depend on sea ice for catching marine mammal prey. Recent sea-ice declines have been linked to reductions in body condition, survival, and population size. Reduced foraging opportunity is hypothesized to be the primary cause of sea-ice-linked declines, but the costs of travel through a deteriorated sea-ice environment also may be a factor. We used movement data from 52 adult female polar bears wearing Global Positioning System (GPS) collars, including some with dependent young, to document long-distance swimming (>50 km) by polar bears in the southern Beaufort and Chukchi seas. During 6 years (2004-2009), we identified 50 long-distance swims by 20 bears. Swim duration and distance ranged from 0.7 to 9.7 days (mean = 3.4 days) and 53.7 to 687.1 km (mean = 154.2 km), respectively. Frequency of swimming appeared to increase over the course of the study. We show that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present. However, long-distance swimming appears to have higher energetic demands than moving over sea ice. Our observations suggest long-distance swimming is a behavioral response to declining summer sea-ice conditions.

  12. 77 FR 4492 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Reissuance of Interim Special Rule for the Polar Bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-30

    ...; Reissuance of Interim Special Rule for the Polar Bear AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION... (Court) issued an order in regard to Misc. No. 08- 764 (EGS) MDL Docket No. 1993 IN RE: POLAR BEAR... Wildlife Service the December 16, 2008, final special rule for the polar bear (73 FR 76249). The Court...

  13. Increased Arctic Sea Ice Drift Alters Polar Bear Movements and Energetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Douglas, D. C.; Durner, G. M.; Albeke, S. E.; Whiteman, J. P.; Amstrup, S. C.; Richardson, E.; Wilson, R. R.; Ben-David, M.

    2015-12-01

    Recent thinning of Arctic sea ice has increased its drift from currents and winds. Increased ice drift could affect movements and energy balance of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which rely, almost exclusively, on this substrate for hunting seals. Foraging by polar bears is a relatively sedentary behavior, as they typically capture their main prey by waiting at breathing holes, where seals haul-out along leads, or by short-distance stalking. We examined the response of polar bears to ice drift in the Beaufort (BS) and Chukchi (CS) seas, and between two periods with different sea ice characteristics: 1987-1998 and 1999-2013. We used satellite-tracked adult female polar bear locations, standardized by a continuous-time correlated random walk, coupled with modeled ice drift, to estimate displacement and drift-corrected bear movements along east-west and north-south axes. Sea ice drift in both regions increased with greater westward and more extreme northward and southward rates from 1987-1998 to 1999-2013. Polar bears responded with greater eastward movements and, in the CS greater movements north and south. We show that efforts by polar bears to compensate for greater westward ice drift in recent years translated into a model-derived estimate of 5.7-7.2% increase in energy expenditure. We also estimated that polar bears increased their travel time 18-20% between the two time periods, suggesting time allocated to foraging was reduced. Increased energetic costs and travel time resulting from greater ice drift, in conjunction with ongoing habitat loss, suggest that recent changes to Arctic sea ice may affect movements and energy balance of polar bears.

  14. Recent observations of intraspecific predation and cannibalism among polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Stirling, I.; Smith, T.S.; Perham, C.; Thiemann, G.W.

    2006-01-01

    Intraspecific killing has been reported among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus). Although cannibalism is one motivation for such killings, the ecological factors mediating such events are poorly understood. Between 24 January and 10 April 2004, we confirmed three instances of intraspecific predation and cannibalism in the Beaufort Sea. One of these, the first of this type ever reported for polar bears, was a parturient female killed at her maternal den. The predating bear was hunting in a known maternal denning area and apparently discovered the den by scent. A second predation event involved an adult female and cub recently emerged from their den, and the third involved a yearling male. During 24 years of research on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen other incidents of polar bears stalking, killing, and eating other polar bears. We hypothesize that nutritional stresses related to the longer ice-free seasons that have occurred in the Beaufort Sea in recent years may have led to the cannibalism incidents we observed in 2004. ?? Springer-Verlag 2006.

  15. Territory-wide wildlife data collections, report of field observations, polar bear

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The polar bear harvest off Alaska's arctic coast by native Eskimo and white trophy hunters was assessed and evaluated to determine the size and characteristics of...

  16. Sea ice and polar bear den ecology at Hopen Island, Svalbard

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    A. E. Derocher; M. Andersen; Ø. Wiig; J. Aars; E. Hansen; M. Biuw

    2011-01-01

    The maternity denning of polar bears was studied at Hopen Island, Svalbard, Norway, using information collected by direct observation and live-capture of females and cubs during den emergence in spring of 1994 to 2008...

  17. Temporal Trends and Future Predictions of Mercury Concentrations in Northwest Greenland Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Hair

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Born, E.W.; Riget, Frank Farsø

    2011-01-01

    Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafterHg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly...... significant increases of 1.6-1.7% (p polar bear......-2008 concentrations ofHg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call...

  18. Femoral fracture repair using a locking plate technique in an adult captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zimmerman, Dawn M; Dew, Terry; Douglass, Michael; Perez, Edward

    2010-02-01

    To report successful femoral fracture repair in a polar bear. Case report. Female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) 5 years and approximately 250 kg. A closed, complete, comminuted fracture of the distal midshaft femur was successfully reduced and stabilized using a compression plating technique with 2 specialized human femur plates offering axial, rotational, and bending support, and allowing the bone to share loads with the implant. Postoperative radiographs were obtained at 11.5 weeks, 11 months, and 24 months. Bone healing characterized by marked periosteal reaction was evident at 11 months with extensive remodeling evident at 24 months. No complications were noted. Distal mid shaft femoral fracture was reduced, stabilized, and healed in an adult polar bear with a locking plate technique using 2 plates. Previously, femoral fractures in polar bears were considered irreparable. Use of 2 plates applied with a locking plate technique can result in successful fracture repair despite large body weight and inability to restrict postoperative activity.

  19. Demography and behavior of polar bears feeding on stranded marine mammal carcasses

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — In 2001, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) funded a study to increase understanding of foraging and carcass utilization patterns of polar bears using the near...

  20. Report to the annual joint meeting for management of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Objectives of research conducted between 1 981 and the present were: 1. Determine the distribution timing and significance of maternal denning by polar bears in...

  1. A preliminary report on the status of polar bear in Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The circumpolar population and cross border movement of polar bears are significant features of their distribution. Although use of aircraft has increased hunting...

  2. Genetic variation, relatedness, and effective population size of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Talbot, Sandra L.; Sage, George K.; Amstrup, Kristin S.

    2009-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are unique among bears in that they are adapted to the Arctic sea ice environment. Genetic data are useful for understanding their evolution and can contribute to management. We assessed parentage and relatedness of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea, Alaska, with genetic data and field observations of age, sex, and mother–offspring and sibling relationships. Genotypes at 14 microsatellite DNA loci for 226 bears indicate that genetic variation is comparable to other populations of polar bears with mean number of alleles per locus of 7.9 and observed and expected heterozygosity of 0.71. The genetic data verified 60 field-identified mother–offspring pairs and identified 10 additional mother–cub pairs and 48 father–offspring pairs. The entire sample of related and unrelated bears had a mean pairwise relatedness index (rxy) of approximately zero, parent–offspring and siblings had rxy of approximately 0.5, and 5.2% of the samples had rxy values within the range expected for parent-offspring. Effective population size (Ne= 277) and the ratio of Ne to total population size (Ne/N = 0.182) were estimated from the numbers of reproducing males and females. Ne estimates with genetic methods gave variable results. Our results verify and expand field data on reproduction by females and provide new data on reproduction by males and estimates of relatedness and Ne in a polar bear population.

  3. Relative influences of climate change and human activity on the onshore distribution of polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Miller, Susanne; Divoky, George J.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is altering habitat for many species, leading to shifts in distributions that can increase levels of human-wildlife conflict. To develop effective strategies for minimizing human-wildlife conflict, we must understand the relative influences that climate change and other factors have on wildlife distributions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are increasingly using land during summer and autumn due to sea ice loss, leading to higher incidents of conflict and concerns for human safety. We sought to understand the relative influence of sea ice conditions, onshore habitat characteristics, and human-provisioned food attractants on the distribution and abundance of polar bears while on shore. We also wanted to determine how mitigation measures might reduce human-polar bear conflict associated with an anthropogenic food source. We built a Bayesian hierarchical model based on 14 years of aerial survey data to estimate the weekly number and distribution of polar bears on the coast of northern Alaska in autumn. We then used the model to predict how effective two management options for handling subsistence-harvested whale remains in the community of Kaktovik, Alaska might be. The distribution of bears on shore was most strongly influenced by the presence of whale carcasses and to a lesser extent sea ice and onshore habitat conditions. The numbers of bears on shore were related to sea ice conditions. The two management strategies for handling the whale carcasses reduced the estimated number of bears near Kaktovik by > 75%. By considering multiple factors associated with the onshore distribution and abundance of polar bears we discerned what role human activities played in where bears occur and how successful efforts to manage the whale carcasses might be for reducing human-polar bear conflict.

  4. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) – New endocrine disruptors in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Letcher, Robert J.; Sonne, Christian

    2016-01-01

    Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are emerging in the Arctic and accumulate in brain tissues of East Greenland (EG) polar bears. In vitro studies have shown that PFASs might possess endocrine disrupting abilities and therefore the present study was conducted to investigate potential PFAS...... dimorph brain function. The present work indicates an urgent need for a better mechanistic understanding of how PFASs may affect the endocrine system of polar bears and potentially other mammal species....

  5. Two decades of biomonitoring polar bear health in Greenland: a review

    OpenAIRE

    Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Bechshøft, Thea Ø; Rigét, Frank F.; Muir, Derek CG; Leifsson, Pall S.; Born, Erik W.; Hyldstrup, Lars; Basu, Niladri; Kirkegaard, Maja; Dietz, Rune

    2012-01-01

    Summary We present an overview of studies of anthropogenic pollutants in East Greenland polar bears over the period of 1999-2011. East Greenland polar bears are among the most polluted species, not just in the Arctic but globally, and represent an excellent biomonitoring species for levels and effects of global pollution in an apex predator. Therefore, an international multidisciplinary team joined to monitor and assess the patterns and concentrations of contaminants and their potential negat...

  6. Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, J.P.; Harlow, H.J.; Durner, George M.; Anderson-Sprecher, R.; Albeke, Shannon E.; Regehr, Eric V.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, M.

    2015-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) summer on the sea ice or, where it melts, on shore. Although the physiology of “ice” bears in summer is unknown, “shore” bears purportedly minimize energy losses by entering a hibernation-like state when deprived of food. Such a strategy could partially compensate for the loss of on-ice foraging opportunities caused by climate change. However, here we report gradual, moderate declines in activity and body temperature of both shore and ice bears in summer, resembling energy expenditures typical of fasting, nonhibernating mammals. Also, we found that to avoid unsustainable heat loss while swimming, bears employed unusual heterothermy of the body core. Thus, although well adapted to seasonal ice melt, polar bears appear susceptible to deleterious declines in body condition during the lengthening period of summer food deprivation.

  7. Animal physiology. Summer declines in activity and body temperature offer polar bears limited energy savings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, J P; Harlow, H J; Durner, G M; Anderson-Sprecher, R; Albeke, S E; Regehr, E V; Amstrup, S C; Ben-David, M

    2015-07-17

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) summer on the sea ice or, where it melts, on shore. Although the physiology of "ice" bears in summer is unknown, "shore" bears purportedly minimize energy losses by entering a hibernation-like state when deprived of food. Such a strategy could partially compensate for the loss of on-ice foraging opportunities caused by climate change. However, here we report gradual, moderate declines in activity and body temperature of both shore and ice bears in summer, resembling energy expenditures typical of fasting, nonhibernating mammals. Also, we found that to avoid unsustainable heat loss while swimming, bears employed unusual heterothermy of the body core. Thus, although well adapted to seasonal ice melt, polar bears appear susceptible to deleterious declines in body condition during the lengthening period of summer food deprivation. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  8. Polar bears experience skeletal muscle atrophy in response to food deprivation and reduced activity in winter and summer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, John P.; Harlow, Henry J.; Durner, George M.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rourke, Bryan C.; Robles, Manuel; Amstrup, Steven C.; Ben-David, Merav

    2017-01-01

    When reducing activity and using stored energy during seasonal food shortages, animals risk degradation of skeletal muscles, although some species avoid or minimize the resulting atrophy while experiencing these conditions during hibernation. Polar bears may be food deprived and relatively inactive during winter (when pregnant females hibernate and hunting success declines for other demographic groups) as well as summer (when sea ice retreats from key foraging habitats). We investigated muscle atrophy in samples of biceps femoris collected from free-ranging polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) throughout their annual cycle. Atrophy was most pronounced in April–May as a result of food deprivation during the previous winter, with muscles exhibiting reduced protein concentration, increased water content, and lower creatine kinase mRNA. These animals increased feeding and activity in spring (when seal prey becomes more available), initiating a period of muscle recovery. During the following ice melt of late summer, ~30% of SBS bears abandon retreating sea ice for land; in August, these ‘shore’ bears exhibited no muscle atrophy, indicating that they had fully recovered from winter food deprivation. These individuals subsequently scavenged whale carcasses deposited by humans and by October, had retained good muscle condition. In contrast, ~70% of SBS bears follow the ice north in late summer, into deep water with less prey. These ‘ice’ bears fast; by October, they exhibited muscle protein loss and rapid changes in myosin heavy-chain isoforms in response to reduced activity. These findings indicate that, unlike other bears during winter hibernation, polar bears without food in summer cannot mitigate atrophy. Consequently, prolonged summer fasting resulting from climate change-induced ice loss creates a risk of greater muscle atrophy and reduced abilities to travel and hunt.

  9. Ecological change drives a decline in mercury concentrations in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Pedro, Sara; Peacock, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    We evaluated total mercury (THg) concentrations and trends in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation from 2004 to 2011. Hair THg concentrations ranged widely among individuals from 0.6 to 13.3 μg g–1 dry weight (mean: 3.5 ± 0.2 μg g–1). Concentrations differed among sex and age classes: solitary adult females ≈ adult females with cubs ≈ subadults > adult males ≈ yearlings > cubs-of-the-year ≈ 2 year old dependent cubs. No variation was observed between spring and fall samples. For spring-sampled adults, THg concentrations declined by 13% per year, contrasting recent trends observed for other Western Hemispheric Arctic biota. Concentrations also declined by 15% per year considering adult males only, while a slower, nonsignificant decrease of 4.4% per year was found for adult females. Lower THg concentrations were associated with higher body mass index (BMI) and higher proportions of lower trophic position food resources consumed. Because BMI and diet were related, and the relationship to THg was strongest for BMI, trends were re-evaluated adjusting for BMI as the covariate. The adjusted annual decline was not significant. These findings indicate that changes in foraging ecology, not declining environmental concentrations of mercury, are driving short-term declines in THg concentrations in southern Beaufort Sea polar bears.

  10. Annual changes in serum sex steroids in male and female black (Ursus americanus) and polar (Ursus maritimus) bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, S S; Nelson, R A; Ramsay, M A; Stirling, I; Bahr, J M

    1988-06-01

    The adaptation of black and polar bears to their environments is proportional to the severity of climate and food restriction. Both black and polar bears mate during the spring, despite differences in their recent metabolic state. Reproductive activity in black bears follows 4 mo of torpor, whereas reproduction in polar bears occurs prior to torpor. The goals of this study were to measure the annual changes in serum sex steroids in male and female black and polar bears, and to determine if changes in serum levels of these steroids were associated with metabolic condition or photoperiod. Serum testosterone (T) concentrations were elevated during spring in black and polar bears. Moreover, this increase in serum T in polar bears during spring was correlated with age and testis size. Serum progesterone (P4) concentrations increased in pregnant polar bears in fall coincident with the time of expected implantation. No increases in serum P4 were observed in nonpregnant black and polar bears. Serum estradiol (E2) was elevated in nonpregnant and pregnant polar bears 2 mo prior to the time of expected implantation. We found that serum sex steroids measured in black and polar bears change independent of torpor. Therefore, our results suggest that photoperiod may be a more important regulator of serum steroid levels and reproduction than metabolic condition.

  11. Climate change and the increasing impact of polar bears on bird populations

    OpenAIRE

    Jouke eProp; Jon eAars; Bård-Jørgen eBårdsen; Sveinn Are eHanssen; Claus eBech; Sophie eBourgeon; Jimmy ede Fouw; Geir Wing eGabrielsen; Johannes eLang; Johannes eLang; Elin eNoreen; Thomas eOudman; Benoit eSittler; Benoit eSittler; Lech eStempniewicz

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is becoming warmer at a high rate, and contractions in the extent of sea ice are currently changing the habitats of marine top-predators dependent on ice. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on sea ice for hunting seals. For these top-predators, longer ice-free seasons are hypothesized to force the bears to hunt for alternative terrestrial food, such as eggs from colonial breeding birds. We analyzed time-series of polar bear observations at four locations on Spitsbergen (Svalbard)...

  12. White-beaked dolphins trapped in the ice and eaten by polar bears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jon Aars

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus depend on sea ice, where they hunt ice-associated seals. However, they are opportunistic predators and scavengers with a long list of known prey species. Here we report from a small fjord in Svalbard, Norwegian High Arctic, a sighting of an adult male polar bear preying on two white-beaked dolphins (Lagenorhynchus albirostris on 23 April 2014. This is the first record of this species as polar bear prey. White-beaked dolphins are frequent visitors to Svalbard waters in summer, but have not previously been reported this far north in early spring. We suggest they were trapped in the ice after strong northerly winds the days before, and possibly killed when forced to surface for air at a small opening in the ice. The bear had consumed most parts of one dolphin. When observed he was in the process of covering the mostly intact second dolphin with snow. Such caching behaviour is generally considered untypical of polar bears. During the following ice-free summer and autumn, at least seven different white-beaked dolphin carcasses were observed in or near the same area. We suggest, based on the area and the degree to which these dolphins had decayed, that they were likely from the same pod and also suffered death due to entrapment in the ice in April. At least six different polar bears were seen scavenging on the carcasses.

  13. High contributions of sea ice derived carbon in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galicia, Melissa P.; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Belt, Simon T.; Yurkowski, David J.; Dyck, Markus G.

    2018-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely upon Arctic sea ice as a physical habitat. Consequently, conservation assessments of polar bears identify the ongoing reduction in sea ice to represent a significant threat to their survival. However, the additional role of sea ice as a potential, indirect, source of energy to bears has been overlooked. Here we used the highly branched isoprenoid lipid biomarker-based index (H-Print) approach in combination with quantitative fatty acid signature analysis to show that sympagic (sea ice-associated), rather than pelagic, carbon contributions dominated the marine component of polar bear diet (72–100%; 99% CI, n = 55), irrespective of differences in diet composition. The lowest mean estimates of sympagic carbon were found in Baffin Bay bears, which were also exposed to the most rapidly increasing open water season. Therefore, our data illustrate that for future Arctic ecosystems that are likely to be characterised by reduced sea ice cover, polar bears will not only be impacted by a change in their physical habitat, but also potentially in the supply of energy to the ecosystems upon which they depend. This data represents the first quantifiable baseline that is critical for the assessment of likely ongoing changes in energy supply to Arctic predators as we move into an increasingly uncertain future for polar ecosystems. PMID:29360849

  14. Acute gastric dilatation and volvulus in a free-living polar bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Nielsen, Carol A.

    1989-01-01

    A large, adult male polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was found dead on a barrier island north of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (USA), in June 1987. There were no external signs of trauma. A twisted distended stomach, distinctive parenchymal and fascial congestion, and significant difficulty in repositioning the anterior abdominal organs, indicated that gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) was the proximate cause of death. Polar bears frequently consume large quantities of food at one time and have large stomachs that are well adapted to periodic gorging. The scarcity of food in winter and early spring, combined with voluntary fasting and protracted vigorous activity during the breeding season in late spring may have predisposed this bear to GDV. The relationship between GDV and postprandial exercise emphasizes the need for a better understanding of how the present human invasion of arctic habitats may influence polar bear activities.

  15. Xenoestrogenic and dioxin-like activity in blood of East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Erdmann, Simon Erik; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    The aims of the project were to (i) extract the lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs) from the blood of 99 East Greenland polar bears and assess the combined mixture effect on the estrogen receptor (ER) and the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) mediated transactivity; (ii) To evaluate...... whether the receptor transactivities were associated with selected POP markers, and (iii) compare the receptor transactivities in polar bears with earlier studies on Greenlandic Inuit. Lipophilic POPs were extracted using a combination of solid-phase extraction (SPE) and high performance liquid...... induced ER response. Positive correlations were found in subadult bears between XER and several POP biomarkers. XER and XERcomp correlated positively to each other. A total of 91% of the polar bear blood extracts elicited agonistic AhR transactivity. The AhR-TCDD equivalent (AhR-TEQ) median levels were...

  16. Ovulation induction and artificial insemination of a captive polar bear (Ursus maritimus) using fresh semen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curry, Erin; Wyatt, Jeff; Sorel, Lawrence J; MacKinnon, Katherine M; Roth, Terri L

    2014-09-01

    In 2008, polar bears were listed as a species threatened with extinction by the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Unfortunately, reproductive success has been poor despite breeding recommendations for almost every reproductively viable bear by the Species Survival Plan. Assisted reproductive technologies could complement breeding efforts by overcoming the challenges of behavioral incompatibilities and deficiencies, facilitating genetic management and increasing cub production. The goal of this study was to artificially inseminate a female polar bear after inducing ovarian activity and ovulation with exogenous hormones (equine chorionic gonadotropin and porcine luteinizing hormone). Fresh semen collected from an adult male via electroejaculation/urethral catheterization was used for the insemination. Fecal steroid monitoring indicated that the female ovulated following the exogenous hormone treatment. Progestin concentrations increased in late summer, at the time implantation was expected to occur; however, no cubs were produced. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of ovulation induction and artificial insemination in a polar bear.

  17. Longitudinal fecal hormone analysis for monitoring reproductive activity in the female polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoops, M A; MacKinnon, K M; Roth, T L

    2012-12-01

    The objective was to identify suitable enzyme immunoassays to monitor gonadal and placental function in the female polar bear. Immunoreactive progesterone, progesterone metabolite (PdG), estrogen, and androgen metabolite (T) concentrations were measured in fecal samples collected over 24 mo from captive female bears (N = 20). Whereas fecal extracts produced displacement curves parallel to the standard curve for each respective steroid, T and PdG more accurately reflected reproductive events. Concentrations of fecal T increased (P bears excreted higher PdG concentrations (P bears also had a PdG rise in the Fall, suggesting they experienced either pregnancy loss or a pseudopregnancy. Differentiating pregnant and pseudopregnant states was not achieved using fecal PdG alone, but when combined with fecal T, comprehensive diagnoses could be made. Nonparturient bears demonstrated elevated (P bears did not. In summary, noninvasive hormone monitoring techniques were established for the female polar bear. Although this study was directed at facilitating management and breeding efforts of captive polar bears, the methods could be applied to studies of reproductive function in wild populations. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Potential impacts of offshore oil spills on polar bears in the Chukchi Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R; Perham, Craig; French-McCay, Deborah P; Balouskus, Richard

    2018-01-12

    Sea ice decline is anticipated to increase human access to the Arctic Ocean allowing for offshore oil and gas development in once inaccessible areas. Given the potential negative consequences of an oil spill on marine wildlife populations in the Arctic, it is important to understand the magnitude of impact a large spill could have on wildlife to inform response planning efforts. In this study we simulated oil spills that released 25,000 barrels of oil for 30 days in autumn originating from two sites in the Chukchi Sea (one in Russia and one in the U.S.) and tracked the distribution of oil for 76 days. We then determined the potential impact such a spill might have on polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and their habitat by overlapping spills with maps of polar bear habitat and movement trajectories. Only a small proportion (1-10%) of high-value polar bear sea ice habitat was directly affected by oil sufficient to impact bears. However, 27-38% of polar bears in the region were potentially exposed to oil. Oil consistently had the highest probability of reaching Wrangel and Herald islands, important areas of denning and summer terrestrial habitat. Oil did not reach polar bears until approximately 3 weeks after the spills. Our study found the potential for significant impacts to polar bears under a worst case discharge scenario, but suggests that there is a window of time where effective containment efforts could minimize exposure to bears. Our study provides a framework for wildlife managers and planners to assess the level of response that would be required to treat exposed wildlife and where spill response equipment might be best stationed. While the size of spill we simulated has a low probability of occurring, it provides an upper limit for planners to consider when crafting response plans. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  19. Human–polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James

    2017-01-01

    The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of in situ stressors associated with increasing human activities. These changes are making it more difficult for polar bears to reliably use their traditional habitats and maintain fitness. Here, we provide an overview of how human activities in the Arctic are likely to change a polar bear’s behavior and to influence their resilience to environmental change. Developing a more thorough understanding of polar bear behavior and their capacity for flexibility in response to anthropogenic disturbances and subsequent mitigations may lead to successful near-term management interventions.

  20. Age and sex composition of seals killed by polar bears in the eastern Beaufort Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas W Pilfold

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Polar bears (Ursus maritimus of the Beaufort Sea enter hyperphagia in spring and gain fat reserves to survive periods of low prey availability. We collected information on seals killed by polar bears (n=650 and hunting attempts on ringed seal (Pusa hispida lairs (n=1396 observed from a helicopter during polar bear mark-recapture studies in the eastern Beaufort Sea in spring in 1985-2011. We investigated how temporal shifts in ringed seal reproduction affect kill composition and the intraspecific vulnerabilities of ringed seals to polar bear predation. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Polar bears primarily preyed on ringed seals (90.2% while bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus only comprised 9.8% of the kills, but 33% of the biomass. Adults comprised 43.6% (150/344 of the ringed seals killed, while their pups comprised 38.4% (132/344. Juvenile ringed seals were killed at the lowest proportion, comprising 18.0% (62/344 of the ringed seal kills. The proportion of ringed seal pups was highest between 2007-2011, in association with high ringed seal productivity. Half of the adult ringed seal kills were ≥ 21 years (60/121, and kill rates of adults increased following the peak of parturition. Determination of sex from DNA revealed that polar bears killed adult male and adult female ringed seals equally (0.50, n=78. The number of hunting attempts at ringed seal subnivean lair sites was positively correlated with the number of pup kills (r(2 =0.30, P=0.04, but was not correlated with the number of adult kills (P=0.37. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Results are consistent with decadal trends in ringed seal productivity, with low numbers of pups killed by polar bears in spring in years of low pup productivity, and conversely when pup productivity was high. Vulnerability of adult ringed seals to predation increased in relation to reproductive activities and age, but not gender.

  1. Performance and retention of lightweight satellite radio tags applied to the ears of polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    OpenAIRE

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Dietz, Rune; Jensen, Mikkel V; Durner, George M; Pagano, Anthony M; Regehr, Eric; St Martin, Michelle; Atkinson, Stephen; Dyck, Markus

    2017-01-01

    Background Satellite telemetry studies provide information that is critical to the conservation and management of species affected by ecological change. Here we report on the performance and retention of two types (SPOT-227 and SPOT-305A) of ear-mounted Argos-linked satellite transmitters (i.e., platform transmitter terminal, or PTT) deployed on free-ranging polar bears in Eastern Greenland, Baffin Bay, Kane Basin, the southern Beaufort Sea, and the Chukchi Sea during 2007–...

  2. Population genomics reveal recent speciation and rapid evolutionary adaptation in polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shiping; Lorenzen, Eline D; Fumagalli, Matteo; Li, Bo; Harris, Kelley; Xiong, Zijun; Zhou, Long; Korneliussen, Thorfinn Sand; Somel, Mehmet; Babbitt, Courtney; Wray, Greg; Li, Jianwen; He, Weiming; Wang, Zhuo; Fu, Wenjing; Xiang, Xueyan; Morgan, Claire C; Doherty, Aoife; O'Connell, Mary J; McInerney, James O; Born, Erik W; Dalén, Love; Dietz, Rune; Orlando, Ludovic; Sonne, Christian; Zhang, Guojie; Nielsen, Rasmus; Willerslev, Eske; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-08

    Polar bears are uniquely adapted to life in the High Arctic and have undergone drastic physiological changes in response to Arctic climates and a hyper-lipid diet of primarily marine mammal prey. We analyzed 89 complete genomes of polar bear and brown bear using population genomic modeling and show that the species diverged only 479-343 thousand years BP. We find that genes on the polar bear lineage have been under stronger positive selection than in brown bears; nine of the top 16 genes under strong positive selection are associated with cardiomyopathy and vascular disease, implying important reorganization of the cardiovascular system. One of the genes showing the strongest evidence of selection, APOB, encodes the primary lipoprotein component of low-density lipoprotein (LDL); functional mutations in APOB may explain how polar bears are able to cope with life-long elevated LDL levels that are associated with high risk of heart disease in humans. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Are liver and renal lesions in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus associated with high mercury levels?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Born Erik W

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In the Arctic, polar bears (Ursus maritimus bio-accumulate mercury as they prey on polluted ringed seals (Phoca hispida and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus. Studies have shown that polar bears from East Greenland are among the most mercury polluted species in the Arctic. It is unknown whether these levels are toxic to liver and kidney tissue. Methods We investigated the histopathological impact from anthropogenic long-range transported mercury on East Greenland polar bear liver (n = 59 and kidney (n = 57 tissues. Results Liver mercury levels ranged from 1.1–35.6 μg/g wet weight and renal levels ranged from 1–50 μg/g wet weight, of which 2 liver values and 9 kidney values were above known toxic threshold level of 30 μg/g wet weight in terrestrial mammals. Evaluated from age-correcting ANCOVA analyses, liver mercury levels were significantly higher in individuals with visible Ito cells (p Conclusion Based on these relationships and the nature of the chronic inflammation we conclude that the lesions were likely a result of recurrent infections and ageing but that long-term exposure to mercury could not be excluded as a co-factor. The information is important as it is likely that tropospheric mercury depletion events will continue to increase the concentrations of this toxic heavy metal in the Sub Arctic and Arctic marine food webs.

  4. Field metabolic rate and PCB adipose tissue deposition efficiency in East Greenland polar bears derived from contaminant monitoring data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlova, Viola; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Dietz, Rune; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Vorkamp, Katrin; Rigét, Frank Farsø; Sonne, Christian; Letcher, Robert J; Grimm, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Climate change will increasingly affect the natural habitat and diet of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Understanding the energetic needs of polar bears is therefore important. We developed a theoretical method for estimating polar bear food consumption based on using the highly recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congener, 2,2',4,4',55-hexaCB (CB153) in bear adipose tissue as an indicator of food intake. By comparing the CB153 tissue concentrations in wild polar bears with estimates from a purposely designed individual-based model, we identified the possible combinations of field metabolic rates (FMR) and CB153 deposition efficiencies in East Greenland polar bears. Our simulations indicate that if 30% of the CB153 consumed by polar bear individuals were deposited into their adipose tissue, the corresponding FMR would be only two times the basal metabolic rate. In contrast, if the modelled CB153 deposition efficiency were 10%, adult polar bears would require six times more energy than that needed to cover basal metabolism. This is considerably higher than what has been assumed for polar bears in previous studies though it is similar to FMRs found in other marine mammals. An implication of this result is that even relatively small reductions in future feeding opportunities could impact the survival of East Greenland polar bears.

  5. Field metabolic rate and PCB adipose tissue deposition efficiency in East Greenland polar bears derived from contaminant monitoring data.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Viola Pavlova

    Full Text Available Climate change will increasingly affect the natural habitat and diet of polar bears (Ursus maritimus. Understanding the energetic needs of polar bears is therefore important. We developed a theoretical method for estimating polar bear food consumption based on using the highly recalcitrant polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB congener, 2,2',4,4',55-hexaCB (CB153 in bear adipose tissue as an indicator of food intake. By comparing the CB153 tissue concentrations in wild polar bears with estimates from a purposely designed individual-based model, we identified the possible combinations of field metabolic rates (FMR and CB153 deposition efficiencies in East Greenland polar bears. Our simulations indicate that if 30% of the CB153 consumed by polar bear individuals were deposited into their adipose tissue, the corresponding FMR would be only two times the basal metabolic rate. In contrast, if the modelled CB153 deposition efficiency were 10%, adult polar bears would require six times more energy than that needed to cover basal metabolism. This is considerably higher than what has been assumed for polar bears in previous studies though it is similar to FMRs found in other marine mammals. An implication of this result is that even relatively small reductions in future feeding opportunities could impact the survival of East Greenland polar bears.

  6. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-08-17

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears. © 2016 The Author(s).

  7. Temporal trends and future predictions of mercury concentrations in Northwest Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) hair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, R; Born, E W; Rigét, F; Aubail, A; Sonne, C; Drimmie, R; Basu, N

    2011-02-15

    Hair samples from 117 Northwest Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were taken during 1892-2008 and analyzed for total mercury (hereafter Hg). The sample represented 28 independent years and the aim of the study was to analyze for temporal Hg trends. Mercury concentrations showed yearly significant increases of 1.6-1.7% (p polar bear Hg exposure is 95.6-96.2% anthropogenic in its origin. Assuming a continued anthropogenic increase, this model estimated concentrations in 2050 and 2100 will be 40- and 92-fold the baseline concentration, respectively, which is equivalent to a 97.5 and 98.9% man-made contribution. None of the 2001-2008 concentrations of Hg in Northwest Greenland polar bear hair exceeded the general guideline values of 20-30 μg/g dry weight for terrestrial wildlife, whereas the neurochemical effect level of 5.4 μg Hg/g dry weight proposed for East Greenland polar bears was exceeded in 93.5% of the cases. These results call for detailed effect studies in main target organs such as brain, liver, kidney, and sexual organs in the Northwest Greenland polar bears.

  8. Anthropogenic flank attack on polar bears: Interacting consequences of climate warming and pollutant exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjørn Munro Jenssen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus are subjected to several anthropogenic threats, climate warming and exposure to pollutants being two of these. For polar bears, one of the main effects of climate warming is limited access to prey, due to loss of their sea ice habitat. This will result in prolonged fasting periods and emaciation and condition related negative effects on survival and reproduction success. Prolonged fasting will result in increases of the tissue concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs in polar bears, and thus increase the probability for POP levels to exceed threshold levels for effects on health, and thus on reproductive success and survival. There are clear potentials for interactions between impacts of climate warming and impacts of pollutant exposure on polar bears. It is likely that that fasting-induced increases of POPs will add to mortality rates and decrease reproductive success beyond effects caused by loss of habitat alone. However, there is a lack of studies that have addressed this. Thus, there is a need to focus on population effects of POP exposure in polar bears, and to consider such effects in relation to the effects of climate induced habitat loss.

  9. Population ecology of polar bears in Davis Strait, Canada and Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Laake, Jeffrey L.; Stirling, Ian

    2013-01-01

    Until recently, the sea ice habitat of polar bears was understood to be variable, but environmental variability was considered to be cyclic or random, rather than progressive. Harvested populations were believed to be at levels where density effects were considered not significant. However, because we now understand that polar bear demography can also be influenced by progressive change in the environment, and some populations have increased to greater densities than historically lower numbers, a broader suite of factors should be considered in demographic studies and management. We analyzed 35 years of capture and harvest data from the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulation in Davis Strait, including data from a new study (2005–2007), to quantify its current demography. We estimated the population size in 2007 to be 2,158 ± 180 (SE), a likely increase from the 1970s. We detected variation in survival, reproductive rates, and age-structure of polar bears from geographic sub-regions. Survival and reproduction of bears in southern Davis Strait was greater than in the north and tied to a concurrent dramatic increase in breeding harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus) in Labrador. The most supported survival models contained geographic and temporal variables. Harp seal abundance was significantly related to polar bear survival. Our estimates of declining harvest recovery rate, and increasing total survival, suggest that the rate of harvest declined over time. Low recruitment rates, average adult survival rates, and high population density, in an environment of high prey density, but deteriorating and variable ice conditions, currently characterize the Davis Strait polar bears. Low reproductive rates may reflect negative effects of greater densities or worsening ice conditions.

  10. Response to comment on "Nuclear genomic sequences reveal that polar bears are an old and distinct bear lineage".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hailer, Frank; Kutschera, Verena E; Hallström, Björn M; Fain, Steven R; Leonard, Jennifer A; Arnason, Ulfur; Janke, Axel

    2013-03-29

    Nakagome et al. reanalyzed some of our data and assert that we cannot refute the mitochondrial DNA-based scenario for polar bear evolution. Their single-locus test statistic is strongly affected by introgression and incomplete lineage sorting, whereas our multilocus approaches are better suited to recover the true species relationships. Indeed, our sister-lineage model receives high support in a Bayesian model comparison.

  11. The temporal and geographical mercury patterns in polar bears and birds of prey

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, R.; Riget, F.; Olsen, M.T.

    2004-01-01

    Mercury compounds are bio-accumulated. As a consequence the highest levels of mercury are measured in top predators like seals, toothed whales, polar bears, and also humans. The main mercury source for humans is the diet but the processes that links emission with effects through the transport chain...... a model has to be developed that can explain the observed levels and inter compartment transport patterns. Finally scenario calculations have to be performed to demonstrate the sensitivity of the model and the system towards changes in climate, emissions and the food web.......-tailed eagle). The increase of these time series ranged between 0.008 mg/kg dw per year to 0.05 mg/kg dw per year. The present joint effort aiming at understanding the link between transport, deposition and bioaccumulation in the Arctic environment shows that such a model is not easily established. However...

  12. Size and density of East Greenland polar bear (Ursus maritimus) skulls

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.; Bechshøft, T.O.; Rigét, F.F.

    2013-01-01

    There is an increasing interest in assessing the relationship between climatic oscillations, environmental contaminants and the modelling of animal physiological and morphological responses. We therefore undertook a study of skull condylobasal length (CBL; reflecting body size) and bone mineral...... density (BMD) in 87 East Greenland male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in the time period of 1892-2010. The purpose of the study was to investigate if these measures are potential candidates as indicators for stress associated with climate change and long-range transported toxic industrial...... positive correlations with CBL were found for DDT, dieldrin and PBDE (all p climate index no significant relationship was found for BMD (p = 0.97, r = -0.01, n = 27) nor CBL (p = 0.31, r = -0.2, n = 27). We therefore suggest...

  13. A novel x-ray circularly polarized ranging method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Shi-Bin; Xu, Lu-Ping; Zhang, Hua; Gao, Na; Shen, Yang-He

    2015-05-01

    Range measurement has found multiple applications in deep space missions. With more and further deep space exploration activities happening now and in the future, the requirement for range measurement has risen. In view of the future ranging requirement, a novel x-ray polarized ranging method based on the circular polarization modulation is proposed, termed as x-ray circularly polarized ranging (XCPolR). XCPolR utilizes the circular polarization modulation to process x-ray signals and the ranging information is conveyed by the circular polarization states. As the circular polarization states present good stability in space propagation and x-ray detectors have light weight and low power consumption, XCPolR shows great potential in the long-distance range measurement and provides an option for future deep space ranging. In this paper, we present a detailed illustration of XCPolR. Firstly, the structure of the polarized ranging system is described and the signal models in the ranging process are established mathematically. Then, the main factors that affect the ranging accuracy, including the Doppler effect, the differential demodulation, and the correlation error, are analyzed theoretically. Finally, numerical simulation is carried out to evaluate the performance of XCPolR. Projects supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61172138 and 61401340), the Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China (Grant No. 2013JQ8040), the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (Grant No. 20130203120004), the Open Research Fund of the Academy of Satellite Application, China (Grant No. 2014 CXJJ-DH 12), the Xi’an Science and Technology Plan, China (Grant No. CXY1350(4)), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities, China (Grant Nos. 201413B, 201412B, and JB141303), and the Open Fund of Key Laboratory of Precision Navigation and Timing Technology, National Time Service Center, Chinese

  14. Design of a 9K illumina BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from RAD and transcriptome sequencing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malenfant, René M; Coltman, David W; Davis, Corey S

    2015-05-01

    Single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) offer numerous advantages over anonymous markers such as microsatellites, including improved estimation of population parameters, finer-scale resolution of population structure and more precise genomic dissection of quantitative traits. However, many SNPs are needed to equal the resolution of a single microsatellite, and reliable large-scale genotyping of SNPs remains a challenge in nonmodel species. Here, we document the creation of a 9K Illumina Infinium BeadChip for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), which will be used to investigate: (i) the fine-scale population structure among Canadian polar bears and (ii) the genomic architecture of phenotypic traits in the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation. To this end, we used restriction-site associated DNA (RAD) sequencing from 38 bears across their circumpolar range, as well as blood/fat transcriptome sequencing of 10 individuals from Western Hudson Bay. Six-thousand RAD SNPs and 3000 transcriptomic SNPs were selected for the chip, based primarily on genomic spacing and gene function respectively. Of the 9000 SNPs ordered from Illumina, 8042 were successfully printed, and - after genotyping 1450 polar bears - 5441 of these SNPs were found to be well clustered and polymorphic. Using this array, we show rapid linkage disequilibrium decay among polar bears, we demonstrate that in a subsample of 78 individuals, our SNPs detect known genetic structure more clearly than 24 microsatellites genotyped for the same individuals and that these results are not driven by the SNP ascertainment scheme. Here, we present one of the first large-scale genotyping resources designed for a threatened species. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Polar and brown bear genomes reveal ancient admixture and demographic footprints of past climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Webb; Schuster, Stephan C; Welch, Andreanna J; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C; Zhao, Fangqing; Kim, Hie Lim; Burhans, Richard C; Drautz, Daniela I; Wittekindt, Nicola E; Tomsho, Lynn P; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Peacock, Elizabeth; Farley, Sean; Sage, George K; Rode, Karyn; Obbard, Martyn; Montiel, Rafael; Bachmann, Lutz; Ingólfsson, Olafur; Aars, Jon; Mailund, Thomas; Wiig, Oystein; Talbot, Sandra L; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2012-09-04

    Polar bears (PBs) are superbly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and have become emblematic of the threat to biodiversity from global climate change. Their divergence from the lower-latitude brown bear provides a textbook example of rapid evolution of distinct phenotypes. However, limited mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence conflicts in the timing of PB origin as well as placement of the species within versus sister to the brown bear lineage. We gathered extensive genomic sequence data from contemporary polar, brown, and American black bear samples, in addition to a 130,000- to 110,000-y old PB, to examine this problem from a genome-wide perspective. Nuclear DNA markers reflect a species tree consistent with expectation, showing polar and brown bears to be sister species. However, for the enigmatic brown bears native to Alaska's Alexander Archipelago, we estimate that not only their mitochondrial genome, but also 5-10% of their nuclear genome, is most closely related to PBs, indicating ancient admixture between the two species. Explicit admixture analyses are consistent with ancient splits among PBs, brown bears and black bears that were later followed by occasional admixture. We also provide paleodemographic estimates that suggest bear evolution has tracked key climate events, and that PB in particular experienced a prolonged and dramatic decline in its effective population size during the last ca. 500,000 years. We demonstrate that brown bears and PBs have had sufficiently independent evolutionary histories over the last 4-5 million years to leave imprints in the PB nuclear genome that likely are associated with ecological adaptation to the Arctic environment.

  16. Polar and brown bear genomes reveal ancient admixture and demographic footprints of past climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Webb; Schuster, Stephan C.; Welch, Andreanna J.; Ratan, Aakrosh; Bedoya-Reina, Oscar C.; Zhao, Fangqing; Kim, Hie Lim; Burhans, Richard C.; Drautz, Daniela I.; Wittekindt, Nicola E.; Tomsho, Lynn P.; Ibarra-Laclette, Enrique; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Peacock, Elizabeth; Farley, Sean; Sage, George K.; Rode, Karyn; Obbard, Martyn E.; Montiel, Rafael; Bachmann, Lutz; Ingólfsson, Ólafur; Aars, Jon; Mailund, Thomas; Wiig, Øystein; Talbot, Sandra L.; Lindqvist, Charlotte

    2012-01-01

    Polar bears (PBs) are superbly adapted to the extreme Arctic environment and have become emblematic of the threat to biodiversity from global climate change. Their divergence from the lower-latitude brown bear provides a textbook example of rapid evolution of distinct phenotypes. However, limited mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence conflicts in the timing of PB origin as well as placement of the species within versus sister to the brown bear lineage. We gathered extensive genomic sequence data from contemporary polar, brown, and American black bear samples, in addition to a 130,000- to 110,000-y old PB, to examine this problem from a genome-wide perspective. Nuclear DNA markers reflect a species tree consistent with expectation, showing polar and brown bears to be sister species. However, for the enigmatic brown bears native to Alaska's Alexander Archipelago, we estimate that not only their mitochondrial genome, but also 5–10% of their nuclear genome, is most closely related to PBs, indicating ancient admixture between the two species. Explicit admixture analyses are consistent with ancient splits among PBs, brown bears and black bears that were later followed by occasional admixture. We also provide paleodemographic estimates that suggest bear evolution has tracked key climate events, and that PB in particular experienced a prolonged and dramatic decline in its effective population size during the last ca. 500,000 years. We demonstrate that brown bears and PBs have had sufficiently independent evolutionary histories over the last 4–5 million years to leave imprints in the PB nuclear genome that likely are associated with ecological adaptation to the Arctic environment.

  17. Polar Bear Optimization Algorithm: Meta-Heuristic with Fast Population Movement and Dynamic Birth and Death Mechanism

    OpenAIRE

    Dawid Połap; Marcin Woz´niak

    2017-01-01

    In the proposed article, we present a nature-inspired optimization algorithm, which we called Polar Bear Optimization Algorithm (PBO). The inspiration to develop the algorithm comes from the way polar bears hunt to survive in harsh arctic conditions. These carnivorous mammals are active all year round. Frosty climate, unfavorable to other animals, has made polar bears adapt to the specific mode of exploration and hunting in large areas, not only over ice but also water. The proposed novel mat...

  18. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the effects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and biometric variables on circulating levels of steroid hormones (androgens, estrogens and progestagens) in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway (n = 23). Levels of pregnenolone (PRE......), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma.......57-12.4 for subadults, 1.02-83.7 for adults), 0.09-2.69 and 0.57-2.44 nmol/L, respectively. The steroid profiles suggest that sex steroids were mainly synthesized through the Δ-4 pathway in male polar bears. The ratio between androgens and estrogens significantly depended on sexual maturity with androgen...

  19. Polar bear and walrus response to the rapid decline in Arctic sea ice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, K.; Whalen, M.; Douglas, D.; Udevitz, M.; Atwood, T.; Jay, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to positive climate feedbacks associated with loss of snow and ice. One highly visible consequence has been a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 3 decades - a decline projected to continue and result in ice-free summers likely as soon as 2030. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the Pacific walrus (Odobenus rosmarus divergens) are dependent on sea ice over the continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean's marginal seas. The continental shelves are shallow regions with high biological productivity, supporting abundant marine life within the water column and on the sea floor. Polar bears use sea ice as a platform for hunting ice seals; walruses use sea ice as a resting platform between dives to forage for clams and other bottom-dwelling invertebrates. How have sea ice changes affected polar bears and walruses? How will anticipated changes affect them in the future?

  20. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus mating during late June on the pack ice of northern Svalbard, Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas G. Smith

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears are seasonal breeders and typically mate from late March to early May. Implantation is, however, delayed until autumn, which can allow plasticity in the date of mating. As for other seasonal breeders, a rapid return to estrus after the loss of dependent offspring can be expected, even into the summer. A few earlier observations and dissections of dead animals suggest that polar bears are able to mate in summer. We report on a mating incident on 29 June 2014, the first documented mating this late in the season among wild polar bears. The female had lost her dependent cub during the period prior to the mating event. We speculate that she lost this cub late in the mating season, entered estrus and successfully mated in late June.

  1. Hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls decrease circulating steroids in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    As a top predator in the Arctic food chain, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are exposed to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Because several of these compounds have been reported to alter endocrine pathways, such as the steroidogenesis, potential disruption of the sex steroid...... synthesis by POPs may cause implications for reproduction by interfering with ovulation, implantation and fertility. Blood samples were collected from 15 female polar bears in Svalbard (Norway) in April 2008. The concentrations of nine circulating steroid hormones; dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA......-metabolites (hydroxylated PCBs [OH-PCBs] and hydroxylated PBDEs [OH-PBDEs]), steroid hormones, biological and capture variables in female polar bears. Inverse correlations were found between circulating levels of PRE and AN, and circulating levels of OH-PCBs. There were no significant relationships between the steroid...

  2. Three decades (1983-2010) of contaminant trends in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Part 2

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dietz, Rune; Rigét, Frank F; Sonne, Christian

    2013-01-01

    Legacy organochlorine contaminants were determined in adipose tissues from 294 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) sampled in East Greenland in 23 of the 28years between 1983 and 2010. Of 19 major legacy contaminants and congeners (ΣPCB, 4 PCB congeners (CB153, 180, 170/190), ΣDDT, p,p'-DDE, p,p' -DDD...... and p,p'-DDT, α- and β-hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), HCB, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin, oxychlordane, cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, heptachlor epoxide and BB-153), 18 showed statistically significant average yearly declines of -4.4% (range: -2.0 to -10.8%/year) among subadult polar...... bears (i.e. females...

  3. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C; Deweaver, Eric T; Douglas, David C; Marcot, Bruce G; Durner, George M; Bitz, Cecilia M; Bailey, David A

    2010-12-16

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here we show, using a general circulation model, that substantially more sea-ice habitat would be retained if greenhouse gas rise is mitigated. We also show, with Bayesian network model outcomes, that increased habitat retention under greenhouse gas mitigation means that polar bears could persist throughout the century in greater numbers and more areas than in the business-as-usual case. Our general circulation model outcomes did not reveal thresholds leading to irreversible loss of ice; instead, a linear relationship between global mean surface air temperature and sea-ice habitat substantiated the hypothesis that sea-ice thermodynamics can overcome albedo feedbacks proposed to cause sea-ice tipping points. Our outcomes indicate that rapid summer ice losses in models and observations represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than tipping-point behaviour. Mitigation-driven Bayesian network outcomes show that previously predicted declines in polar bear distribution and numbers are not unavoidable. Because polar bears are sentinels of the Arctic marine ecosystem and trends in their sea-ice habitats foreshadow future global changes, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to improve polar bear status would have conservation benefits throughout

  4. Polar Bear Conservation Status in Relation to Projected Sea-ice Conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, E. V.

    2015-12-01

    The status of the world's 19 subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) varies as a function of sea-ice conditions, ecology, management, and other factors. Previous methods to project the response of polar bears to loss of Arctic sea ice—the primary threat to the species—include expert opinion surveys, Bayesian Networks providing qualitative stressor assessments, and subpopulations-specific demographic analyses. Here, we evaluated the global conservation status of polar bears using a data-based sensitivity analysis. First, we estimated generation length for subpopulations with available data (n=11). Second, we developed standardized sea-ice metrics representing habitat availability. Third, we projected global population size under alternative assumptions for relationships between sea ice and subpopulation abundance. Estimated generation length (median = 11.4 years; 95%CI = 9.8 to 13.6) and sea-ice change (median = loss of 1.26 ice-covered days per year; 95%CI = 0.70 to 3.37) varied across subpopulations. Assuming a one-to-one proportional relationship between sea ice and abundance, the median percent change in global population size over three polar bear generations was -30% (95%CI = -35% to -25%). Assuming a linear relationship between sea ice and normalized estimates of subpopulation abundance, median percent change was -4% (95% CI = -62% to +50%) or -43% (95% CI = -76% to -20%), depending on how subpopulations were grouped and how inference was extended from relatively well-studied subpopulations (n=7) to those with little or no data. Our findings suggest the potential for large reductions in polar bear numbers over the next three polar bear generations if sea-ice loss due to climate change continues as forecasted.

  5. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; Deweaver, E.T.; Douglas, D.C.; Marcot, B.G.; Durner, G.M.; Bitz, C.M.; Bailey, D.A.

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the worlds polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation. A key question is whether temperature increases lead to proportional losses of sea-ice habitat, or whether sea-ice cover crosses a tipping point and irreversibly collapses when temperature reaches a critical threshold. Such a tipping point would mean future greenhouse gas mitigation would confer no conservation benefits to polar bears. Here we show, using a general circulation model, that substantially more sea-ice habitat would be retained if greenhouse gas rise is mitigated. We also show, with Bayesian network model outcomes, that increased habitat retention under greenhouse gas mitigation means that polar bears could persist throughout the century in greater numbers and more areas than in the business-as-usual case. Our general circulation model outcomes did not reveal thresholds leading to irreversible loss of ice; instead, a linear relationship between global mean surface air temperature and sea-ice habitat substantiated the hypothesis that sea-ice thermodynamics can overcome albedo feedbacks proposed to cause sea-ice tipping points. Our outcomes indicate that rapid summer ice losses in models and observations represent increased volatility of a thinning sea-ice cover, rather than tipping-point behaviour. Mitigation-driven Bayesian network outcomes show that previously predicted declines in polar bear distribution and numbers are not unavoidable. Because polar bears are sentinels of the Arctic marine ecosystem and trends in their sea-ice habitats foreshadow future global changes, mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to improve polar bear status would have conservation benefits throughout

  6. Resilience and risk: a demographic model to inform conservation planning for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is having widespread ecological effects, including loss of Arctic sea ice. This has led to listing of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and other ice-dependent marine mammals under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Methods are needed to evaluate the effects of climate change on population persistence to inform recovery planning for listed species. For polar bears, this includes understanding interactions between climate and secondary factors, such as subsistence harvest, which provide economic, nutritional, or cultural value to humans.

  7. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E; Greenwood, Alex D

    2015-11-24

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.

  8. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyriakos Tsangaras

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV. Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos and black bear (Ursus americanus but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals.

  9. An Evolutionarily Young Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Endogenous Retrovirus Identified from Next Generation Sequence Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Mayer, Jens; Alquezar-Planas, David E.; Greenwood, Alex D.

    2015-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) tissues identified sequences with similarity to Porcine Endogenous Retroviruses (PERV). Based on these sequences, four proviral copies and 15 solo long terminal repeats (LTRs) of a newly described endogenous retrovirus were characterized from the polar bear draft genome sequence. Closely related sequences were identified by PCR analysis of brown bear (Ursus arctos) and black bear (Ursus americanus) but were absent in non-Ursinae bear species. The virus was therefore designated UrsusERV. Two distinct groups of LTRs were observed including a recombinant ERV that contained one LTR belonging to each group indicating that genomic invasions by at least two UrsusERV variants have recently occurred. Age estimates based on proviral LTR divergence and conservation of integration sites among ursids suggest the viral group is only a few million years old. The youngest provirus was polar bear specific, had intact open reading frames (ORFs) and could potentially encode functional proteins. Phylogenetic analyses of UrsusERV consensus protein sequences suggest that it is part of a pig, gibbon and koala retrovirus clade. The young age estimates and lineage specificity of the virus suggests UrsusERV is a recent cross species transmission from an unknown reservoir and places the viral group among the youngest of ERVs identified in mammals. PMID:26610552

  10. A novel endogenous betaretrovirus group characterized from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mayer, Jens; Tsangaras, Kyriakos; Heeger, Felix

    2013-01-01

    . Molecular dating indicates the group originated before the divergence of bears from a common ancestor but is not present in all carnivores. Closely related sequences were identified in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) and characterized from its genome. We have designated the polar bear and giant...... panda sequences U. maritimus endogenous retrovirus (UmaERV) and A. melanoleuca endogenous retrovirus (AmeERV), respectively. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that the bear virus group is nested within the HERV-K supergroup among bovine and bat endogenous retroviruses suggesting a complex evolutionary...

  11. Estimating the abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation with aerial surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obbard, Martyn E.; Stapleton, Seth P.; Middel, Kevin R.; Thibault, Isabelle; Brodeur, Vincent; Jutras, Charles

    2015-01-01

    The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) polar bear subpopulation occurs at the southern extent of the species’ range. Although capture–recapture studies indicate abundance was likely unchanged between 1986 and 2005, declines in body condition and survival occurred during the period, possibly foreshadowing a future decrease in abundance. To obtain a current estimate of abundance, we conducted a comprehensive line transect aerial survey of SH during 2011–2012. We stratified the study site by anticipated densities and flew coastal contour transects and systematically spaced inland transects in Ontario and on Akimiski Island and large offshore islands in 2011. Data were collected with double-observer and distance sampling protocols. We surveyed small islands in James Bay and eastern Hudson Bay and flew a comprehensive transect along the Québec coastline in 2012. We observed 667 bears in Ontario and on Akimiski Island and nearby islands in 2011, and we sighted 80 bears on offshore islands during 2012. Mark–recapture distance sampling and sight–resight models yielded an estimate of 860 (SE = 174) for the 2011 study area. Our estimate of abundance for the entire SH subpopulation (943; SE = 174) suggests that abundance is unlikely to have changed significantly since 1986. However, this result should be interpreted cautiously because of the methodological differences between historical studies (physical capture–recapture) and this survey. A conservative management approach is warranted given previous increases in duration of the ice-free season, which are predicted to continue in the future, and previously documented declines in body condition and vital rates.

  12. Estimating abundance of the Southern Hudson Bay polar bear subpopulation using aerial surveys, 2011 and 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obbard, Martyn E.; Middel, Kevin R.; Stapleton, Seth P.; Thibault, Isabelle; Brodeur, Vincent; Jutras, Charles

    2013-01-01

    The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) polar bear subpopulation occurs at the southern extent of the species’ range. Although capture-recapture studies indicate that abundance remained stable between 1986 and 2005, declines in body condition and survival were documented during the period, possibly foreshadowing a future decrease in abundance. To obtain a current estimate of abundance, we conducted a comprehensive line transect aerial survey of SH during 2011–2012. We stratified the study site by anticipated densities and flew coastal contour transects and systematically spaced inland transects in Ontario and on Akimiski Island and large offshore islands in 2011. Data were collected with double observer and distance sampling protocols. We also surveyed small islands in Hudson Bay and James Bay and flew a comprehensive transect along the Québec coastline in 2012. We observed 667 bears in Ontario and on Akimiski Island and nearby islands in 2011, and we sighted 80 bears on offshore islands during 2012. Mark-recapture distance sampling and sightresight models yielded a model-averaged estimate of 868 (SE: 177) for the 2011 study area. Our estimate of abundance for the entire SH subpopulation (951; SE: 177) suggests that abundance has remained unchanged. However, this result should be interpreted cautiously because of the methodological differences between historical studies (physical capture) and this survey. A conservative management approach is warranted given the previous increases in the duration of the ice-free season, which are predicted to continue in the future, and previously documented declines in body condition and vital rates.

  13. Evaluating and ranking threats to the long-term persistence of polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Marcot, Bruce G.; Douglas, David C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Rode, Karyn D.; Durner, George M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.

    2015-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) was listed as a globally threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008, mostly due to the significant threat to their future population viability from rapidly declining Arctic sea ice. A core mandate of the ESA is the development of a recovery plan that identifies steps to maintain viable populations of a listed species. A substantive evaluation of the relative influence of putative threats to population persistence is helpful to recovery planning. Because management actions must often be taken in the face of substantial information gaps, a formalized evaluation hypothesizing potential stressors and their relationships with population persistence can improve identification of relevant conservation actions. To this end, we updated a Bayesian network model previously used to forecast the future status of polar bears worldwide. We used new information on actual and predicted sea ice loss and polar bear responses to evaluate the relative influence of plausible threats and their mitigation through management actions on the persistence of polar bears in four ecoregions. We found that polar bear outcomes worsened over time through the end of the century under both stabilized and unabated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission pathways. Under the unabated pathway (i.e., RCP 8.5), the time it took for polar bear populations in two of four ecoregions to reach a dominant probability of greatly decreased was hastened by about 25 years. Under the stabilized GHG emission pathway (i.e., RCP 4.5), where GHG emissions peak around the year 2040, the polar bear population in the Archipelago Ecoregion of High Arctic Canada never reached a dominant probability of greatly decreased, reinforcing earlier suggestions of this ecoregion’s potential to serve as a long-term refugium. The most influential drivers of adverse polar bear outcomes were declines to overall sea ice conditions and to the marine prey base. Improved sea ice conditions

  14. Demography and behavior of polar bears summering on land in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Lily

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea population (SB) are spending increased time on the coastal North Slope of Alaska between July and October (Gleason and Rode 2010). The duration spent on land by polar bears, satellite collared on the sea-ice in the spring, during the summer and fall has also increased (USGS, unpublished data; Figure 1). This change in polar bear ecology has relevance for human-bear interactions, subsistence harvest, prevalence of defense kills, and disturbance associated with existing land-based development [e.g., National Petroleum Reserve of Alaska (NPRA), Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR)], Native Alaskan communities, recreation (ANWR) and tourism (e.g., bear viewing in Kaktovik, AK). These activities have the potential to impact, in new ways, the status of the entire SB population. Concomitantly, the change in polar bear ecology will impact these human activities, and a base-line characterization of this phenomenon can better inform mitigation (e.g., industry permitting under the Endangered Species Act and Marine Mammal Protection Act). In this study we aim to characterize the demography, habitat-use, and aspects of foraging ecology and health of polar bears spending fall on land. The SB population is characterized by a divergent-sea ice ecology, where polar bears typically spend most of the year on the sea-ice, even as the pack ice retreats northward, away from the coast, to its minimal extent in September (Amstrup et al. 2008; Durner et al. 2009). From 2000 – 2005, using coastal aerial surveys, Schliebe et al. (2008) observed between 3.7 and 8% of polar bears from SB (~ 60 – 120 of 1526, Regher et al. 2006) on land during the autumn. Sighting probability was not estimated in these surveys, and therefore the numbers represent minimum numbers of bears on land. Our analysis of USGS data suggest an annual average of 15% (± 3%, SE) of polar bears satellite-tagged on the spring-time sea ice (total n = 18 of 124

  15. A tale of two polar bear populations: Ice habitat, harvest, and body condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, K.D.; Peacock, E.; Taylor, M.; Stirling, I.; Born, E.W.; Laidre, K.L.; Wiig, O.

    2012-01-01

    One of the primary mechanisms by which sea ice loss is expected to affect polar bears is via reduced body condition and growth resulting from reduced access to prey. To date, negative effects of sea ice loss have been documented for two of 19 recognized populations. Effects of sea ice loss on other polar bear populations that differ in harvest rate, population density, and/or feeding ecology have been assumed, but empirical support, especially quantitative data on population size, demography, and/or body condition spanning two or more decades, have been lacking. We examined trends in body condition metrics of captured bears and relationships with summertime ice concentration between 1977 and 2010 for the Baffin Bay (BB) and Davis Strait (DS) polar bear populations. Polar bears in these regions occupy areas with annual sea ice that has decreased markedly starting in the 1990s. Despite differences in harvest rate, population density, sea ice concentration, and prey base, polar bears in both populations exhibited positive relationships between body condition and summertime sea ice cover during the recent period of sea ice decline. Furthermore, females and cubs exhibited relationships with sea ice that were not apparent during the earlier period (1977-1990s) when sea ice loss did not occur. We suggest that declining body condition in BB may be a result of recent declines in sea ice habitat. In DS, high population density and/or sea ice loss, may be responsible for the declines in body condition. ?? 2011 The Society of Population Ecology and Springer.

  16. Brown and polar bear Y chromosomes reveal extensive male-biased gene flow within brother lineages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidon, Tobias; Janke, Axel; Fain, Steven R; Eiken, Hans Geir; Hagen, Snorre B; Saarma, Urmas; Hallström, Björn M; Lecomte, Nicolas; Hailer, Frank

    2014-06-01

    Brown and polar bears have become prominent examples in phylogeography, but previous phylogeographic studies relied largely on maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) or were geographically restricted. The male-specific Y chromosome, a natural counterpart to mtDNA, has remained underexplored. Although this paternally inherited chromosome is indispensable for comprehensive analyses of phylogeographic patterns, technical difficulties and low variability have hampered its application in most mammals. We developed 13 novel Y-chromosomal sequence and microsatellite markers from the polar bear genome and screened these in a broad geographic sample of 130 brown and polar bears. We also analyzed a 390-kb-long Y-chromosomal scaffold using sequencing data from published male ursine genomes. Y chromosome evidence support the emerging understanding that brown and polar bears started to diverge no later than the Middle Pleistocene. Contrary to mtDNA patterns, we found 1) brown and polar bears to be reciprocally monophyletic sister (or rather brother) lineages, without signals of introgression, 2) male-biased gene flow across continents and on phylogeographic time scales, and 3) male dispersal that links the Alaskan ABC islands population to mainland brown bears. Due to female philopatry, mtDNA provides a highly structured estimate of population differentiation, while male-biased gene flow is a homogenizing force for nuclear genetic variation. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing both maternally and paternally inherited loci for a comprehensive view of phylogeographic history, and that mtDNA-based phylogeographic studies of many mammals should be reevaluated. Recent advances in sequencing technology render the analysis of Y-chromosomal variation feasible, even in nonmodel organisms. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e

  17. Temporal complexity of southern Beaufort Sea polar bear diets during a period of increasing land use

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd C.; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    From 2000 to 2013, use of land as a seasonal habitat by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea (SB) subpopulation substantially increased. This onshore use has been linked to reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice, as well as to the availability of subsistence-harvested bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) bone piles. Here, we evaluated the role of climate conditions on consumption of traditional ice-associated prey relative to onshore bowhead whale bone piles. We determined seasonal and interannual trends in the diets of SB polar bears using fatty acid-based analysis during this period of increasing land use. Diet estimates of 569 SB polar bears from 2004 to 2012 showed high seasonal fluctuations in the proportions of prey consumed. Higher proportions of bowhead whale, as well as ringed seal (Pusa hispida) and beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), were estimated to occur in the winter–spring diet, while higher proportions of bearded seal (Erignathus barbatus) were estimated for summer–fall diets. Trends in the annual mean proportions of individual prey items were not found in either period, except for significant declines in the proportion of beluga in spring-sampled bears. Nonetheless, in years following a high winter Arctic oscillation index, proportions of ice-associated ringed seal were lower in the winter–spring diets of adult females and juveniles. Proportions of bowhead increased in the winter–spring diets of adult males with the number of ice-free days over the continental shelf. In one or both seasons, polar bears that were in better condition were estimated to have consumed less ringed seal and/or more bowhead whale than those in worse condition. Therefore, climate variation over this recent period appeared to influence the extent of onshore vs. on-ice food use, which in turn, appeared to be linked to fluctuating condition of SB polar bears.

  18. An Interglacial Polar Bear and an Early Weichselian Glaciation at Poolepynten, Western Svalbard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingolfsson, O.; Alexanderson, H.

    2012-12-01

    Recent discovery of a subfossil polar bear (Ursus maritimus) jawbone in the Poolepynten coastal cliff sequence, western Svalbard (Ingolfsson & Wiig, 2009), and its implications for the natural history of the polar bear (Lindqvist et al. 2010; Miller et al. 2012), motivated an effort to better constrain the environmental history and age envelope of the Poolepynten sediment sequence, particularly the lithostratigraphy of the coastal cliffs with emphasis on re-dating the sequence using the optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating technique. We report a revised lithostratigraphy and nine new OSL ages. It is concluded that the Poolepynten sequence holds evidence of four regional glaciation events, recorded in the strata as erosional unconformities and/or glacial deposits followed by shallow-marine deposition signifying transgressions and subsequent glacio-isostatic rebound and regression. Our OSL ages refine previous age determinations (14C and IRSL) and support the interpretation that the subfossil polar bear jawbone is of last interglacial (Eemian) age (Alexanderson et al. in press). References: Alexanderson, H., Ingolfsson, O., Murray, A.S. & Dudek, J. in press. An Interglacial Polar Bear and an Early Weichselian Glaciation at Poolepynten, Western Svalbard. Boreas 00, 000-000. Ingolfsson, O. & Wiig, O. 2009. Late Pleistocene fossil find in Svalbard: the oldest remains of a polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1744) ever discovered. Polar Research 28, 455-466. Lindqvist, C., Schuster, S. C., Sun, Y., Talbot, S. L., Qi, J., Ratan, A., Tomsho, L. P., Kasson, L., Zeyl, E., Aars, J., Miller, W., Ingólfsson, Ó., Bachmann, L. & Wiig, Ø. 2010. Complete mitochondrial genome of a Pleistocene jawbone unveils the origin of polar bear. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 107, 5053-5057. Miller, W., Schuster, S. C., Welch, A. J., Ratan, A., Bedoya-Reina, O. C., Zhao, F., Kim, H. L., Burhans, R.C., Drautz, D.I., Wittekindt, N.E., Tomsho, L.P., Ibarra-Laclette, E

  19. A new derivation for journal bearing stiffness and damping coefficients in polar coordinates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J. K.; Khonsari, M. M.

    2006-02-01

    A general derivation for obtaining bearing dynamic coefficients in polar coordinates is presented. It is shown that this derivation is simple and consistent with the commonly used formulae for the linearized stiffness and damping coefficients. What is more important is that the physical meaning of this derivation is clearer and simpler.

  20. Transthyretin-Binding Activity of Contaminants in Blood from Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Cubs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bytingsvik, J.; Simon, E.; Leonards, P.E.G.; Lamoree, M.H.; Lie, E.; Aars, J.; Derocher, A. E.; Wiig, O.; Jenssen, B.M.; Hamers, T.

    2013-01-01

    We determined the transthyretin (TTR)-binding activity of blood-accumulating contaminants in blood plasma samples of approximately 4-months-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs from Svalbard sampled in 1998 and 2008. The TTR-binding activity was measured as thyroxine (T4)-like equivalents (T4-EQ

  1. Experiencing polar bears in the zoo: feelings and cognitions in relation to a visitor's conservation attitude

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marseille, M.M.; Elands, B.H.M.; Brink, van den M.L.

    2012-01-01

    This article explores which feelings and cognitions are involved in visitor experiences of zoo polar bears and how this experience relates to a visitor's conservation attitude. Data were collected through qualitative interviews with 30 visitors in two Dutch zoos. Most respondents believed that a

  2. Breeding facilities for polar bears, Thalarctos maritimus (Phipps, 1774), in captivity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobi, E.F.

    1968-01-01

    The breeding results of Polar Bears in captivity are in general very disappointing. Unsuitable maternity dens are the main cause. These should be completely closed, very quiet without outside disturbances and should have connection with a run and thus with an outside enclosure. The female should be

  3. Xenoendocrine pollutants may reduce size of sexual organs in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Leifsson, Páll Skuli; Dietz, Rune

    2006-01-01

    Reproductive organs from 55 male and 44 female East Greenland polar bears were examined to investigate the potential negative impact from organohalogen pollutants (OHCs). Multiple regressions normalizing for age showed a significant inverse relationship between OHCs and testis length and baculum ...

  4. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven C. Amstrup; Eric T. DeWeaver; David C. Douglas; Bruce G. Marcot; George M. Durner; Cecilia M. Bitz; David A. Bailey

    2010-01-01

    On the basis of projected losses of their essential sea-ice habitats, a United States Geological Survey research team concluded in 2007 that two-thirds of the world's polar bears (Ursus maritimus) could disappear by mid-century if business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions continue. That projection, however, did not consider the possible...

  5. Variation in the response of an Arctic top predator experiencing habitat loss: feeding and reproductive ecology of two polar bear populations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George; Derocher, Andrew E; Thiemann, Gregory W; Budge, Suzanne M

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have experienced substantial changes in the seasonal availability of sea ice habitat in parts of their range, including the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas. In this study, we compared the body size, condition, and recruitment of polar bears captured in the Chukchi and Bering Seas (CS) between two periods (1986-1994 and 2008-2011) when declines in sea ice habitat occurred. In addition, we compared metrics for the CS population 2008-2011 with those of the adjacent southern Beaufort Sea (SB) population where loss in sea ice habitat has been associated with declines in body condition, size, recruitment, and survival. We evaluated how variation in body condition and recruitment were related to feeding ecology. Comparing habitat conditions between populations, there were twice as many reduced ice days over continental shelf waters per year during 2008-2011 in the SB than in the CS. CS polar bears were larger and in better condition, and appeared to have higher reproduction than SB bears. Although SB and CS bears had similar diets, twice as many bears were fasting in spring in the SB than in the CS. Between 1986-1994 and 2008-2011, body size, condition, and recruitment indices in the CS were not reduced despite a 44-day increase in the number of reduced ice days. Bears in the CS exhibited large body size, good body condition, and high indices of recruitment compared to most other populations measured to date. Higher biological productivity and prey availability in the CS relative to the SB, and a shorter recent history of reduced sea ice habitat, may explain the maintenance of condition and recruitment of CS bears. Geographic differences in the response of polar bears to climate change are relevant to range-wide forecasts for this and other ice-dependent species. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  6. Variation in the response of an Arctic top predator experiencing habitat loss: feeding and reproductive ecology of two polar bear populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Regehr, Eric V.; Douglas, David C.; Durner, George; Derocher, Andrew E.; Thiemann, Gregory W.; Budge, Suzanne M.

    2014-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have experienced substantial changes in the seasonal availability of sea ice habitat in parts of their range, including the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas. In this study, we compared the body size, condition, and recruitment of polar bears captured in the Chukchi and Bering Seas (CS) between two periods (1986–1994 and 2008–2011) when declines in sea ice habitat occurred. In addition, we compared metrics for the CS population 2008–2011 with those of the adjacent southern Beaufort Sea (SB) population where loss in sea ice habitat has been associated with declines in body condition, size, recruitment, and survival. We evaluated how variation in body condition and recruitment were related to feeding ecology. Comparing habitat conditions between populations, there were twice as many reduced ice days over continental shelf waters per year during 2008–2011 in the SB than in the CS. CS polar bears were larger and in better condition, and appeared to have higher reproduction than SB bears. Although SB and CS bears had similar diets, twice as many bears were fasting in spring in the SB than in the CS. Between 1986–1994 and 2008–2011, body size, condition, and recruitment indices in the CS were not reduced despite a 44-day increase in the number of reduced ice days. Bears in the CS exhibited large body size, good body condition, and high indices of recruitment compared to most other populations measured to date. Higher biological productivity and prey availability in the CS relative to the SB, and a shorter recent history of reduced sea ice habitat, may explain the maintenance of condition and recruitment of CS bears. Geographic differences in the response of polar bears to climate change are relevant to range-wide forecasts for this and other ice-dependent species.

  7. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea: A 30-year mark-recapture case history

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, T.L.; Stirling, I.

    2001-01-01

    Knowledge of population size and trend is necessary to manage anthropogenic risks to polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Despite capturing over 1,025 females between 1967 and 1998, previously calculated estimates of the size of the southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) population have been unreliable. We improved estimates of numbers of polar bears by modeling heterogeneity in capture probability with covariates. Important covariates referred to the year of the study, age of the bear, capture effort, and geographic location. Our choice of best approximating model was based on the inverse relationship between variance in parameter estimates and likelihood of the fit and suggested a growth from ≈ 500 to over 1,000 females during this study. The mean coefficient of variation on estimates for the last decade of the study was 0.16—the smallest yet derived. A similar model selection approach is recommended for other projects where a best model is not identified by likelihood criteria alone.

  8. Effect-Directed Analysis to Explore the Polar Bear Exposome: the Identification of Thyroid Hormone Disrupting Compounds in Plasma

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Simon, E.; van Velzen, M.J.M.; Brandsma, S.H.; Lie, E.; Loken, K.; de Boer, J.; Bytingsvik, J.; Jenssen, B.M.; Aars, J.; Hamers, T.; Lamoree, M.H.

    2013-01-01

    Compounds with transthyretin (TTR)-binding potency in the blood plasma of polar bear cubs were identified with effect-directed analysis (EDA). This approach contributes to the understanding of the thyroid disrupting exposome of polar bears. The selection of these samples for in-depth EDA was based

  9. Craniometric characteristics of polar bear skulls from two periods with contrasting levels of industrial pollution and sea ice extent

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pertoldi, C.; Sonne, C.; Dietz, R.

    2009-01-01

    A morphometric study was conducted on six skull traits and seven teeth traits of 282 polar bear Ursus maritimus skulls sampled in East Greenland from 1892 to 2002, the polar bear material originated from two distinct periods: one period covering 1892-1939 and the other from 1961-2002. The first p...

  10. Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bromaghin, Jeffrey F; Mcdonald, Trent L; Stirling, Ian; Derocher, Andrew E; Richardson, Evan S; Regehr, Eric V; Douglas, David C; Durner, George M; Atwood, Todd; Amstrup, Steven C

    2015-04-01

    In the southern Beaufort Sea of the United States and Canada, prior investigations have linked declines in summer sea ice to reduced physical condition, growth, and survival of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Combined with projections of population decline due to continued climate warming and the ensuing loss of sea ice habitat, those findings contributed to the 2008 decision to list the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Here, we used mark-recapture models to investigate the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010, years during which the spatial and temporal extent of summer sea ice generally declined. Low survival from 2004 through 2006 led to a 25-50% decline in abundance. We hypothesize that low survival during this period resulted from (1) unfavorable ice conditions that limited access to prey during multiple seasons; and possibly, (2) low prey abundance. For reasons that are not clear, survival of adults and cubs began to improve in 2007 and abundance was comparatively stable from 2008 to 2010, with ~900 bears in 2010 (90% CI 606-1212). However, survival of subadult bears declined throughout the entire period. Reduced spatial and temporal availability of sea ice is expected to increasingly force population dynamics of polar bears as the climate continues to warm. However, in the short term, our findings suggest that factors other than sea ice can influence survival. A refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary to improve projections of their future status and facilitate development of management strategies.

  11. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus), the most evolutionary advanced hibernators, avoid significant bone loss during hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lennox, Alanda R; Goodship, Allen E

    2008-02-01

    Some hibernating animals are known to reduce muscle and bone loss associated with mechanical unloading during prolonged immobilisation,compared to humans. However, here we show that wild pregnant polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are the first known animals to avoid significant bone loss altogether, despite six months of continuous hibernation. Using serum biochemical markers of bone turnover, we showed that concentrations for bone resorption are not significantly increased as a consequence of hibernation in wild polar bears. This is in sharp contrast to previous studies on other hibernating species, where for example, black bears (Ursus americanus), show a 3-4 fold increase in serum bone resorption concentrations posthibernation,and must compensate for this loss through rapid bone recovery on remobilisation, to avoid the risk of fracture. In further contrast to black bears, serum concentrations of bone formation markers were highly significantly increased in pregnant female polar bears compared to non-pregnant,thus non-hibernating females both prior to and after hibernation. However, bone formation concentrations in new mothers were significantly reduced compared to pre-hibernation concentrations. The de-coupling of bone turnover in favour of bone formation prior to hibernation, suggests that wild polar bears may posses a unique physiological mechanism for building bone in protective preparation against expected osteopenia associated with disuse,starvation, and hormonal drives to mobilise calcium for reproduction, during hibernation. Understanding this physiological mechanism could have profound implications for a natural solution for the prevention of osteoporosis in animals subjected to captivity with inadequate space for exercise,humans subjected to prolonged bed rest while recovering from illness, or astronauts exposed to antigravity during spaceflight.© 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls decrease circulating steroids in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Styrishave, Bjarne; Hansen, Martin; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Jenssen, Bjørn M

    2015-04-01

    As a top predator in the Arctic food chain, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are exposed to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Because several of these compounds have been reported to alter endocrine pathways, such as the steroidogenesis, potential disruption of the sex steroid synthesis by POPs may cause implications for reproduction by interfering with ovulation, implantation and fertility. Blood samples were collected from 15 female polar bears in Svalbard (Norway) in April 2008. The concentrations of nine circulating steroid hormones; dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), androstenedione (AN), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2), 17β-estradiol (βE2), pregnenolone (PRE) and progesterone (PRO) were determined. The aim of the study was to investigate associations among circulating levels of specific POP compounds and POP-metabolites (hydroxylated PCBs [OH-PCBs] and hydroxylated PBDEs [OH-PBDEs]), steroid hormones, biological and capture variables in female polar bears. Inverse correlations were found between circulating levels of PRE and AN, and circulating levels of OH-PCBs. There were no significant relationships between the steroid concentrations and other analyzed POPs or the variables capture date and capture location (latitude and longitude), lipid content, condition and body mass. Although statistical associations do not necessarily represent direct cause-effect relationships, the present study indicate that OH-PCBs may affect the circulating levels of AN and PRE in female polar bears and that OH-PCBs thus may interfere with the steroid homeostasis. Increase in PRO and a decrease in AN concentrations suggest that the enzyme CYP17 may be a potential target for OH-PCBs. In combination with natural stressors, ongoing climate change and contaminant exposure, it is possible that OH-PCBs may disturb the reproductive potential of polar bears. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Persistent organochlorine pollutants in ringed seals and polar bears collected from northern Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kucklick, J.R.; Struntz, W.D.J.; Becker, P.R.; York, G.W.; O'Hara, T. M.; Bohonowych, J.E.

    2002-01-01

    Blubber samples from ringed seal (Phoca hispida; n=8) and polar bear subcutaneous fat (Ursus maritimus; n=5) were collected near Barrow, Alaska in 1996 as part of the Alaska Marine Mammal Tissue Archival Project (AMMTAP) and retained in the National Biomonitoring Specimen Bank at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland (USA). The samples were analyzed for a variety of persistent organochlorine pollutants (POPs) including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hexachlorocyclohexanes (HCHs), chlordane and metabolites, hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and DDTs and metabolites. The geometric mean, on a wet mass basis, of ??PCBs (sum of 29 congeners and congener groups) were 732??282 ng/g (1 S.D.) in seals and 3395??1442 ng/g in polar bears. The geometric mean of ??DDTs, ??HCHs (??-, ??- and ??- HCH) and HCB concentrations (wet mass basis) in seals and bears were 562??261 ng/g vs. 74.8??39 ng/g, 380??213 ng/g vs. 515 ng/g, and 17.4??10.1 ng/g vs. 183??153 ng/g, respectively. The geometric mean sum of chlordane (??chlordane, sum of cis- and trans-chlordane, cis- and trans-nonachlor, oxychlordane and heptachlor epoxide) and dieldrin concentrations in ringed seals and polar bears were 753??617 ng/g vs. 720??315 ng/g and 38.6??22.8 ng/g vs. 130??65 ng/g, respectively. Apparent bioaccumulation factors (polar bear/ringed seal POP concentrations) were lower in the animals sampled near Barrow, Alaska than in those from locations in the Canadian Arctic. This suggests that polar bears are also preying on marine mammals from lower trophic levels than the ringed seals with correspondingly lower organochlorine levels, such as bowhead whale carcasses. PCB congener patterns in the samples demonstrated the metabolism of certain PCB congeners in the polar bear relative to the ringed seal in agreement with previous studies. Regional comparisons of animals collected in Alaska and Arctic Canada are presented. Copyright ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.

  14. Reproductive performance in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) may be affected by organohalogen contaminants as shown by physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Gustavson, Kim; Rigét, Frank F.

    2009-01-01

    quotient (RQ) evaluation to more quantitatively evaluate the effect risk on reproduction (embryotoxicity and teratogenicity) based on the critical body residue (CBR) concept and using a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. We applied modelling approaches to PCBs, p,p′-DDE, dieldrin...... effects, including reproductive, were conducted during 1990–2006. However, it has been difficult to determine the nature of the effects induced by OHC exposures on wild caught polar bears using body burden data and associated changes in reproductive organs and systems. We therefore conducted a risk...... in bears in the year 1990 were in the range to elicit possible adverse health effects on reproduction in polar bears in East Greenland (all RQs greater-or-equal, slanted 1). Similar results were found for PCBs (range: 1928–17 376 ng g−1 lw) and PFOS (range: 104–2840 ng g−1 ww) in the year 2000...

  15. Performance and retention of lightweight satellite radio tags applied to the ears of polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Laidre, Kristin L.; Dietz, Rune; Jensen, Mikkel Villum; Durner, George M.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Regehr, Eric V.; St. Martin, Michelle; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Dyck, Markus

    2017-01-01

    BackgroundSatellite telemetry studies provide information that is critical to the conservation and management of species affected by ecological change. Here we report on the performance and retention of two types (SPOT-227 and SPOT-305A) of ear-mounted Argos-linked satellite transmitters (i.e., platform transmitter terminal, or PTT) deployed on free-ranging polar bears in Eastern Greenland, Baffin Bay, Kane Basin, the southern Beaufort Sea, and the Chukchi Sea during 2007–2013.ResultsTransmissions from 142 out of 145 PTTs deployed on polar bears were received for an average of 69.3 days. The average functional longevity, defined as the number of days they transmitted while still attached to polar bears, for SPOT-227 was 56.8 days and for SPOT-305A was 48.6 days. Thirty-four of the 142 (24%) PTTs showed signs of being detached before they stopped transmitting, indicating that tag loss was an important aspect of tag failure. Furthermore, 10 of 26 (38%) bears that were re-observed following application of a PTT had a split ear pinna, suggesting that some transmitters were detached by force. All six PTTs that were still on bears upon recapture had lost the antenna, which indicates that antenna breakage was a significant contributor to PTT failure. Finally, only nine of the 142 (6%) PTTs—three of which were still attached to bears—had a final voltage reading close to the value indicating battery exhaustion. This suggests that battery exhaustion was not a major factor in tag performance.ConclusionsThe average functional longevity of approximately 2 months for ear-mounted PTTs (this study) is poor compared to PTT collars fitted to adult female polar bears, which can last for several years. Early failure of the ear-mounted PTTs appeared to be caused primarily by detachment from the ear or antenna breakage. We suggest that much smaller and lighter ear-mounted transmitters are necessary to reduce the risk of tissue irritation, tissue damage, and tag detachment, and

  16. Perfluoroalkyl substances in polar bear mother-cub pairs: a comparative study based on plasma levels from 1998 and 2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bytingsvik, Jenny; van Leeuwen, Stefan P J; Hamers, Timo; Swart, Kees; Aars, Jon; Lie, Elisabeth; Nilsen, Else Mari Espseth; Wiig, Oystein; Derocher, Andrew E; Jenssen, Bjørn M

    2012-11-15

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are protein-binding blood-accumulating contaminants that may have detrimental toxicological effects on the early phases of mammalian development. To enable an evaluation of the potential health risks of PFAS exposure for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), an exposure assessment was made by examining plasma levels of PFASs in polar bear mothers in relation to their suckling cubs-of-the-year (~4 months old). Samples were collected at Svalbard in 1998 and 2008, and we investigated the between-year differences in levels of PFASs. Seven perfluorinated carboxylic acids (∑₇PFCAs: PFHpA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA, PFDoDA, and PFTrDA) and two perfluorinated sulfonic acids (∑₂PFSAs: PFHxS and PFOS) were detected in the majority of the mothers and cubs from both years. In mothers and cubs, most PFCAs were detected in higher concentrations in 2008 than in 1998. On the contrary, levels of PFOS were lower in 2008 than in 1998, while levels of PFHxS did not differ between the two sampling years. PFOS was the dominating compound in mothers and cubs both in 1998 and in 2008. Concentration of PFHpA did not differ between mothers and cubs, while concentrations of PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFUnDA, PFDoDA, PFTrDA, PFHxS, and PFOS were higher in mothers than in their cubs. Except from PFHpA, all compounds correlated significantly between mothers and their cubs. The mean cub to mother ratios ranged from 0.15 for PFNA to 1.69 for PFHpA. On average (mean±standard error of mean), the levels of ∑₇PFCAs and ∑₂PFSAs in cubs were 0.24±0.01 and 0.22±0.01 times the levels in their mothers, respectively. Although maternal transfer appears to be a substantial source of exposure for the cubs, the low cub to mother ratios indicate that maternal transfer of PFASs in polar bears is relatively low in comparison with hydrophobic contaminants (e.g. PCBs). Because the level of several PFASs in mothers and cubs from both sampling years exceeded the levels associated

  17. Characterization of a pancreatic islet cell tumor in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fortin, Jessica S; Benoit-Biancamano, Marie-Odile

    2014-01-01

    Herein, we report a 25-year-old male polar bear suffering from a pancreatic islet cell tumor. The aim of this report is to present a case of this rare tumor in a captive polar bear. The implication of potential risk factors such as high carbohydrate diet or the presence of amyloid fibril deposits was assessed. Necropsy examination revealed several other changes, including nodules observed in the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestine, and thyroid glands that were submitted for histopathologic analysis. Interestingly, the multiple neoplastic nodules were unrelated and included a pancreatic islet cell tumor. Immunohistochemistry of the pancreas confirmed the presence of insulin and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) within the pancreatic islet cells. The IAPP gene was extracted from the paraffin-embedded liver tissue and sequenced. IAPP cDNA from the polar bear exhibits some differences as compared to the sequence published for several other species. Different factors responsible for neoplasms in bears such as diet, infectious agents, and industrial chemical exposure are reviewed. This case report raised several issues that further studies may address by evaluating the prevalence of cancers in captive or wild animals. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, Seth P.; LaRue, Michelle A.; Lecomte, Nicolas; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Garshelis, David L.; Porter, Claire; Atwood, Todd C.

    2014-01-01

    Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small island in Foxe Basin, Canada, occupied by a high density of bears during the summer ice-free season. Bears were distinguished from other light-colored spots by comparing images collected on different dates. A sample of ground-truthed points demonstrated that we accurately classified bears. Independent observers reviewed images and a population estimate was obtained using mark- recapture models. This estimate (N: 94; 95% Confidence Interval: 92-105) was remarkably similar to an abundance estimate derived from a line transect aerial survey conducted a few days earlier (N: 102; 95% CI: 69-152). Our findings suggest that satellite imagery is a promising tool for monitoring polar bears on land, with implications for use with other Arctic wildlife. Large scale applications may require development of automated detection processes to expedite review and analysis. Future research should assess the utility of multi-spectral imagery and examine sites with different environmental characteristics.

  19. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stapleton, Seth; LaRue, Michelle; Lecomte, Nicolas; Atkinson, Stephen; Garshelis, David; Porter, Claire; Atwood, Todd

    2014-01-01

    Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small island in Foxe Basin, Canada, occupied by a high density of bears during the summer ice-free season. Bears were distinguished from other light-colored spots by comparing images collected on different dates. A sample of ground-truthed points demonstrated that we accurately classified bears. Independent observers reviewed images and a population estimate was obtained using mark-recapture models. This estimate (N: 94; 95% Confidence Interval: 92-105) was remarkably similar to an abundance estimate derived from a line transect aerial survey conducted a few days earlier (N: 102; 95% CI: 69-152). Our findings suggest that satellite imagery is a promising tool for monitoring polar bears on land, with implications for use with other Arctic wildlife. Large scale applications may require development of automated detection processes to expedite review and analysis. Future research should assess the utility of multi-spectral imagery and examine sites with different environmental characteristics.

  20. Polar bears from space: assessing satellite imagery as a tool to track Arctic wildlife.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth Stapleton

    Full Text Available Development of efficient techniques for monitoring wildlife is a priority in the Arctic, where the impacts of climate change are acute and remoteness and logistical constraints hinder access. We evaluated high resolution satellite imagery as a tool to track the distribution and abundance of polar bears. We examined satellite images of a small island in Foxe Basin, Canada, occupied by a high density of bears during the summer ice-free season. Bears were distinguished from other light-colored spots by comparing images collected on different dates. A sample of ground-truthed points demonstrated that we accurately classified bears. Independent observers reviewed images and a population estimate was obtained using mark-recapture models. This estimate (N: 94; 95% Confidence Interval: 92-105 was remarkably similar to an abundance estimate derived from a line transect aerial survey conducted a few days earlier (N: 102; 95% CI: 69-152. Our findings suggest that satellite imagery is a promising tool for monitoring polar bears on land, with implications for use with other Arctic wildlife. Large scale applications may require development of automated detection processes to expedite review and analysis. Future research should assess the utility of multi-spectral imagery and examine sites with different environmental characteristics.

  1. The influence of climate variability on polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and ringed seal (Pusa hispida) population dynamics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rosing-Asvid, A.

    2006-01-01

    Unusually high polar bear (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) predation on ringed seal (Pusa hispida (Schreber, 1775)) pups and increased survival of polar bear cubs during mild springs is documented in published articles. Strong predation on newborn ringed seal pups in early spring, however, is likely...... to lower the overall energy intake of polar bears if ringed seal pups are their main food, because the energetic value of ringed seal pups increases 7-8 times during the 6 week lactation period. So although hunting success in early spring increases cub survival during the period after den emergence......,when they are most vulnerable, it is likely to increase the number of starving bears later in the season. This negative-feedback effect of strong spring predation will not occur in areas where other seal species are abundant during summer, and polar bears in such areas are likely to exhibit population growth during...

  2. Using discrete choice modeling to generate resource selection functions for female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Nielson, Ryan M.; McDonald, Trent; Huzurbazar, Snehalata

    2004-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) depend on ice-covered seas to satisfy life history requirements. Modern threats to polar bears include oil spills in the marine environment and changes in ice composition resulting from climate change. Managers need practical models that explain the distribution of bears in order to assess the impacts of these threats. We explored the use of discrete choice models to describe habitat selection by female polar bears in the Beaufort Sea. Using stepwise procedures we generated resource selection models of habitat use. Sea ice characteristics and ocean depths at known polar bear locations were compared to the same features at randomly selected locations. Models generated for each of four seasons confirmed complexities of habitat use by polar bears and their response to numerous factors. Bears preferred shallow water areas where different ice types intersected. Variation among seasons was reflected mainly in differential selection of total ice concentration, ice stages, floe sizes, and their interactions. Distance to the nearest ice interface was a significant term in models for three seasons. Water depth was selected as a significant term in all seasons, possibly reflecting higher productivity in shallow water areas. Preliminary tests indicate seasonal models can predict polar bear distribution based on prior sea ice data.

  3. Polyhalogenated compounds (PCBs, chlordanes, HCB and BFRs) in four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that swam malnourished from East Greenland to Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Walter; Gall, Vanessa; Skírnisson, Karl

    2015-11-15

    Levels of organohalogen compounds (PCBs, chlordane, PBB 153, PBDEs, HCB) were determined in adipose tissue, liver, kidney and muscle of four polar bears which swam and/or drifted to Iceland in extremely malnourished condition. Since the colonization in the 9th century polar bears have been repeatedly observed in Iceland. However, in recent years three of the animals have clearly left their natural habitat in poor condition in May or June, i.e. at the end of the major feeding season. The fourth bear is believed to have drifted with melting ice to North-Eastern Iceland in mid-winter. The concentrations of the POPs were within the range or higher than the typical concentrations measured in polar bears from the East Greenland population. In addition to the targeted compounds, we tentatively detected Dechlorane 602 and its potential hydrodechlorinated Cl11-metabolite in all samples. Moreover, a polychlorinated compound which partly co-eluted with PCB 209 was detected in all liver samples but not in adipose tissue, kidney or muscle. The mass spectrum of the potential metabolite did not allow determining its structure. Polar bears are good swimmers and can reach Iceland from the ice edge of East Greenland within a few days. Potential reasons for the swims are briefly discussed. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Monitoring the welfare of polar bear populations in a rapidly changing Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Duncan, Colleen G.; Patyk, Kelly A.; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.

    2017-01-01

    Most programs for monitoring the welfare of wildlife populations support efforts aimed at reaching discrete management objectives, like mitigating conflict with humans. While such programs can be effective, their limited scope may preclude systemic evaluations needed for large-scale conservation initiatives, like the recovery of at-risk species. We discuss select categories of metrics that can be used to monitor how polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are responding to the primary threat to their long-term persistence—loss of sea ice habitat due to the unabated rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG; e.g., CO2) concentrations—that can also provide information on ecosystem function and health. Monitoring key aspects of polar bear population dynamics, spatial behavior, health and resiliency can provide valuable insight into ecosystem state and function, and could be a powerful tool for achieving Arctic conservation objectives, particularly those that have transnational policy implications.

  5. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic modelling of immune, reproductive and carcinogenic effects from contaminant exposure in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) across the Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietz, Rune; Gustavson, Kim; Sonne, Christian; Desforges, Jean-Pierre; Rigét, Frank F; Pavlova, Viola; McKinney, Melissa A; Letcher, Robert J

    2015-07-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) consume large quantities of seal blubber and other high trophic marine mammals and consequently have some of the highest tissue concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among Arctic biota. In the present paper we carried out a risk quotient (RQ) evaluation on OHC-exposed polar bears harvested from 1999 to 2008 and from 11 circumpolar subpopulations spanning from Alaska to Svalbard in order to evaluate the risk of OHC-mediated reproductive effects (embryotoxicity, teratogenicity), immunotoxicity and carcinogenicity (genotoxicity). This RQ evaluation was based on the Critical Body Residue (CBR) concept and a Physiologically-Based Pharmacokinetic Modelling (PBPK) approach using OHC concentrations measured in polar bear adipose or liver tissue. The range of OHC concentrations within polar bear populations were as follows for adipose, sum polychlorinated biphenyls ∑PCBs (1797-10,537 ng/g lw), sum methylsulphone-PCB ∑MeSO2-PCBs (110-672 ng/g lw), sum chlordanes ∑CHLs (765-3477 ng/g lw), α-hexachlorocyclohexane α-HCH (8.5-91.3 ng/g lw), β-hexachlorocyclohexane β-HCH (65.5-542 ng/g lw), sum chlorbenzenes ∑ClBzs (145-304 ng/g lw), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane ∑DDTs (31.5-206 ng/g lw), dieldrin (69-249 ng/g lw), polybrominated diphenyl ethers ∑PBDEs (4.6-78.4 ng/g lw). For liver, the perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) concentrations ranged from 231-2792 ng/g ww. The total additive RQ from all OHCs ranged from 4.3 in Alaska to 28.6 in East Greenland bears for effects on reproduction, immune health and carcinogenicity, highlighting the important result that the toxic effect threshold (i.e. RQ>1) was exceeded for all polar bear populations assessed. PCBs were the main contributors for all three effect categories, contributing from 70.6% to 94.3% of the total risk and a RQ between 3.8-22.5. ∑MeSO2-PCBs were the second highest effect contributor for reproductive and immunological effects (0.17polar bears. We therefore

  6. Habitat-mediated timing of migration in polar bears: an individual perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cherry, Seth G; Derocher, Andrew E; Lunn, Nicholas J

    2016-07-01

    Migration phenology is largely determined by how animals respond to seasonal changes in environmental conditions. Our perception of the relationship between migratory behavior and environmental cues can vary depending on the spatial scale at which these interactions are measured. Understanding the behavioral mechanisms behind population-scale movements requires knowledge of how individuals respond to local cues. We show how time-to-event models can be used to predict what factors are associated with the timing of an individual's migratory behavior using data from GPS collared polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that move seasonally between sea ice and terrestrial habitats. We found the concentration of sea ice that bears experience at a local level, along with the duration of exposure to these conditions, was most associated with individual migration timing. Our results corroborate studies that assume thresholds of >50% sea ice concentration are necessary for suitable polar bear habitat; however, continued periods (e.g., days to weeks) of exposure to suboptimal ice concentrations during seasonal melting were required before the proportion of bears migrating to land increased substantially. Time-to-event models are advantageous for examining individual movement patterns because they account for the idea that animals make decisions based on an accumulation of knowledge from the landscapes they move through and not simply the environment they are exposed to at the time of a decision. Understanding the migration behavior of polar bears moving between terrestrial and marine habitat, at multiple spatiotemporal scales, will be a major aspect of quantifying observed and potential demographic responses to climate-induced environmental changes.

  7. Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species) loss

    OpenAIRE

    Belinda Smaill

    2015-01-01

    In this essay I explore how two divergent examples of the nonfiction moving image can be understood in relation to the problem of representing species loss. The species that provide the platform for this consideration are the thylacine, better known as the Tasmanian tiger, and the polar bear. They represent the two contingencies of species loss: endangerment and extinction. My analysis is structured around moving images from the 1930s of the last known thylacine and the very different exam...

  8. Acute Chagas' cardiopathy in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus in Guadalajara, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime-Andrade G. J.

    1997-01-01

    Full Text Available We report a 24 year old female polar bear (Ursus maritimus who contracted Chagas' infection at the Guadalajara Zoo, in Jalisco, México, and died of acute Chagas' carditis 15 days later. The histopathological findings are described, as well as the presence of triatomines (Triatoma longipennis Usinger infected with Trypanosoma cruzi collected within 5 meters from the place where the animal lived in the city of Guadalajara.

  9. Forecasting the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Marcot, Bruce G; Douglas, David C.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Rode, Karyn D.; Durner, George M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.

    2016-01-01

    Effective conservation planning requires understanding and ranking threats to wildlife populations. We developed a Bayesian network model to evaluate the relative influence of environmental and anthropogenic stressors, and their mitigation, on the persistence of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Overall sea ice conditions, affected by rising global temperatures, were the most influential determinant of population outcomes. Accordingly, unabated rise in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations was the dominant influence leading to worsened population outcomes, with polar bears in three of four ecoregions reaching a dominant probability of decreased or greatly decreased by the latter part of this century. Stabilization of atmospheric GHG concentrations by mid-century delayed the greatly reduced state by ≈25 yr in two ecoregions. Prompt and aggressive mitigation of emissions reduced the probability of any regional population becoming greatly reduced by up to 25%. Marine prey availability, linked closely to sea ice trend, had slightly less influence on outcome state than sea ice availability itself. Reduced mortality from hunting and defense of life and property interactions resulted in modest declines in the probability of a decreased or greatly decreased population outcome. Minimizing other stressors such as trans-Arctic shipping, oil and gas exploration, and contaminants had a negligible effect on polar bear outcomes, although the model was not well-informed with respect to the potential influence of these stressors. Adverse consequences of loss of sea ice habitat became more pronounced as the summer ice-free period lengthened beyond four months, which could occur in most of the Arctic basin after mid-century if GHG emissions are not promptly reduced. Long-term conservation of polar bears would be best supported by holding global mean temperature to ≤ 2°C above preindustrial levels. Until further sea ice loss is stopped, management of other stressors may

  10. Internet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy

    OpenAIRE

    Harvey, Jeffrey A.; van den Berg, Daphne; Ellers, Jacintha; Kampen, Remko; Crowther, Thomas W.; Roessingh, Peter; Verheggen, Bart; Nuijten, Rascha J.M.; Post, Eric; Lewandowsky, Stephan; Stirling, Ian; Balgopal, Meena; Amstrup, Steven C.; Mann, Michael E.

    2017-01-01

    Increasing surface temperatures, Arctic sea-ice loss, and other evidence of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are acknowledged by every major scientific organization in the world. However, there is a wide gap between this broad scientific consensus and public opinion. Internet blogs have strongly contributed to this consensus gap by fomenting misunderstandings of AGW causes and consequences. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have become a “poster species” for AGW, making them a target of those d...

  11. Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears

    OpenAIRE

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.; Stern, Harry L.

    2017-01-01

    Summary The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans. We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes density‐dependent relationships linking vital rates to environmental carrying capacity (K). Using this model, we develop a state‐dependent management ...

  12. Demographic and traditional knowledge perspectives on the current status of Canadian polar bear subpopulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Jordan; Dowsley, Martha; Cornwell, Adam; Kuc, Miroslaw; Taylor, Mitchell

    2016-05-01

    Subpopulation growth rates and the probability of decline at current harvest levels were determined for 13 subpopulations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) that are within or shared with Canada based on mark-recapture estimates of population numbers and vital rates, and harvest statistics using population viability analyses (PVA). Aboriginal traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) on subpopulation trend agreed with the seven stable/increasing results and one of the declining results, but disagreed with PVA status of five other declining subpopulations. The decline in the Baffin Bay subpopulation appeared to be due to over-reporting of harvested numbers from outside Canada. The remaining four disputed subpopulations (Southern Beaufort Sea, Northern Beaufort Sea, Southern Hudson Bay, and Western Hudson Bay) were all incompletely mark-recapture (M-R) sampled, which may have biased their survival and subpopulation estimates. Three of the four incompletely sampled subpopulations were PVA identified as nonviable (i.e., declining even with zero harvest mortality). TEK disagreement was nonrandom with respect to M-R sampling protocols. Cluster analysis also grouped subpopulations with ambiguous demographic and harvest rate estimates separately from those with apparently reliable demographic estimates based on PVA probability of decline and unharvested subpopulation growth rate criteria. We suggest that the correspondence between TEK and scientific results can be used to improve the reliability of information on natural systems and thus improve resource management. Considering both TEK and scientific information, we suggest that the current status of Canadian polar bear subpopulations in 2013 was 12 stable/increasing and one declining (Kane Basin). We do not find support for the perspective that polar bears within or shared with Canada are currently in any sort of climate crisis. We suggest that monitoring the impacts of climate change (including sea ice decline) on polar bear

  13. Invariant polar bear habitat selection during a period of sea ice loss

    OpenAIRE

    Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey ...

  14. Modelling the mating system of polar bears: a mechanistic approach to the Allee effect

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, Péter K; Derocher, Andrew E; Lewis, Mark A; Taylor, Mitchell K

    2007-01-01

    Allee effects may render exploited animal populations extinction prone, but empirical data are often lacking to describe the circumstances leading to an Allee effect. Arbitrary assumptions regarding Allee effects could lead to erroneous management decisions so that predictive modelling approaches are needed that identify the circumstances leading to an Allee effect before such a scenario occurs. We present a predictive approach of Allee effects for polar bears where low population densities, an unpredictable habitat and harvest-depleted male populations result in infrequent mating encounters. We develop a mechanistic model for the polar bear mating system that predicts the proportion of fertilized females at the end of the mating season given population density and operational sex ratio. The model is parametrized using pairing data from Lancaster Sound, Canada, and describes the observed pairing dynamics well. Female mating success is shown to be a nonlinear function of the operational sex ratio, so that a sudden and rapid reproductive collapse could occur if males are severely depleted. The operational sex ratio where an Allee effect is expected is dependent on population density. We focus on the prediction of Allee effects in polar bears but our approach is also applicable to other species. PMID:18029307

  15. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Evans, Alina L; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2012-01-01

    .... Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused...

  16. Dietary composition and spatial patterns of polar bear foraging on land in western Hudson Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-12-21

    Flexible foraging strategies, such as prey switching, omnivory and food mixing, are key to surviving in a labile and changing environment. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in western Hudson Bay are versatile predators that use all of these strategies as they seasonally exploit resources across trophic levels. Climate warming is reducing availability of their ice habitat, especially in spring when polar bears gain most of their annual fat reserves by consuming seal pups before coming ashore in summer. How polar bears combine these flexible foraging strategies to obtain and utilize terrestrial food will become increasingly important in compensating for energy deficits from lost seal hunting opportunities. We evaluated patterns in the composition of foods in scat to characterize the foraging behaviors that underpin the diet mixing and omnivory observed in polar bears on land in western Hudson Bay. Specifically, we measured diet richness, proportions of plant and animal foods, patterns in co-occurrence of foods, spatial composition and an index of temporal composition. Scats contained between 1 and 6 foods, with an average of 2.11 (SE = 0.04). Most scats (84.9%) contained at least one type of plant, but animals (35.4% of scats) and both plants and animals occurring together (34.4% of scats) were also common. Certain foods, such as Lyme grass seed heads (Leymus arenarius), berries and marine algae, were consumed in relatively higher proportions, sometimes to the exclusion of others, both where and when they occurred most abundantly. The predominance of localized vegetation in scats suggests little movement among habitat types between feeding sessions. Unlike the case for plants, no spatial patterns were found for animal remains, likely due the animals' more vagile and ubiquitous distribution. Our results suggest that polar bears are foraging opportunistically in a manner consistent with maximizing intake while minimizing energy expenditure associated with movement. The

  17. Dietary composition and spatial patterns of polar bear foraging on land in western Hudson Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background Flexible foraging strategies, such as prey switching, omnivory and food mixing, are key to surviving in a labile and changing environment. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in western Hudson Bay are versatile predators that use all of these strategies as they seasonally exploit resources across trophic levels. Climate warming is reducing availability of their ice habitat, especially in spring when polar bears gain most of their annual fat reserves by consuming seal pups before coming ashore in summer. How polar bears combine these flexible foraging strategies to obtain and utilize terrestrial food will become increasingly important in compensating for energy deficits from lost seal hunting opportunities. We evaluated patterns in the composition of foods in scat to characterize the foraging behaviors that underpin the diet mixing and omnivory observed in polar bears on land in western Hudson Bay. Specifically, we measured diet richness, proportions of plant and animal foods, patterns in co-occurrence of foods, spatial composition and an index of temporal composition. Results Scats contained between 1 and 6 foods, with an average of 2.11 (SE = 0.04). Most scats (84.9%) contained at least one type of plant, but animals (35.4% of scats) and both plants and animals occurring together (34.4% of scats) were also common. Certain foods, such as Lyme grass seed heads (Leymus arenarius), berries and marine algae, were consumed in relatively higher proportions, sometimes to the exclusion of others, both where and when they occurred most abundantly. The predominance of localized vegetation in scats suggests little movement among habitat types between feeding sessions. Unlike the case for plants, no spatial patterns were found for animal remains, likely due the animals’ more vagile and ubiquitous distribution. Conclusions Our results suggest that polar bears are foraging opportunistically in a manner consistent with maximizing intake while minimizing energy

  18. Limitations of GIS and remote sensing for considering spatial and temporal change in studies of habitat use by polar bears

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — To investigate the feasibility of using satellite-based remote sensing to study habitat use of polar bears {Ursus aritimus), we compared distributions of satellite...

  19. Sensor and Location data from Ear Tag PTTs Deployed on Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea 2009 to 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These are data collected from Wildlife Computers ear tag platform transmitter terminals (PTT) deployed on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea during the months...

  20. Possible effects of climate warming on selected populations of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Canadian Arctic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stirling, I. [Canadian Wildlife Service, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Parkinson, C.L. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States). Cryospheric Sciences Branch

    2006-09-15

    Climate warming in the Arctic has caused declines in the total cover and thickness of sea ice. Intuit hunters in the areas of some polar bear populations in the eastern Canadian Arctic have noted that more bears have approached human settlements during open-water periods in recent years. The observations have been interpreted as evidence of increasing polar bear population size, and have resulted in increases in hunting quotas. However, research on 2 polar bear populations in Western Hudson Bay and Baffin Bay suggest that their numbers are declining. This paper evaluated patterns of sea-ice breakup and freeze-up in 5 regions to test the hypothesis that sightings of more polar bears are due in part to changes in sea ice. The regions were based on the accepted boundaries of the polar bear management zones used by government agencies in Canada and Greenland. Areas included Foxe Basin; Baffin Bay; Davis Strait; Hudson Strait; and Eastern Hudson Bay. Analysis of passive-microwave satellite imagery beginning in the 1970s has indicated that sea ice is breaking up at progressively earlier dates, so that bears must fast for longer periods during the open-water periods. This paper suggested that polar bears are being observed close to human settlements as they are searching for alternative food sources in years when their stored body fat is depleted before freeze-up, when they can return to the sea ice to hunt for seals. It was suggested that if the climate continues to warm as projected by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, polar bears in all 5 populations discussed in the paper will become increasingly food-stressed, and that their numbers are likely to decline. It was suggested that problem interactions between bears and humans will also increase as the bears seek alternative food sources. It was concluded that a precautionary approach should be taken to the harvesting of polar bears. The potential effects of climate warming should be incorporated into

  1. Simulating polar bear energetics during a seasonal fast using a mechanistic model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul D Mathewson

    Full Text Available In this study we tested the ability of a mechanistic model (Niche Mapper™ to accurately model adult, non-denning polar bear (Ursus maritimus energetics while fasting during the ice-free season in the western Hudson Bay. The model uses a steady state heat balance approach, which calculates the metabolic rate that will allow an animal to maintain its core temperature in its particular microclimate conditions. Predicted weight loss for a 120 day fast typical of the 1990s was comparable to empirical studies of the population, and the model was able to reach a heat balance at the target metabolic rate for the entire fast, supporting use of the model to explore the impacts of climate change on polar bears. Niche Mapper predicted that all but the poorest condition bears would survive a 120 day fast under current climate conditions. When the fast extended to 180 days, Niche Mapper predicted mortality of up to 18% for males. Our results illustrate how environmental conditions, variation in animal properties, and thermoregulation processes may impact survival during extended fasts because polar bears were predicted to require additional energetic expenditure for thermoregulation during a 180 day fast. A uniform 3°C temperature increase reduced male mortality during a 180 day fast from 18% to 15%. Niche Mapper explicitly links an animal's energetics to environmental conditions and thus can be a valuable tool to help inform predictions of climate-related population changes. Since Niche Mapper is a generic model, it can make energetic predictions for other species threatened by climate change.

  2. Simulating polar bear energetics during a seasonal fast using a mechanistic model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mathewson, Paul D; Porter, Warren P

    2013-01-01

    In this study we tested the ability of a mechanistic model (Niche Mapper™) to accurately model adult, non-denning polar bear (Ursus maritimus) energetics while fasting during the ice-free season in the western Hudson Bay. The model uses a steady state heat balance approach, which calculates the metabolic rate that will allow an animal to maintain its core temperature in its particular microclimate conditions. Predicted weight loss for a 120 day fast typical of the 1990s was comparable to empirical studies of the population, and the model was able to reach a heat balance at the target metabolic rate for the entire fast, supporting use of the model to explore the impacts of climate change on polar bears. Niche Mapper predicted that all but the poorest condition bears would survive a 120 day fast under current climate conditions. When the fast extended to 180 days, Niche Mapper predicted mortality of up to 18% for males. Our results illustrate how environmental conditions, variation in animal properties, and thermoregulation processes may impact survival during extended fasts because polar bears were predicted to require additional energetic expenditure for thermoregulation during a 180 day fast. A uniform 3°C temperature increase reduced male mortality during a 180 day fast from 18% to 15%. Niche Mapper explicitly links an animal's energetics to environmental conditions and thus can be a valuable tool to help inform predictions of climate-related population changes. Since Niche Mapper is a generic model, it can make energetic predictions for other species threatened by climate change.

  3. Allee effect in polar bears: a potential consequence of polychlorinated biphenyl contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pavlova, Viola; Nabe-Nielsen, Jacob; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Grimm, Volker

    2016-11-30

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland and Svalbard exhibited very high concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the 1980s and 1990s. In Svalbard, slow population growth during that period was suspected to be linked to PCB contamination. In this case study, we explored how PCBs could have impacted polar bear population growth and/or male reproductive success in Svalbard during the mid-1990s by reducing the fertility of contaminated males. A dose-response relationship linking the effects of PCBs to male polar bear fertility was extrapolated from studies of the effects of PCBs on sperm quality in rodents. Based on this relationship, an individual-based model of bear interactions during the breeding season predicted fertilization success under alternative assumptions regarding male-male competition for females. Contamination reduced pregnancy rates by decreasing the availability of fertile males, thus triggering a mate-finding Allee effect, particularly when male-male competition for females was limited or when infertile males were able to compete with fertile males for females. Comparisons of our model predictions on age-dependent reproductive success of males with published empirical observations revealed that the low representation of 10-14-year-old males among breeding males documented in Svalbard in mid-1990s could have resulted from PCB contamination. We conclude that contamination-related male infertility may lead to a reduction in population growth via an Allee effect. The magnitude of the effect is largely dependent on the population-specific mating system. In eco-toxicological risk assessments, appropriate consideration should therefore be given to negative effects of contaminants on male fertility and male mating behaviour. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. The utility of harvest recoveries of marked individuals to assess polar bear (Ursus maritimus) survival

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Laake, Jeff; Laidre, Kristin L.; Born, Erik W.; Atkinson, Stephen N.

    2012-01-01

    Management of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations requires the periodic assessment of life history metrics such as survival rate. This information is frequently obtained during short-term capture and marking efforts (e.g., over the course of three years) that result in hundreds of marked bears remaining in the population after active marking is finished. Using 10 additional years of harvest recovery subsequent to a period of active marking, we provide updated estimates of annual survival for polar bears in the Baffin Bay population of Greenland and Canada. Our analysis suggests a decline in survival of polar bears since the period of active marking that ended in 1997; some of the decline in survival can likely be attributed to a decline in springtime ice concentration over the continental shelf of Baffin Island. The variance around the survival estimates is comparatively high because of the declining number of marks available; therefore, results must be interpreted with caution. The variance of the estimates of survival increased most substantially in the sixth year post-marking. When survival estimates calculated with recovery-only and recapture-recovery data sets from the period of active marking were compared, survival rates were indistinguishable. However, for the period when fewer marks were available, survival estimates were lower using the recovery-only data set, which indicates that part of the decline we detected for 2003 – 09 may be due to using only harvest recovery data. Nevertheless, the decline in the estimates of survival is consistent with population projections derived from harvest numbers and earlier vital rates, as well as with an observed decline in the extent of sea ice habitat.

  5. What to eat now? Shifts in polar bear diet during the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay

    OpenAIRE

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-01-01

    Under current climate trends, spring ice breakup in Hudson Bay is advancing rapidly, leaving polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less time to hunt seals during the spring when they accumulate the majority of their annual fat reserves. For this reason, foods that polar bears consume during the ice-free season may become increasingly important in alleviating nutritional stress from lost seal hunting opportunities. Defining how the terrestrial diet might have changed since the onset of rapid climate c...

  6. In-Air Auditory Psychophysics and the Management of a Threatened Carnivore, the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    OpenAIRE

    Owen, Megan A.; Bowles, Ann E.

    2011-01-01

    Management criteria for preventing biologically-significant noise disturbance in large terrestrial mammals have not been developed based on a sound, empirical understanding of their sensory ecology. Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal denning areas on the coastal plain of Alaska’s North Slope hold large petroleum reserves and will be subject to increased development in the future. Anthropogenic noise could adversely affect polar bears by disrupting intra-...

  7. Increasing nest predation will be insufficient to maintain polar bear body condition in the face of sea ice loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dey, Cody J; Richardson, Evan; McGeachy, David; Iverson, Samuel A; Gilchrist, Hugh G; Semeniuk, Christina A D

    2017-05-01

    Climate change can influence interspecific interactions by differentially affecting species-specific phenology. In seasonal ice environments, there is evidence that polar bear predation of Arctic bird eggs is increasing because of earlier sea ice breakup, which forces polar bears into nearshore terrestrial environments where Arctic birds are nesting. Because polar bears can consume a large number of nests before becoming satiated, and because they can swim between island colonies, they could have dramatic influences on seabird and sea duck reproductive success. However, it is unclear whether nest foraging can provide an energetic benefit to polar bear populations, especially given the capacity of bird populations to redistribute in response to increasing predation pressure. In this study, we develop a spatially explicit agent-based model of the predator-prey relationship between polar bears and common eiders, a common and culturally important bird species for northern peoples. Our model is composed of two types of agents (polar bear agents and common eider hen agents) whose movements and decision heuristics are based on species-specific bioenergetic and behavioral ecological principles, and are influenced by historical and extrapolated sea ice conditions. Our model reproduces empirical findings that polar bear predation of bird nests is increasing and predicts an accelerating relationship between advancing ice breakup dates and the number of nests depredated. Despite increases in nest predation, our model predicts that polar bear body condition during the ice-free period will continue to decline. Finally, our model predicts that common eider nests will become more dispersed and will move closer to the mainland in response to increasing predation, possibly increasing their exposure to land-based predators and influencing the livelihood of local people that collect eider eggs and down. These results show that predator-prey interactions can have nonlinear responses to

  8. Range imaging results from polar mesosphere summer echoes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zecha, Marius; Hoffmann, Peter; Rapp, Markus; Chen, Jenn-Shyong

    The range resolution of pulsed radars is usually limited by the transmitting pulse length and the sampling time. The so-called range imaging (RIM) has been developed to reduce these lim-itations. To apply this method the radar operates alternately over a set of distinct frequencies. Then the phase differences of the receiving signals can be used for optimization methods to generate high-resolution maps of reflections as function of range insight the pulse length. The technique has been implemented on the ALWIN VHF radar in Andenes (69) and the OSWIN VHF radar in Kühlungsborn (54N). Here we present results of the RIM method from measurements in polar mesosphere summer echoes -PMSE. These strong radar echoes are linked to ice particle clouds in the mesopause region. The dynamic of the PMSE can be reflected very well by RIM. The movement of PMSE and the edges of the extension can be tracked with a high altitude resolution. Comparisons between simultaneous measurements by RIM and by standard radar techniques demonstrate the advan-tages of RIM. Wave structures can be identified with RIM whereas they are not detectable with the lesser resolution of the standard measurements. Gravity wave parameter associated with these variations are estimated using the simultaneous measured velocity field.

  9. Methods to estimate distribution and range extent of grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haroldson, Mark A.; Schwartz, Charles C.; , Daniel D. Bjornlie; , Daniel J. Thompson; , Kerry A. Gunther; , Steven L. Cain; , Daniel B. Tyers; Frey, Kevin L.; Aber, Bryan C.

    2014-01-01

    The distribution of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) population has expanded into areas unoccupied since the early 20th century. Up-to-date information on the area and extent of this distribution is crucial for federal, state, and tribal wildlife and land managers to make informed decisions regarding grizzly bear management. The most recent estimate of grizzly bear distribution (2004) utilized fixed-kernel density estimators to describe distribution. This method was complex and computationally time consuming and excluded observations of unmarked bears. Our objective was to develop a technique to estimate grizzly bear distribution that would allow for the use of all verified grizzly bear location data, as well as provide the simplicity to be updated more frequently. We placed all verified grizzly bear locations from all sources from 1990 to 2004 and 1990 to 2010 onto a 3-km × 3-km grid and used zonal analysis and ordinary kriging to develop a predicted surface of grizzly bear distribution. We compared the area and extent of the 2004 kriging surface with the previous 2004 effort and evaluated changes in grizzly bear distribution from 2004 to 2010. The 2004 kriging surface was 2.4% smaller than the previous fixed-kernel estimate, but more closely represented the data. Grizzly bear distribution increased 38.3% from 2004 to 2010, with most expansion in the northern and southern regions of the range. This technique can be used to provide a current estimate of grizzly bear distribution for management and conservation applications.

  10. Polar bear use of a persistent food subsidy: insights from non-invasive genetic sampling in Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Herreman, Jason

    2013-01-01

    Remains of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) harvested by Iñupiat whalers are deposited in bone piles along the coast of Alaska and have become persistent and reliable food sources for polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The importance of bone piles to individuals and the population, the patterns of use, and the number, sex, and age of bears using these resources are poorly understood. We implemented barbed-wire hair snaring to obtain genetic identities from bears using the Point Barrow bone pile in winter 2010–11. Eighty-three percent of genotyped samples produced individual and sex identification. We identified 97 bears from 200 samples. Using genetic mark–recapture techniques, we estimated that 228 bears used the bone pile during November to February, which would represent approximately 15% of the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear subpopulation, if all bears were from this subpopulation. We found that polar bears of all age and sex classes simultaneously used the bone pile. More males than females used the bone pile, and males predominated in February, likely because 1/3 of adult females would be denning during this period. On average, bears spent 10 days at the bone pile (median  =  5 days); the probability that an individual bear remained at the bone pile from week to week was 63% for females and 45% for males. Most bears in the sample were detected visiting the bone pile once or twice. We found some evidence of matrilineal fidelity to the bone pile, but the group of animals visiting the bone pile did not differ genetically from the Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation, nor did patterns of relatedness. We demonstrate that bowhead whale bone piles may be an influential food subsidy for polar bears in the Barrow region in autumn and winter for all sex and age classes.

  11. Arctic Forecasts Available from Polar Bear Exhibit as an Example of Formal/Informal Collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, C. E.; Cervenec, J.

    2012-12-01

    A subset of the general population enjoys and frequents informal education venues, offering an opportunity for lifelong learning that also enhances and supports formal education efforts. The Byrd Polar Research Center (BPRC) at The Ohio State University collaborated with the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium (CZA) in the development of their Polar Frontier exhibit, from its initial planning to the Grand Opening of the exhibit, through the present. Of course, the addition to the Zoo of polar bears and Arctic fox in the Polar Frontier has been very popular, with almost a 7% increase in visitors in 2010 when the exhibit opened. The CZA and BPRC are now investigating ways to increase the climate literacy impact of the exhibit, and to increase engagement with the topics through follow-on activities. For example, individuals or classes anywhere in the world can check forecasts from the Polar Weather and Research Forecasting model and compare them to observed conditions-- allowing deep investigation into changes in the Arctic. In addition, opportunities exist to adapt the Zoo School experience (affecting several Central Ohio school districts) and/or to enable regular participation through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of digital communication. BPRC's sustained engagement with the CZA is an example of a trusted and meaningful partnership where open dialogue exists about providing the best learning experience for visitors. This presentation will share some of the lessons learned from this unique partnership, and strategies that are adopted to move it forward.

  12. Assessment of the amount of polar bears ( Ursus maritimus) on the basis of perennial vessel counts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matishov, G. G.; Chelintsev, N. G.; Goryaev, Yu. I.; Makarevich, P. R.; Ishkulov, D. G.

    2014-10-01

    This article presents a method of assessment of the amount of polar bears on the basis of data on vessel counts. The results of 32 vessel transect counts in the southern part of the Kara Sea are used as the primary data. They are processed in an original program using separate extrapolation by sectors and summarizing of data of several different counts. In recent years, the calculated amount of bears in the studied region has varied from 3300 to 3100 individuals (3200, on average). The relative statistical error of estimations smoothly decreases from 8 to 7%. The confidence interval of the estimation at statistical error of 7% and probability level of 95% is 2700-3500 individuals.

  13. Capture, anesthesia, and disturbance of free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) during hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, Alina L; Sahlén, Veronica; Støen, Ole-Gunnar; Fahlman, Åsa; Brunberg, Sven; Madslien, Knut; Fröbert, Ole; Swenson, Jon E; Arnemo, Jon M

    2012-01-01

    We conducted thirteen immobilizations of previously collared hibernating two- to four-year-old brown bears (Ursus arctos) weighing 21-66 kg in central Sweden in winter 2010 and 2011 for comparative physiology research. Here we report, for the first time, an effective protocol for the capture and anesthesia of free-ranging brown bears during hibernation and an assessment of the disturbance the captures caused. Bears were darted in anthill, soil, or uprooted tree dens on eleven occasions, but two bears in rock dens fled and were darted outside the den. We used medetomidine at 0.02-0.06 mg/kg and zolazepam-tiletamine at 0.9-2.8 mg/kg for anesthesia. In addition, ketamine at 1.5 mg/kg was hand-injected intramuscularly in four bears and in six it was included in the dart at 1.1-3.0 mg/kg. Once anesthetized, bears were removed from the dens. In nine bears, arterial blood samples were analyzed immediately with a portable blood gas analyzer. We corrected hypoxemia in seven bears (PaO(2) 57-74 mmHg) with supplemental oxygen. We placed the bears back into the dens and antagonized the effect of medetomidine with atipamezole. Capturing bears in the den significantly increased the risk of den abandonment. One of twelve collared bears that were captured remained at the original den until spring, and eleven, left their dens (mean ± standard deviation) 3.2±3.6 (range 0.5-10.5) days after capture. They used 1.9±0.9 intermediate resting sites, during 6.2±7.8 days before entering a new permanent den. The eleven new permanent dens were located 730±589 m from the original dens. We documented that it was feasible and safe to capture hibernating brown bears, although they behaved differently than black bears. When doing so, researchers should use 25% of the doses used for helicopter darting during the active period and should consider increased energetic costs associated with den abandonment.

  14. Enhanced biological processes associated with alopecia in polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Lizabeth; Miles, A. Keith; Stott, Jeffrey L.; Waters, Shannon C.; Atwood, Todd C.

    2015-01-01

    Populations of wildlife species worldwide experience incidents of mass morbidity and mortality. Primary or secondary drivers of these events may escape classical detection methods for identifying microbial insults, toxin exposure, or additional stressors. In 2012, 28% of polar bears sampled in a study in the southern Beaufort Sea region of Alaska had varying degrees of alopecia that was concomitant with reduced body condition. Concurrently, elevated numbers of sick or dead ringed seals were detected in the southern Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas in 2012, resulting in the declaration of an unusual mortality event (UME) by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The primary and possible ancillary causative stressors of these events are unknown, and related physiological changes within individual animals have been undetectable using classical diagnostic methods. Here we present an emerging technology as a potentially guiding investigative approach aimed at elucidating the circumstances responsible for the susceptibility of certain polar bears to observed conditions. Using transcriptomic analysis we identified enhanced biological processes including immune response, viral defense, and response to stress in polar bears with alopecia. Our results support an alternative mechanism of investigation into the causative agents that, when used proactively, could serve as an early indicator for populations and species at risk. We suggest that current or classical methods for investigation into events of unusual morbidity and mortality can be costly, sometimes unfocused, and often inconclusive. Advances in technology allow for implementation of a holistic system of surveillance and investigation that could provide early warning of health concerns in wildlife species important to humans.

  15. What to eat now? Shifts in polar bear diet during the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-01-01

    Under current climate trends, spring ice breakup in Hudson Bay is advancing rapidly, leaving polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less time to hunt seals during the spring when they accumulate the majority of their annual fat reserves. For this reason, foods that polar bears consume during the ice-free season may become increasingly important in alleviating nutritional stress from lost seal hunting opportunities. Defining how the terrestrial diet might have changed since the onset of rapid climate change is an important step in understanding how polar bears may be reacting to climate change. We characterized the current terrestrial diet of polar bears in western Hudson Bay by evaluating the contents of passively sampled scat and comparing it to a similar study conducted 40 years ago. While the two terrestrial diets broadly overlap, polar bears currently appear to be exploiting increasingly abundant resources such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) and newly available resources such as eggs. This opportunistic shift is similar to the diet mixing strategy common among other Arctic predators and bear species. We discuss whether the observed diet shift is solely a response to a nutritional stress or is an expression of plastic foraging behavior. PMID:24223286

  16. What to eat now? Shifts in polar bear diet during the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2013-09-01

    Under current climate trends, spring ice breakup in Hudson Bay is advancing rapidly, leaving polar bears (Ursus maritimus) less time to hunt seals during the spring when they accumulate the majority of their annual fat reserves. For this reason, foods that polar bears consume during the ice-free season may become increasingly important in alleviating nutritional stress from lost seal hunting opportunities. Defining how the terrestrial diet might have changed since the onset of rapid climate change is an important step in understanding how polar bears may be reacting to climate change. We characterized the current terrestrial diet of polar bears in western Hudson Bay by evaluating the contents of passively sampled scat and comparing it to a similar study conducted 40 years ago. While the two terrestrial diets broadly overlap, polar bears currently appear to be exploiting increasingly abundant resources such as caribou (Rangifer tarandus) and snow geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens) and newly available resources such as eggs. This opportunistic shift is similar to the diet mixing strategy common among other Arctic predators and bear species. We discuss whether the observed diet shift is solely a response to a nutritional stress or is an expression of plastic foraging behavior.

  17. Relationships between POPs, biometrics and circulating steroids in male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Hansen, Ingunn Tjelta; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2017-01-01

    ), progesterone (PRO), androstenedione (AN), dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2) and 17β-estradiol (βE2) were quantified in polar bear serum by gas chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (GC-MS/MS), while POPs were measured in plasma....... Subsequently, associations between hormone concentrations (9 steroids), POPs (21 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), 8 OH-PCBs, 8 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and OCP metabolites, and 2 polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs)) and biological variables (age, head length, body mass, girth, body condition index...

  18. Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V.; Wilson, Ryan R.; Rode, Karyn D.; Runge, Michael C.; Stern, Harry

    2017-01-01

    The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans.We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes density-dependent relationships linking vital rates to environmental carrying capacity (K). Using this model, we develop a state-dependent management framework to calculate a harvest level that (i) maintains a population above its maximum net productivity level (MNPL; the population size that produces the greatest net increment in abundance) relative to a changing K, and (ii) has a limited negative effect on population persistence.Our density-dependent relationships suggest that MNPL for polar bears occurs at approximately 0·69 (95% CI = 0·63–0·74) of K. Population growth rate at MNPL was approximately 0·82 (95% CI = 0·79–0·84) of the maximum intrinsic growth rate, suggesting relatively strong compensation for human-caused mortality.Our findings indicate that it is possible to minimize the demographic risks of harvest under climate change, including the risk that harvest will accelerate population declines driven by loss of the polar bear's sea-ice habitat. This requires that (i) the harvest rate – which could be 0 in some situations – accounts for a population's intrinsic growth rate, (ii) the harvest rate accounts for the quality of population data (e.g. lower harvest when uncertainty is large), and (iii) the harvest level is obtained by multiplying the harvest rate by an updated estimate of population size. Environmental variability, the sex and age of removed animals and risk tolerance can also affect the harvest rate.Synthesis and applications. We present a coupled modelling and management approach for wildlife that accounts for climate change and can be used to balance trade-offs among multiple

  19. Hydroxylated polychlorinated biphenyls decrease circulating steroids in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustavson, Lisa; Ciesielski, Tomasz M.; Bytingsvik, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    As a top predator in the Arctic food chain, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are exposed to high levels of persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Because several of these compounds have been reported to alter endocrine pathways, such as the steroidogenesis, potential disruption of the sex steroid......), androstenedione (AN), testosterone (TS), dihydrotestosterone (DHT), estrone (E1), 17α-estradiol (αE2), 17β-estradiol (βE2), pregnenolone (PRE) and progesterone (PRO) were determined. The aim of the study was to investigate associations among circulating levels of specific POP compounds and POP...

  20. Harvesting wildlife affected by climate change: a modelling and management approach for polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regehr, Eric V; Wilson, Ryan R; Rode, Karyn D; Runge, Michael C; Stern, Harry L

    2017-10-01

    The conservation of many wildlife species requires understanding the demographic effects of climate change, including interactions between climate change and harvest, which can provide cultural, nutritional or economic value to humans.We present a demographic model that is based on the polar bear Ursus maritimus life cycle and includes density-dependent relationships linking vital rates to environmental carrying capacity (K). Using this model, we develop a state-dependent management framework to calculate a harvest level that (i) maintains a population above its maximum net productivity level (MNPL; the population size that produces the greatest net increment in abundance) relative to a changing K, and (ii) has a limited negative effect on population persistence.Our density-dependent relationships suggest that MNPL for polar bears occurs at approximately 0·69 (95% CI = 0·63-0·74) of K. Population growth rate at MNPL was approximately 0·82 (95% CI = 0·79-0·84) of the maximum intrinsic growth rate, suggesting relatively strong compensation for human-caused mortality.Our findings indicate that it is possible to minimize the demographic risks of harvest under climate change, including the risk that harvest will accelerate population declines driven by loss of the polar bear's sea-ice habitat. This requires that (i) the harvest rate - which could be 0 in some situations - accounts for a population's intrinsic growth rate, (ii) the harvest rate accounts for the quality of population data (e.g. lower harvest when uncertainty is large), and (iii) the harvest level is obtained by multiplying the harvest rate by an updated estimate of population size. Environmental variability, the sex and age of removed animals and risk tolerance can also affect the harvest rate. Synthesis and applications. We present a coupled modelling and management approach for wildlife that accounts for climate change and can be used to balance trade-offs among multiple conservation goals. In

  1. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth Peacock

    Full Text Available We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation

  2. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A; Obbard, Martyn E; Boltunov, Andrei; Regehr, Eric V; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N; Sage, George K; Hope, Andrew G; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T; Amstrup, Steven C; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W; Derocher, Andrew E; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L

    2015-01-01

    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1-3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will allow

  3. Implications of the circumpolar genetic structure of polar bears for their conservation in a rapidly warming Arctic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonsthagen, Sarah A.; Obbard, Martyn E.; Boltunov, Andrei N.; Regehr, Eric V.; Ovsyanikov, Nikita; Aars, Jon; Atkinson, Stephen N.; Sage, George K.; Hope, Andrew G.; Zeyl, Eve; Bachmann, Lutz; Ehrich, Dorothee; Scribner, Kim T.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Born, Erik W.; Derocher, Andrew E.; Stirling, Ian; Taylor, Mitchell K.; Wiig, Øystein; Paetkau, David; Talbot, Sandra L.

    2015-01-01

    We provide an expansive analysis of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) circumpolar genetic variation during the last two decades of decline in their sea-ice habitat. We sought to evaluate whether their genetic diversity and structure have changed over this period of habitat decline, how their current genetic patterns compare with past patterns, and how genetic demography changed with ancient fluctuations in climate. Characterizing their circumpolar genetic structure using microsatellite data, we defined four clusters that largely correspond to current ecological and oceanographic factors: Eastern Polar Basin, Western Polar Basin, Canadian Archipelago and Southern Canada. We document evidence for recent (ca. last 1–3 generations) directional gene flow from Southern Canada and the Eastern Polar Basin towards the Canadian Archipelago, an area hypothesized to be a future refugium for polar bears as climate-induced habitat decline continues. Our data provide empirical evidence in support of this hypothesis. The direction of current gene flow differs from earlier patterns of gene flow in the Holocene. From analyses of mitochondrial DNA, the Canadian Archipelago cluster and the Barents Sea subpopulation within the Eastern Polar Basin cluster did not show signals of population expansion, suggesting these areas may have served also as past interglacial refugia. Mismatch analyses of mitochondrial DNA data from polar and the paraphyletic brown bear (U. arctos) uncovered offset signals in timing of population expansion between the two species, that are attributed to differential demographic responses to past climate cycling. Mitogenomic structure of polar bears was shallow and developed recently, in contrast to the multiple clades of brown bears. We found no genetic signatures of recent hybridization between the species in our large, circumpolar sample, suggesting that recently observed hybrids represent localized events. Documenting changes in subpopulation connectivity will

  4. Organohalogen concentrations in blood and adipose tissue of Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bentzen, T.W.; Muir, D.C.G.; Amstrup, Steven C.; O'Hara, T. M.

    2008-01-01

    We analyzed 151 organohalogen chemicals (OHCs) in whole blood and subcutaneous fat of 57 polar bears sampled along the Alaskan Beaufort Sea coast in spring, 2003. All major organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, PBDEs and their congeners were assessed. Concentrations of most OHCs continue to be lower among Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears than reported for other populations. Additionally, toxaphenes and related compounds were assessed in adipose tissue, and 8 perflourinated compounds (PFCs) were examined in blood. Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) concentrations exceeded those of any other contaminant measured in blood. ??Chlordane concentrations were higher in females, and both ??PCBs and ??Chlordane concentrations in adipose tissue decreased significantly with age. The rank order of OHC mean concentrations; ??PCB > ??10PCB > PCB153 > ??Chlordane > Oxychlordane > PCB180 > ??HCH > ??-HCH > ??DDT > p,p-DDE > ??PBDE > HCB > Toxaphene was similar for compounds above detection limits in both fat and blood. Although correlation between OHC concentrations in blood and adipose tissue was examined, the predictability of concentrations in one matrix for the other was limited. ?? 2008 Elsevier B.V.

  5. Tasmanian tigers and polar bears: The documentary moving image and (species loss

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Belinda Smaill

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available In this essay I explore how two divergent examples of the nonfiction moving image can be understood in relation to the problem of representing species loss. The species that provide the platform for this consideration are the thylacine, better known as the Tasmanian tiger, and the polar bear. They represent the two contingencies of species loss: endangerment and extinction. My analysis is structured around moving images from the 1930s of the last known thylacine and the very different example of Arctic Tale (Adam Ravetch, Sarah Robertson, 2007, a ‘Disneyfied’ film that dramatises climate change and its impact on the polar bear. Species loss is frequently perceived in a humanist sense, reflecting how we ‘imagine ourselves’ or anthropocentric charactersations of non-human others. I offer a close analysis of the two films, examining the problem of representing extinction through a consideration of the play of absence and presence, vitality and extinguishment, that characterises both the ontology of cinema and narratives about species loss.

  6. Polar Bear Optimization Algorithm: Meta-Heuristic with Fast Population Movement and Dynamic Birth and Death Mechanism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dawid Połap

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available In the proposed article, we present a nature-inspired optimization algorithm, which we called Polar Bear Optimization Algorithm (PBO. The inspiration to develop the algorithm comes from the way polar bears hunt to survive in harsh arctic conditions. These carnivorous mammals are active all year round. Frosty climate, unfavorable to other animals, has made polar bears adapt to the specific mode of exploration and hunting in large areas, not only over ice but also water. The proposed novel mathematical model of the way polar bears move in the search for food and hunt can be a valuable method of optimization for various theoretical and practical problems. Optimization is very similar to nature, similarly to search for optimal solutions for mathematical models animals search for optimal conditions to develop in their natural environments. In this method. we have used a model of polar bear behaviors as a search engine for optimal solutions. Proposed simulated adaptation to harsh winter conditions is an advantage for local and global search, while birth and death mechanism controls the population. Proposed PBO was evaluated and compared to other meta-heuristic algorithms using sample test functions and some classical engineering problems. Experimental research results were compared to other algorithms and analyzed using various parameters. The analysis allowed us to identify the leading advantages which are rapid recognition of the area by the relevant population and efficient birth and death mechanism to improve global and local search within the solution space.

  7. Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910-2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony S.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Douglas, David C.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 392 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens found in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions between 1910 and 2010 that are archived by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods, biases associated with collection method, primary time periods, and spatial resolution are provided. Polar bears in the Beaufort Sea and nearby regions den on both the sea ice and on land. Standardized VHF surveys and satellite radio telemetry data provide a general understanding of where polar bears have denned in this region over the past 3 decades. Den observations made during other research activities and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel also are reported. Data on past polar bear maternal den locations are provided to inform the public and to provide information for natural resource agencies in planning activities to avoid or minimize interference with polar bear maternity dens.

  8. Biomagnification of polybrominated diphenyl ether and hexabromocyclododecane flame retardants in the polar bear food chain in Svalbard, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sørmo, Eugen Gravningen; Salmer, Maria Pettersvik; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Hop, Haakon; Baek, Kine; Kovacs, Kit Maureen; Lydersen, Christian; Falk-Petersen, Stig; Gabrielsen, Geir Wing; Lie, Elisabeth; Skaare, Janneche Utne

    2006-09-01

    Concentrations of brominated flame retardants (BFRs), including polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) and hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), were investigated in an arctic marine food chain consisting of four invertebrate species: polar cod (Boreogadus saida), ringed seals (Pusa hispida), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The most abundant BFR, brominated diphenyl ether (BDE)-47, was found in detectable concentrations even in zooplankton, the lowest trophic level examined in this study. Most of the investigated BFRs biomagnified as function of tropic level in the food chain. A noticeable exception occurred at the highest trophic level, the polar bear, in which only BDE-153 was found to increase from its main prey, the ringed seal, indicating that polar bears appear to be able to metabolize and biodegrade most BFRs. In contrast, lower-brominated PBDEs, particularly BDE-47, showed clear signs of bioaccumulation in zooplankton, polar cod, and ringed seals. We suggest that this discrepancy in the fate of BFRs among the different species may be related to greater induction of oxidative detoxification activities in the polar bear. Absorption and debromination rates may be more important for bioaccumulation rates of BFRs in zooplankton, polar cod, and ringed seals. Lipid weight-based concentrations (LWCs) and whole body-based concentrations (WBCs) of BFRs were used to assess biomagnification factors (BMFs). Whole-body concentrations gave the most realistic BMFs, as BMFs derived from LWCs seem to be confounded by the large variability in lipid content of tissues from the investigated species. This study demonstrates that PBDEs and HBCD have reached measurable concentrations even in the lower trophic levels (invertebrates and fish) in the Arctic and biomagnifies in the polar bear food chain.

  9. Future sea ice conditions in Western Hudson Bay and consequences for polar bears in the 21st century.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro de la Guardia, Laura; Derocher, Andrew E; Myers, Paul G; Terwisscha van Scheltinga, Arjen D; Lunn, Nick J

    2013-09-01

    The primary habitat of polar bears is sea ice, but in Western Hudson Bay (WH), the seasonal ice cycle forces polar bears ashore each summer. Survival of bears on land in WH is correlated with breakup and the ice-free season length, and studies suggest that exceeding thresholds in these variables will lead to large declines in the WH population. To estimate when anthropogenic warming may have progressed sufficiently to threaten the persistence of polar bears in WH, we predict changes in the ice cycle and the sea ice concentration (SIC) in spring (the primary feeding period of polar bears) with a high-resolution sea ice-ocean model and warming forced with 21st century IPCC greenhouse gas (GHG) emission scenarios: B1 (low), A1B (medium), and A2 (high). We define critical years for polar bears based on proposed thresholds in breakup and ice-free season and we assess when ice-cycle conditions cross these thresholds. In the three scenarios, critical years occur more commonly after 2050. From 2001 to 2050, 2 critical years occur under B1 and A2, and 4 under A1B; from 2051 to 2100, 8 critical years occur under B1, 35 under A1B and 41 under A2. Spring SIC in WH is high (>90%) in all three scenarios between 2001 and 2050, but declines rapidly after 2050 in A1B and A2. From 2090 to 2100, the mean spring SIC is 84 (±7)% in B1, 56 (±26)% in A1B and 20 (±13)% in A2. Our predictions suggest that the habitat of polar bears in WH will deteriorate in the 21st century. Ice predictions in A1B and A2 suggest that the polar bear population may struggle to persist after ca. 2050. Predictions under B1 suggest that reducing GHG emissions could allow polar bears to persist in WH throughout the 21st century. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Electroejaculation and semen cryopreservation of free-ranging Japanese black bears (Ursus thibetanus japonicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okano, Tsukasa; Murase, Tetsuma; Tsubota, Toshio

    2004-11-01

    The Japanese black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) is endangered for extinction in some areas of Japan, and semen collection and cryopreservation are an important means to preserve genetic resources. The aim of this study was to characterize and cryopreserve semen of free-ranging Japanese black bears. Semen was collected by electroejaculation procedure from 4 free-ranging Japanese black bears at the capture point in the field. Ejaculates containing motile sperm were recovered from all of the animals and ejaculate volume, total sperm count, % motility (percentage of motile spermatozoa), % viability (percentage of spermatozoa that excluded eosin) and % abnormal morphology (range (mean)) were 0.65-2.20 (1.51) ml, 99-1082 (490) x 10(6), 5-100 (31), 42-97 (66) and 20-87 (53), respectively. Three of the 4 ejaculates were diluted with an egg yolk-TRIS-citrate-glucose extender and cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen. Motile spermatozoa were observed after freezing and thawing in all cases. This study showed that electroejaculation would be a useful method for collecting semen from free-ranging Japanese black bears and that at least motile spermatozoa would be obtained by freezing the thus collected electroejaculates.

  11. Changing Arctic Ecosystems: Updated forecast: Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions required to improve polar bear outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oakley, Karen L.; Atwood, Todd C.; Mugel, Douglas N.; Rode, Karyn D.; Whalen, Mary E.

    2015-01-01

    The Arctic is warming faster than other regions of the world due to the loss of snow and ice, which increases the amount of solar energy absorbed by the region. The most visible consequence has been the rapid decline in sea ice over the last 3 decades-a decline projected to bring long ice-free summers if greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are not significantly reduced. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice over the biologically productive continental shelves of the Arctic Ocean as a platform for hunting seals. In 2008, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) due to the threat posed by sea ice loss. The polar bear was the first species to be listed due to forecasted population declines from climate change.

  12. A novel method for analysing key corticosteroids in polar bear (Ursusmaritimus) hair using liquid chromatography tandem massspectrometry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Weisser, Johan J.; Hansen, Martin; Björklund, Erland

    2016-01-01

    as a useful tool for long-term and retrospective information. We developed a combined pressurized liquid extraction (PLE)-solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure for corticosteroid extraction and clean-up followed by high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) analysis....... This procedure allows for the simultaneous determination of multiple steroids, which is in contrast to previous polar bear studies based on ELISA techniques. Absolute method recoveries were 81%, 75% and 60% for cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone, respectively. We applied the developed method on a hair......This paper presents the development and evaluation of a methodology for extraction, clean-up and analysis of three key corticosteroids (aldosterone, cortisol and corticosterone) in polar bear hair. Such a methodology can be used to monitor stress biomarkers in polar bears and may provide...

  13. Movement of a female polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the Kara Sea during the summer sea-ice break-up.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rozhnov, V V; Platonov, N G; Naidenko, S V; Mordvintsev, I N; Ivanov, E A

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear movement trajectory in relation to onset date of the sea-ice break-up was studied in the coastal zone of the Taimyr Peninsula, eastern part of the Kara Sea, using as an example a female polar bear tagged by a radio collar with an Argos satellite transmitter. Analysis of the long-term pattern of ice melting and tracking, by means of satellite telemetry, of the female polar bear who followed the ice-edge outgoing in the north-eastern direction (in summer 2012) suggests that direction of the polar bear movement depends precisely on the direction of the sea-ice cover break-up.

  14. Genome-Wide Search Identifies 1.9 Mb from the Polar Bear Y Chromosome for Evolutionary Analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bidon, Tobias; Schreck, Nancy; Hailer, Frank; Nilsson, Maria A; Janke, Axel

    2015-05-27

    The male-inherited Y chromosome is the major haploid fraction of the mammalian genome, rendering Y-linked sequences an indispensable resource for evolutionary research. However, despite recent large-scale genome sequencing approaches, only a handful of Y chromosome sequences have been characterized to date, mainly in model organisms. Using polar bear (Ursus maritimus) genomes, we compare two different in silico approaches to identify Y-linked sequences: 1) Similarity to known Y-linked genes and 2) difference in the average read depth of autosomal versus sex chromosomal scaffolds. Specifically, we mapped available genomic sequencing short reads from a male and a female polar bear against the reference genome and identify 112 Y-chromosomal scaffolds with a combined length of 1.9 Mb. We verified the in silico findings for the longer polar bear scaffolds by male-specific in vitro amplification, demonstrating the reliability of the average read depth approach. The obtained Y chromosome sequences contain protein-coding sequences, single nucleotide polymorphisms, microsatellites, and transposable elements that are useful for evolutionary studies. A high-resolution phylogeny of the polar bear patriline shows two highly divergent Y chromosome lineages, obtained from analysis of the identified Y scaffolds in 12 previously published male polar bear genomes. Moreover, we find evidence of gene conversion among ZFX and ZFY sequences in the giant panda lineage and in the ancestor of ursine and tremarctine bears. Thus, the identification of Y-linked scaffold sequences from unordered genome sequences yields valuable data to infer phylogenomic and population-genomic patterns in bears. © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  15. A novel method for analysing key corticosteroids in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) hair using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisser, Johan J; Hansen, Martin; Björklund, Erland; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents the development and evaluation of a methodology for extraction, clean-up and analysis of three key corticosteroids (aldosterone, cortisol and corticosterone) in polar bear hair. Such a methodology can be used to monitor stress biomarkers in polar bears and may provide as a useful tool for long-term and retrospective information. We developed a combined pressurized liquid extraction (PLE)-solid phase extraction (SPE) procedure for corticosteroid extraction and clean-up followed by high pressure liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS/MS) analysis. This procedure allows for the simultaneous determination of multiple steroids, which is in contrast to previous polar bear studies based on ELISA techniques. Absolute method recoveries were 81%, 75% and 60% for cortisol, corticosterone and aldosterone, respectively. We applied the developed method on a hair sample pooled from four East Greenland polar bears. Herein cortisol and corticosterone were successfully determined in levels of 0.32±0.02ng/g hair and 0.13±0.02ng/g hair, respectively. Aldosterone was below limit of detection (LODpolar bears was consistent with cortisol levels previously determined in the Southern Hudson Bay and James Bay in Canada using ELISA kits. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Metabolic changes in summer active and anuric hibernating free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Stenvinkel

    Full Text Available The brown bear (Ursus arctos hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease.

  17. Metabolic changes in summer active and anuric hibernating free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenvinkel, Peter; Fröbert, Ole; Anderstam, Björn; Palm, Fredrik; Eriksson, Monica; Bragfors-Helin, Ann-Christin; Qureshi, Abdul Rashid; Larsson, Tobias; Friebe, Andrea; Zedrosser, Andreas; Josefsson, Johan; Svensson, My; Sahdo, Berolla; Bankir, Lise; Johnson, Richard J

    2013-01-01

    The brown bear (Ursus arctos) hibernates for 5 to 6 months each winter and during this time ingests no food or water and remains anuric and inactive. Despite these extreme conditions, bears do not develop azotemia and preserve their muscle and bone strength. To date most renal studies have been limited to small numbers of bears, often in captive environments. Sixteen free-ranging bears were darted and had blood drawn both during hibernation in winter and summer. Samples were collected for measurement of creatinine and urea, markers of inflammation, the calcium-phosphate axis, and nutritional parameters including amino acids. In winter the bear serum creatinine increased 2.5 fold despite a 2-fold decrease in urea, indicating a remarkable ability to recycle urea nitrogen during hibernation. During hibernation serum calcium remained constant despite a decrease in serum phosphate and a rise in FGF23 levels. Despite prolonged inactivity and reduced renal function, inflammation does not ensue and bears seem to have enhanced antioxidant defense mechanisms during hibernation. Nutrition parameters showed high fat stores, preserved amino acids and mild hyperglycemia during hibernation. While total, essential, non-essential and branched chain amino acids concentrations do not change during hibernation anorexia, changes in individual amino acids ornithine, citrulline and arginine indicate an active, although reduced urea cycle and nitrogen recycling to proteins. Serum uric acid and serum fructose levels were elevated in summer and changes between seasons were positively correlated. Further studies to understand how bears can prevent the development of uremia despite minimal renal function during hibernation could provide new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of human kidney disease.

  18. Demographic and temporal variations in immunity and condition of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuman-Lee, Lorin; Terletzky, Patricia; Atwood, Todd C.; Gese, Eric; Smith, Geoffrey; Greenfield, Sydney; Pettit, John; French, Susannah

    2017-01-01

    Assessing the health and condition of animals in their natural environment can be problematic. Many physiological metrics, including immunity, are highly influenced by specific context and recent events to which researchers may be unaware. Thus, using a multifaceted physiological approach and a context-specific analysis encompassing multiple time scales can be highly informative. Ecoimmunological tools in particular can provide important indications to the health of animals in the wild. We collected blood and hair samples from free-ranging polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea and examined the influence of sex, age, and reproductive status on metrics of immunity, stress, and body condition during 2013–2015. We examined metrics of innate immunity (bactericidal ability and lysis) and stress (hair cortisol, reactive oxygen species, and oxidative barrier), in relation to indices of body condition considered to be short term (urea to creatinine ratio; UC ratio) and long term (storage energy and body mass index). We found the factors of sex, age, and reproductive status of the bear were critical for interpreting different physiological metrics. Additionally, the metrics of body condition were important predictors for stress indicators. Finally, many of these metrics differed between years, illustrating the need to examine populations on a longer time scale. Taken together, this study demonstrates the complex relationship between multiple facets of physiology and how interpretation requires us to examine individuals within a specific context.

  19. Anti-NMDA Receptor Encephalitis in the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Knut.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prüss, H; Leubner, J; Wenke, N K; Czirják, G Á; Szentiks, C A; Greenwood, A D

    2015-08-27

    Knut the polar bear of the Berlin Zoological Garden drowned in 2011 following seizures and was diagnosed as having suffered encephalitis of unknown etiology after exhaustive pathogen screening. Using the diagnostic criteria applied to human patients, we demonstrate that Knut's encephalitis is almost identical to anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis which is a severe autoimmune disease representing the most common non-infectious encephalitis in humans. High concentrations of antibodies specific against the NR1 subunit of the NMDA receptor were detected in Knut's cerebrospinal fluid. Histological examination demonstrated very similar patterns of plasma cell infiltration and minimal neuronal loss in affected brain areas. We conclude that Knut suffered anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis making his the first reported non-human case of this treatable disease. The results suggest that anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis may be a disease of broad relevance to mammals that until now has remained undiagnosed.

  20. Estimating Allee Dynamics before They Can Be Observed: Polar Bears as a Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnár, Péter K.; Lewis, Mark A.; Derocher, Andrew E.

    2014-01-01

    Allee effects are an important component in the population dynamics of numerous species. Accounting for these Allee effects in population viability analyses generally requires estimates of low-density population growth rates, but such data are unavailable for most species and particularly difficult to obtain for large mammals. Here, we present a mechanistic modeling framework that allows estimating the expected low-density growth rates under a mate-finding Allee effect before the Allee effect occurs or can be observed. The approach relies on representing the mechanisms causing the Allee effect in a process-based model, which can be parameterized and validated from data on the mechanisms rather than data on population growth. We illustrate the approach using polar bears (Ursus maritimus), and estimate their expected low-density growth by linking a mating dynamics model to a matrix projection model. The Allee threshold, defined as the population density below which growth becomes negative, is shown to depend on age-structure, sex ratio, and the life history parameters determining reproduction and survival. The Allee threshold is thus both density- and frequency-dependent. Sensitivity analyses of the Allee threshold show that different combinations of the parameters determining reproduction and survival can lead to differing Allee thresholds, even if these differing combinations imply the same stable-stage population growth rate. The approach further shows how mate-limitation can induce long transient dynamics, even in populations that eventually grow to carrying capacity. Applying the models to the overharvested low-density polar bear population of Viscount Melville Sound, Canada, shows that a mate-finding Allee effect is a plausible mechanism for slow recovery of this population. Our approach is generalizable to any mating system and life cycle, and could aid proactive management and conservation strategies, for example, by providing a priori estimates of minimum

  1. Estimating Allee dynamics before they can be observed: polar bears as a case study.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter K Molnár

    Full Text Available Allee effects are an important component in the population dynamics of numerous species. Accounting for these Allee effects in population viability analyses generally requires estimates of low-density population growth rates, but such data are unavailable for most species and particularly difficult to obtain for large mammals. Here, we present a mechanistic modeling framework that allows estimating the expected low-density growth rates under a mate-finding Allee effect before the Allee effect occurs or can be observed. The approach relies on representing the mechanisms causing the Allee effect in a process-based model, which can be parameterized and validated from data on the mechanisms rather than data on population growth. We illustrate the approach using polar bears (Ursus maritimus, and estimate their expected low-density growth by linking a mating dynamics model to a matrix projection model. The Allee threshold, defined as the population density below which growth becomes negative, is shown to depend on age-structure, sex ratio, and the life history parameters determining reproduction and survival. The Allee threshold is thus both density- and frequency-dependent. Sensitivity analyses of the Allee threshold show that different combinations of the parameters determining reproduction and survival can lead to differing Allee thresholds, even if these differing combinations imply the same stable-stage population growth rate. The approach further shows how mate-limitation can induce long transient dynamics, even in populations that eventually grow to carrying capacity. Applying the models to the overharvested low-density polar bear population of Viscount Melville Sound, Canada, shows that a mate-finding Allee effect is a plausible mechanism for slow recovery of this population. Our approach is generalizable to any mating system and life cycle, and could aid proactive management and conservation strategies, for example, by providing a priori

  2. Polar bear mother-offspring interactions in maternity dens in captivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Gessel, Chad

    2015-01-01

    Two female polar bears at Dierenrijk Zoo in the Netherlands were monitored at their maternity den one day before the birth of their cubs and three days postpartum. Each bear was monitored for 96 hr to document behaviour and vocalisations. The goal was to obtain insight into the differences between the mother that lost her litter and the other that successfully reared her cubs. Six groups of cub vocalisations were identified: Comfort, Discomfort, Distress, Nursing Attempts, Nursing, and No Vocalisation. Maternal vocalisations were split into three groups: Calm, Grooming, and Stress. Maternal behaviours were also split into three groups: Active, Rest, and Stress. The unsuccessful mother produced more stress vocalisations before and during the birth of her cub, whereas the successful mother appeared less stressed. Vocalisations indicate that the cub that died tried to nurse but was unsuccessful. The unsuccessful mother showed less stress as her cub got weaker and vocalised less. From this I suggest that maternal stress was a factor in cub mortality. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Vibrational characteristics of a superconducting magnetic bearing employed for a prototype polarization modulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Yuki; Matsumura, Tomotake; Sugai, Hajime; Katayama, Nobuhiko; Ohsaki, Hiroyuki; Terao, Yutaka; Terachi, Yusuke; Kataza, Hirokazu; Utsunomiya, Shin; Yamamoto, Ryo

    2017-07-01

    We present the vibrational characteristics of a levitating rotor in a superconducting magnetic bearing (SMB) system operating at below 10 K. We develop a polarization modulator that requires a continuously rotating optical element, called half-wave plate (HWP), for a cosmic microwave background polarization experiment. The HWP has to operate at the temperature below 10 K, and thus an SMB provides a smooth rotation of the HWP at the cryogenic temperature of about 10 K with minimal heat dissipation. In order to understand the potential interference to the cosmological observations due to the vibration of the HWP, it is essential to characterize the vibrational properties of the levitating rotor of the SMB. We constructed a prototype model that consists of an SMB with an array of high temperature superconductors, YBCO, and a permanent magnet ring, NdFeB. The rotor position is monitored by a laser displacement gauge, and a cryogenic Hall sensor via the magnetic field. In this presentation, we present the measurement results of the vibration characteristics using our prototype SMB system. We characterize the vibrational properties as the spring constant and the damping, and discuss the projected performance of this technology toward the use in future space missions.

  4. Movements of female polar bears (Usrus maritimus) in the East Greenland pack ice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wiig, Øystein; Born, Erik W.; Pedersen, Leif Toudal

    2003-01-01

    maternity dens on land. If denning periods on land were excluded, the two females used between 73% and 100% of the tracking time offshore where they were able to navigate in the dynamic pack ice and counteract the fast southward movement of the ice (up to 30 km/h) in the East Greenland Current. Mean monthly...... movement rates varied between 0.32 and 0.76km/h. Both bears had very large home ranges (242,000 and 468,000 km(2)) within the dynamic pack ice of the Greenland Sea. The facts that the bears made extensive use of the offshore sea ice and that there is a marked reduction of the Greenland Sea ice call...

  5. Comparative hepatic in vitro depletion and metabolite formation of major perfluorooctane sulfonate precursors in Arctic polar bear, beluga whale, and ringed seal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letcher, Robert J; Chu, Shaogang; McKinney, Melissa A; Tomy, Gregg T; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune

    2014-10-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) has been reported to be among the most concentrated persistent organic pollutants in Arctic marine wildlife. The present study examined the in vitro depletion of major PFOS precursors, N-ethyl-perfluorooctane sulfonamide (N-EtFOSA) and perfluorooctane sulfonamide (FOSA), as well as metabolite formation using an assay based on enzymatically viable liver microsomes for three top Arctic marine mammalian predators, polar bear (Ursus maritimus), beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas), and ringed seal (Pusa hispida), and in laboratory rat (Rattus rattus) serving as a general mammalian model and positive control. Rat assays showed that N-EtFOSA (38 nM or 150 ng mL(-1)) to FOSA metabolism was >90% complete after 10 min, and at a rate of 23 pmol min(-1) mg(-1) protein. Examining all species in a full 90 min incubation assay, there was >95% N-EtFOSA depletion for the rat active control and polar bear microsomes, ∼65% for ringed seals, and negligible depletion of N-EtFOSA for beluga whale. Concomitantly, the corresponding in vitro formation of FOSA from N-EtFOSA was also quantitatively rat≈polar bear>ringed seal>beluga whale. A lack of enzymatic ability and/or a rate too slow to be detected likely explains the lack of N-EtFOSA to FOSA transformation for beluga whale. In the same assays, the depletion of the FOSA metabolite was insignificant (p>0.01) and with no concomitant formation of PFOS metabolite. This suggests that, in part, a source of FOSA is the biotransformation of accumulated N-EtFOSA in free-ranging Arctic ringed seal and polar bear. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bourgeon, Sophie; Riemer, Astrid Kolind; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Polder, Anuschka; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Routti, Heli

    2017-10-01

    As apex predators, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are among the most heavily polluted organisms in the Arctic. In addition to this anthropogenic stressor, climate warming has been shown to negatively affect their body condition, reproductive output and survival. Among potential underlying physiological mechanisms, thyroid hormones (THs), which control thermoregulation, metabolism and reproduction, can be affected by a variety of both natural and anthropogenic factors. While THs have been extensively used as proxies for pollution exposure in mammals, including polar bears, there is a lack of knowledge of their natural variations. In this context, we examined seasonal variations in body condition and circulating TH concentrations in free-ranging female polar bears. Females with variable reproductive status (i.e., solitary, with cubs of the year or with yearlings) were sampled from locations with contrasted sea ice conditions. Furthermore, we studied THs in relation to levels of organo-halogenated contaminants. As predicted, solitary females were in better condition than females caring for offspring, especially in spring. In addition, TH levels were lower in autumn compared to spring, although this seasonal effect was mainly observed in solitary females. Finally, the negative relationships between organochlorine and perfluoroalkyl substances and some THs suggest a possible alteration of homeostasis of THs. Since the latter relationships were only observed during spring, we emphasize the importance of considering the ecological factors when using THs as proxies for pollution exposure. Yet, the combined effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on THs might impair the ability of polar bears to adapt to ongoing climate changes. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Identification of 4-hydroxyheptachlorostyrene in polar bear plasma and its binding affinity to transhyretin: a metabolite of octachlorostyrene

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sandau, C.D.; Meerts, I.A.T.M.; Letcher, R.J.; McAlee, A.J.; Chittim, B.; Brouwer, A.; Norstrom, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    A new compound, 4-hydroxyheptachlorostyrene (4-OH-HpCS), was identified as a major component in the chlorinated phenolic compound fraction of polar bear plasma. The structure was hypothesized to be 4-OH-HpCS based on mass spectral interpretation, the assumption that it was a metabolite of

  8. Perfluoroalkyl substances in polar bear mother-cub pairs: A comparative study based on plasma levels from 1998 and 2008

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bytingsvik, J.; Leeuwen, S.; Hamers, T.; Swart, C.P.; Aars, J.; Lie, E.; Espseth Nilsen, E.M.; Wiig, O.; Derocher, A. E.; Jenssen, B.M.

    2012-01-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are protein-binding blood-accumulating contaminants that may have detrimental toxicological effects on the early phases of mammalian development. To enable an evaluation of the potential health risks of PFAS exposure for polar bears (Ursus maritimus), an exposure

  9. Identification of 4-hydroxyheptachlorostyrene in polar bear plasma and its binding affinity to transthyretin : a metabolite of octachlorostyrene?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Standau, C.D.; Meerts, I.A.T.M.; Letcher, R.J.; McAlees, A.J.; Chittim, B.; Brouwer, A.; Norstrom, R.J.

    2000-01-01

    A new compound, 4-hydroxyheptachlorostyrene (4-OH-HpCS), was identified as a major component in the chlorinated phenolic compound fraction of polar bear plasma. The structure was hypothesized to be 4-OH-HpCS based on mass spectral interpretation, the assumption that it was a metabolite of

  10. Organohalogen concentrations and a gross and histologic assessment of multiple organ systems in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, C.

    , infectious agents, season and meaby chronic exposure to organohalogens. These result fill out an existing knowledge gap in potential effects of environmental, organic contaminants on fluctuating asymmetry, bone mineral density and functional anatomy (histology) in the polar bear. In addition, the results may...

  11. Bearing splitting and near-surface source ranging in the direct zone of deep water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Jun-Nan; Zhou, Shi-Hong; Peng, Zhao-Hui; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Ren-He

    2016-12-01

    Sound multipath propagation is very important for target localization and identification in different acoustical zones of deep water. In order to distinguish the multipath characteristics in deep water, the Northwest Pacific Acoustic Experiment was conducted in 2015. A low-frequency horizontal line array towed at the depth of around 150 m on a receiving ship was used to receive the noise radiated by the source ship. During this experiment, a bearing-splitting phenomenon in the direct zone was observed through conventional beamforming of the horizontal line array within the frequency band 160 Hz-360 Hz. In this paper, this phenomenon is explained based on ray theory. In principle, the received signal in the direct zone of deep water arrives from two general paths including a direct one and bottom bounced one, which vary considerably in arrival angles. The split bearings correspond to the contributions of these two paths. The bearing-splitting phenomenon is demonstrated by numerical simulations of the bearing-time records and experimental results, and they are well consistent with each other. Then a near-surface source ranging approach based on the arrival angles of direct path and bottom bounced path in the direct zone is presented as an application of bearing splitting and is verified by experimental results. Finally, the applicability of the proposed ranging approach for an underwater source within several hundred meters in depth in the direct zone is also analyzed and demonstrated by simulations. Project supported by the Program of One Hundred Talented People of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11434012 and 41561144006).

  12. Influences of landscape heterogeneity on home-range sizes of brown bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangipane, Lindsey S.; Belant, Jerrold L.; Hiller, Tim L.; Colvin, Michael E.; Gustine, David; Mangipane, Buck A.; Hilderbrand, Grant

    2018-01-01

    Animal space use is influenced by many factors and can affect individual survival and fitness. Under optimal foraging theory, individuals use landscapes to optimize high-quality resources while minimizing the amount of energy used to acquire them. The spatial resource variability hypothesis states that as patchiness of resources increases, individuals use larger areas to obtain the resources necessary to meet energetic requirements. Additionally, under the temporal resource variability hypothesis, seasonal variation in available resources can reduce distances moved while providing a variety of food sources. Our objective was to determine if seasonal home ranges of brown bears (Ursus arctos) were influenced by temporal availability and spatial distribution of resources and whether individual reproductive status, sex, or size (i.e., body mass) mediated space use. To test our hypotheses, we radio collared brown bears (n = 32 [9 male, 23 female]) in 2014–2016 and used 18 a prioriselected linear models to evaluate seasonal utilization distributions (UD) in relation to our hypotheses. Our top-ranked model by AICc, supported the spatial resource variability hypothesis and included percentage of like adjacency (PLADJ) of all cover types (P  0.17 for males, solitary females, and females with dependent young), and body mass (kg; P = 0.66). Based on this model, for every percentage increase in PLADJ, UD area was predicted to increase 1.16 times for all sex and reproductive classes. Our results suggest that landscape heterogeneity influences brown bear space use; however, we found that bears used larger areas when landscape homogeneity increased, presumably to gain a diversity of food resources. Our results did not support the temporal resource variability hypothesis, suggesting that the spatial distribution of food was more important than seasonal availability in relation to brown bear home range size.

  13. Haematological and biochemical reference intervals for free-ranging brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Fahlman, Åsa; Evans, Alina L.

    2014-01-01

    BackgroundEstablishment of haematological and biochemical reference intervals is important to assess health of animals on individual and population level. Reference intervals for 13 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were established based on 88 apparently healthy free-ranging brown bears...... and marking for ecological studies. For each of the variables, the reference interval was described based on the 95% confidence interval, and differences due to host characteristics sex and age were included if detected. To our knowledge, this is the first report of reference intervals for free-ranging brown...... bears in Sweden.ResultsThe following variables were not affected by host characteristics: red blood cell, white blood cell, monocyte and platelet count, alanine transaminase, amylase, bilirubin, free fatty acids, glucose, calcium, chloride, potassium, and cortisol. Age differences were seen...

  14. Cumulant-Based Coherent Signal Subspace Method for Bearing and Range Estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saidi, Zineb; Bourennane, Salah

    2006-12-01

    A new method for simultaneous range and bearing estimation for buried objects in the presence of an unknown Gaussian noise is proposed. This method uses the MUSIC algorithm with noise subspace estimated by using the slice fourth-order cumulant matrix of the received data. The higher-order statistics aim at the removal of the additive unknown Gaussian noise. The bilinear focusing operator is used to decorrelate the received signals and to estimate the coherent signal subspace. A new source steering vector is proposed including the acoustic scattering model at each sensor. Range and bearing of the objects at each sensor are expressed as a function of those at the first sensor. This leads to the improvement of object localization anywhere, in the near-field or in the far-field zone of the sensor array. Finally, the performances of the proposed method are validated on data recorded during experiments in a water tank.

  15. Cumulant-Based Coherent Signal Subspace Method for Bearing and Range Estimation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bourennane Salah

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available A new method for simultaneous range and bearing estimation for buried objects in the presence of an unknown Gaussian noise is proposed. This method uses the MUSIC algorithm with noise subspace estimated by using the slice fourth-order cumulant matrix of the received data. The higher-order statistics aim at the removal of the additive unknown Gaussian noise. The bilinear focusing operator is used to decorrelate the received signals and to estimate the coherent signal subspace. A new source steering vector is proposed including the acoustic scattering model at each sensor. Range and bearing of the objects at each sensor are expressed as a function of those at the first sensor. This leads to the improvement of object localization anywhere, in the near-field or in the far-field zone of the sensor array. Finally, the performances of the proposed method are validated on data recorded during experiments in a water tank.

  16. Dietary habits of polar bears in Foxe Basin, Canada: possible evidence of a trophic regime shift mediated by a new top predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galicia, Melissa P; Thiemann, Gregory W; Dyck, Markus G; Ferguson, Steven H; Higdon, Jeff W

    2016-08-01

    Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations in several areas with seasonal sea ice regimes have shown declines in body condition, reproductive rates, or abundance as a result of declining sea ice habitat. In the Foxe Basin region of Nunavut, Canada, the size of the polar bear subpopulation has remained largely stable over the past 20 years, despite concurrent declines in sea ice habitat. We used fatty acid analysis to examine polar bear feeding habits in Foxe Basin and thus potentially identify ecological factors contributing to population stability. Adipose tissue samples were collected from 103 polar bears harvested during 2010-2012. Polar bear diet composition varied spatially within the region with ringed seal (Pusa hispida) comprising the primary prey in northern and southern Foxe Basin, whereas polar bears in Hudson Strait consumed equal proportions of ringed seal and harp seal (Pagophilus groenlandicus). Walrus (Odobenus rosmarus) consumption was highest in northern Foxe Basin, a trend driven by the ability of adult male bears to capture large-bodied prey. Importantly, bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) contributed to polar bear diets in all areas and all age and sex classes. Bowhead carcasses resulting from killer whale (Orcinus orca) predation and subsistence harvest potentially provide an important supplementary food source for polar bears during the ice-free period. Our results suggest that the increasing abundance of killer whales and bowhead whales in the region could be indirectly contributing to improved polar bear foraging success despite declining sea ice habitat. However, this indirect interaction between top predators may be temporary if continued sea ice declines eventually severely limit on-ice feeding opportunities for polar bears.

  17. Females roam while males patrol: divergence in breeding season movements of pack-ice polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laidre, Kristin L; Born, Erik W; Gurarie, Eliezer; Wiig, Øystein; Dietz, Rune; Stern, Harry

    2013-02-07

    Intraspecific differences in movement behaviour reflect different tactics used by individuals or sexes to favour strategies that maximize fitness. We report movement data collected from n = 23 adult male polar bears with novel ear-attached transmitters in two separate pack ice subpopulations over five breeding seasons. We compared movements with n = 26 concurrently tagged adult females, and analysed velocities, movement tortuosity, range sizes and habitat selection with respect to sex, reproductive status and body mass. There were no differences in 4-day displacements or sea ice habitat selection for sex or population. By contrast, adult females in all years and both populations had significantly more linear movements and significantly larger breeding range sizes than males. We hypothesized that differences were related to encounter rates, and used observed movement metrics to parametrize a simulation model of male-male and male-female encounter. The simulation showed that the more tortuous movement of males leads to significantly longer times to male-male encounter, while having little impact on male-female encounter. By contrast, linear movements of females are consistent with a prioritized search for sparsely distributed prey. These results suggest a possible mechanism for explaining the smaller breeding range sizes of some solitary male carnivores compared to females.

  18. The influence of gastrocnemius stretching combined with joint mobilization on weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Min-Hyeok; Lee, Dong-Kyu; Kim, Soo-Yong; Kim, Jun-Seok; Oh, Jae-Seop

    2015-05-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of gastrocnemius stretching combined with talocrural joint mobilization on weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion. [Subjects] Eleven male subjects with bilateral limited ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion with knee extended participated in this study. [Methods] All subjects received talocrural joint mobilization while performing gastrocnemius stretching. Ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion was measured using an inclinometer under weight-bearing conditions before and immediately after intervention. A paired t-test was used to analyze the difference between weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion pre- and post-intervention. [Results] A significant increase in weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion was found post-intervention compared with pre-intervention. [Conclusion] These findings demonstrate that gastrocnemius stretching combined with joint mobilization is effective for increasing weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion.

  19. Mapping polar bear maternal denning habitat in the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska with an IfSAR digital terrain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    The National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPR-A) in northeastern Alaska provides winter maternal denning habitat for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and also has high potential for recoverable hydrocarbons. Denning polar bears exposed to human activities may abandon their dens before their young are able to survive the severity of Arctic winter weather. To ensure that wintertime petroleum activities do not threaten polar bears, managers need to know the distribution of landscape features in which maternal dens are likely to occur. Here, we present a map of potential denning habitat within the NPR-A. We used a fine-grain digital elevation model derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) to generate a map of putative denning habitat. We then tested the map’s ability to identify polar bear denning habitat on the landscape. Our final map correctly identified 82% of denning habitat estimated to be within the NPR-A. Mapped denning habitat comprised 19.7 km2 (0.1% of the study area) and was widely dispersed. Though mapping denning habitat with IfSAR data was as effective as mapping with the photogrammetric methods used for other regions of the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain, the use of GIS to analyze IfSAR data allowed greater objectivity and flexibility with less manual labor. Analytical advantages and performance equivalent to that of manual cartographic methods suggest that the use of IfSAR data to identify polar bear maternal denning habitat is a better management tool in the NPR-A and wherever such data may be available.

  20. Urinary profiles of progestin and androgen metabolites in female polar bears during parturient and non-parturient cycles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knott, Katrina K; Mastromonaco, Gabriela F; Owen, Megan A; Kouba, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Due to the environmental and anthropogenic impacts that continue to threaten the reproductive success of polar bears, a more detailed understanding of their reproductive cycle is needed. Captive populations of polar bears provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about the reproductive physiology of the species. Progestin (P4) and androgen (T) metabolites in urine, and their ratio (P4:T), were examined during 11 reproductive cycles of captive female polar bears (n = 4) to characterize the steroid hormone profile during pregnancy and determine possible variations related to reproductive failure. The concentration of hormone metabolites in urine were determined through enzyme immunoassay. Reproductive cycles were classified as pregnant (n = 3), anovulatory (n = 4) and ovulatory-non-parturient (n = 4) based on the changes in urinary hormone metabolite values and cub production. In the absence of a lactational suppression of estrus, elevated androgen concentrations suggested resumption of follicular development within 3 weeks of parturition. Breeding behaviours were most often observed when androgen values were at their highest or in decline. Ovulation was identified by a return to basal androgen concentration and elevation of progestins within 1-4 weeks after breeding. As a result, urinary concentrations of progestins were greater than androgens (P4:T ratio ≥ 1.0) during ovulatory cycles whereas the P4:T ratio was Non-invasive monitoring of hormone metabolites in urine provided a rapid determination of endocrine function for improved husbandry and reproductive management of polar bears in captivity. Further research is warranted to understand the reproductive endocrinology of polar bears and its impact on conservation and management of this species in captivity and the wild.

  1. Home range size variation in female arctic grizzly bears relative to reproductive status and resource availability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E; Nagy, John A

    2013-01-01

    The area traversed in pursuit of resources defines the size of an animal's home range. For females, the home range is presumed to be a function of forage availability. However, the presence of offspring may also influence home range size due to reduced mobility, increased nutritional need, and behavioral adaptations of mothers to increase offspring survival. Here, we examine the relationship between resource use and variation in home range size for female barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) of the Mackenzie Delta region in Arctic Canada. We develop methods to test hypotheses of home range size that address selection of cover where cover heterogeneity is low, using generalized linear mixed-effects models and an information-theoretic approach. We found that the reproductive status of female grizzlies affected home range size but individually-based spatial availability of highly selected cover in spring and early summer was a stronger correlate. If these preferred covers in spring and early summer, a period of low resource availability for grizzly bears following den-emergence, were patchy and highly dispersed, females travelled farther regardless of the presence or absence of offspring. Increased movement to preferred covers, however, may result in greater risk to the individual or family.

  2. Home range size variation in female arctic grizzly bears relative to reproductive status and resource availability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark A Edwards

    Full Text Available The area traversed in pursuit of resources defines the size of an animal's home range. For females, the home range is presumed to be a function of forage availability. However, the presence of offspring may also influence home range size due to reduced mobility, increased nutritional need, and behavioral adaptations of mothers to increase offspring survival. Here, we examine the relationship between resource use and variation in home range size for female barren-ground grizzly bears (Ursus arctos of the Mackenzie Delta region in Arctic Canada. We develop methods to test hypotheses of home range size that address selection of cover where cover heterogeneity is low, using generalized linear mixed-effects models and an information-theoretic approach. We found that the reproductive status of female grizzlies affected home range size but individually-based spatial availability of highly selected cover in spring and early summer was a stronger correlate. If these preferred covers in spring and early summer, a period of low resource availability for grizzly bears following den-emergence, were patchy and highly dispersed, females travelled farther regardless of the presence or absence of offspring. Increased movement to preferred covers, however, may result in greater risk to the individual or family.

  3. Variables affecting the manifestation of and intensity of pacing behavior: A preliminary case study in zoo-housed polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cless, Isabelle T; Lukas, Kristen E

    2017-09-01

    High-speed video analysis was used to quantify two aspects of gait in 10 zoo-housed polar bears. These two variables were then examined as to how they differed in the conditions of pacing versus locomoting for each bear. Percent difference calculations measured the difference between pacing and locomoting data for each bear. We inferred that the higher the percent difference between pacing and locomoting in a given subject, the more intense the pacing may be. The percent difference values were analyzed alongside caregiver survey data defining the locations, frequency, and anticipatory nature of pacing in each bear, as well as each bear's age and sex, to determine whether any variables were correlated. The frequency and intensity of pacing behavior were not correlated. However, location of pacing was significantly correlated both with the subjects' age and whether or not the subject was classified as an anticipatory pacer. Bears appeared to select specific spots within their exhibits to pace, and the location therefore seemed tied to underlying motivation for the behavior. Additionally, bears that were classified in the survey as pacing anticipatorily displayed significantly more intense pacing behavior as quantified by gait analysis. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Phenotypic plasticity and climate change: can polar bears respond to longer Arctic summers with an adaptive fast?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whiteman, John P; Harlow, Henry J; Durner, George M; Regehr, Eric V; Amstrup, Steven C; Ben-David, Merav

    2018-02-01

    Plasticity in the physiological and behavioural responses of animals to prolonged food shortages may determine the persistence of species under climate warming. This is particularly applicable for species that can "adaptively fast" by conserving protein to protect organ function while catabolizing endogenous tissues. Some Ursids, including polar bears (Ursus maritimus), adaptively fast during winter hibernation-and it has been suggested that polar bears also employ this strategy during summer. We captured 57 adult female polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea (SBS) during summer 2008 and 2009 and measured blood variables that indicate feeding, regular fasting, and adaptive fasting. We also assessed tissue δ 13 C and δ 15 N to infer diet, and body condition via mass and length. We found that bears on shore maintained lipid and protein stores by scavenging on bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) carcasses from human harvest, while those that followed the retreating sea ice beyond the continental shelf were food deprived. They had low ratios of blood urea to creatinine (U:C), normally associated with adaptive fasting. However, they also exhibited low albumin and glucose (indicative of protein loss) and elevated alanine aminotransferase and ghrelin (which fall during adaptive fasting). Thus, the ~ 70% of the SBS subpopulation that spends summer on the ice experiences more of a regular, rather than adaptive, fast. This fast will lengthen as summer ice declines. The resulting protein loss prior to winter could be a mechanism driving the reported correlation between summer ice and polar bear reproduction and survival in the SBS.

  5. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek-Huntington, Kathy; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie; Bodenstein, Barbara; Beckmen, Kimberlee; Durner, George

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  6. Prevalence and spatio-temporal variation of an alopecia syndrome in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Peacock, Elizabeth; Burek, K.A.; Shearn-Bochsler, Valerie I.; Bodenstein, Barbara L.; Beckmen, Kimberlee B.; Durner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Alopecia (hair loss) has been observed in several marine mammal species and has potential energetic consequences for sustaining a normal core body temperature, especially for Arctic marine mammals routinely exposed to harsh environmental conditions. Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) rely on a thick layer of adipose tissue and a dense pelage to ameliorate convective heat loss while moving between sea ice and open water. From 1998 to 2012, we observed an alopecia syndrome in polar bears from the southern Beaufort Sea of Alaska that presented as bilaterally asymmetrical loss of guard hairs and thinning of the undercoat around the head, neck, and shoulders, which, in severe cases, was accompanied by exudation and crusted skin lesions. Alopecia was observed in 49 (3.45%) of the bears sampled during 1,421 captures, and the apparent prevalence varied by years with peaks occurring in 1999 (16%) and 2012 (28%). The probability that a bear had alopecia was greatest for subadults and for bears captured in the Prudhoe Bay region, and alopecic individuals had a lower body condition score than unaffected individuals. The cause of the syndrome remains unknown and future work should focus on identifying the causative agent and potential effects on population vital rates.

  7. Transthyretin-binding activity of contaminants in blood from polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bytingsvik, Jenny; Simon, Eszter; Leonards, Pim E G; Lamoree, Marja; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Oystein; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Hamers, Timo

    2013-05-07

    We determined the transthyretin (TTR)-binding activity of blood-accumulating contaminants in blood plasma samples of approximately 4-months-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) cubs from Svalbard sampled in 1998 and 2008. The TTR-binding activity was measured as thyroxine (T4)-like equivalents (T4-EQMeas). Our findings show that the TTR-binding activity related to contaminant levels was significantly lower (45%) in 2008 than in 1998 (mean ± standard error of mean: 1998, 2265 ± 231 nM; 2008, 1258 ± 170 nM). Although we cannot exclude a potential influence of between-year differences in capture location and cub body mass, our findings most likely reflect reductions of TTR-binding contaminants or their precursors in the arctic environment (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs]). The measured TTR-binding activity correlated positively with the cubs' plasma levels of hydroxylated PCBs (OH-PCBs). No such association was found between TTR-binding activity and the plasma levels of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs). The OH-PCBs explained 60 ± 7% and 54 ± 4% of the TTR-binding activity in 1998 and 2008, respectively, and PFASs explained ≤1.2% both years. Still, almost half the TTR-binding activity could not be explained by the contaminants we examined. The considerable levels of TTR-binding contaminants warrant further effect directed analysis (EDA) to identify the contaminants responsible for the unexplained part of the observed TTR-binding activity.

  8. Validation of adipose lipid content as a body condition index for polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A.; Atwood, Todd; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian; Iverson, Sara J.; Peacock, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Body condition is a key indicator of individual and population health. Yet, there is little consensus as to the most appropriate condition index (CI), and most of the currently used CIs have not been thoroughly validated and are logistically challenging. Adipose samples from large datasets of capture biopsied, remote biopsied, and harvested polar bears were used to validate adipose lipid content as a CI via tests of accuracy, precision, sensitivity, biopsy depth, and storage conditions and comparisons to established CIs, to measures of health and to demographic and ecological parameters. The lipid content analyses of even very small biopsy samples were highly accurate and precise, but results were influenced by tissue depth at which the sample was taken. Lipid content of capture biopsies and samples from harvested adult females was correlated with established CIs and/or conformed to expected biological variation and ecological changes. However, lipid content of remote biopsies was lower than capture biopsies and harvested samples, possibly due to lipid loss during dart retrieval. Lipid content CI is a biologically relevant, relatively inexpensive and rapidly assessed CI and can be determined routinely for individuals and populations in order to infer large-scale spatial and long-term temporal trends. As it is possible to collect samples during routine harvesting or remotely using biopsy darts, monitoring and assessment of body condition can be accomplished without capture and handling procedures or noninvasively, which are methods that are preferred by local communities. However, further work is needed to apply the method to remote biopsies.

  9. Diet and metabolic state are the main factors determining concentrations of perfluoroalkyl substances in female polar bears from Svalbard.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartu, Sabrina; Bourgeon, Sophie; Aars, Jon; Andersen, Magnus; Lone, Karen; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Polder, Anuschka; Thiemann, Gregory W; Torget, Vidar; Welker, Jeffrey M; Routti, Heli

    2017-10-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) have been detected in organisms worldwide, including Polar Regions. The polar bear (Ursus maritimus), the top predator of Arctic marine ecosystems, accumulates high concentrations of PFASs, which may be harmful to their health. The aim of this study was to investigate which factors (habitat quality, season, year, diet, metabolic state [i.e. feeding/fasting], breeding status and age) predict PFAS concentrations in female polar bears captured on Svalbard (Norway). We analysed two perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs: PFHxS and PFOS) and C 8 -C 13 perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) in 112 plasma samples obtained in April and September 2012-2013. Nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios (δ 15 N, δ 13 C) in red blood cells and plasma, and fatty acid profiles in adipose tissue were used as proxies for diet. We determined habitat quality based on movement patterns, capture position and resource selection functions, which are models that predict the probability of use of a resource unit. Plasma urea to creatinine ratios were used as proxies for metabolic state (i.e. feeding or fasting state). Results were obtained from a conditional model averaging of 42 general linear mixed models. Diet was the most important predictor of PFAS concentrations. PFAS concentrations were positively related to trophic level and marine diet input. High PFAS concentrations in females feeding on the eastern part of Svalbard, where the habitat quality was higher than on the western coast, were likely related to diet and possibly to abiotic factors. Concentrations of PFSAs and C 8 -C 10 PFCAs were higher in fasting than in feeding polar bears and PFOS was higher in females with cubs of the year than in solitary females. Our findings suggest that female polar bears that are exposed to the highest levels of PFAS are those 1) feeding on high trophic level sea ice-associated prey, 2) fasting and 3) with small cubs. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Influence of the particle size on polarization-based range-gated imaging in turbid media

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heng Tian

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The influence of size of the scatterer on the image contrast for polarization-based range-gated imaging in turbid media is investigated here by Monte Carlo method. Circularly polarized light would be more efficient to eliminate the noise photons for both the isotropic medium as well as the anisotropic medium, as compared with linearly polarized light. The improvement in contrast is pronounced for isotropic medium using either linear or circular polarization. The plausible explanations for these observations are also presented.

  11. Home ranges and habitat use of sloth bears Melursus ursinus inornatus in Wasgomuwa National Park, Sri Lanka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratnayeke, S.; Van Manen, F.T.; Padmalal, U.K.G.K.

    2007-01-01

    We studied home ranges and habitat selection of 10 adult sloth bears Melursus ursinus inornatus at Wasgomuwa National Park, Sri Lanka during 2002-2003. Very little is known about the ecology and behaviour of M. u. inornatus, which is a subspecies found in Sri Lanka. Our study was undertaken to assess space and habitat requirements typical of a viable population of M. u. inornatus to facilitate future conservation efforts. We captured and radio-collared 10 adult sloth bears and used the telemetry data to assess home-range size and habitat use. Mean 95% fixed kernel home ranges were 2.2 km2 (SE = 0.61) and 3.8 km2 (SE = 1.01) for adult females and males, respectively. Although areas outside the national park were accessible to bears, home ranges were almost exclusively situated within the national park boundaries. Within the home ranges, high forests were used more and abandoned agricultural fields (chenas) were used less than expected based on availability. Our estimates of home-range size are among the smallest reported for any species of bear. Thus, despite its relatively small size, Wasgomuwa National Park may support a sizeable population of sloth bears. The restriction of human activity within protected areas may be necessary for long-term viability of sloth bear populations in Sri Lanka as is maintenance of forest or scrub cover in areas with existing sloth bear populations and along potential travel corridors. ?? Wildlife Biology 2007.

  12. Effects of capturing and collaring on polar bears: findings from long-term research on the southern Beaufort Sea population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rode, Karyn D.; Pagano, Anthony M.; Bromaghin, Jeffrey F.; Atwood, Todd C.; Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2014-01-01

    Context: The potential for research methods to affect wildlife is an increasing concern among both scientists and the public. This topic has a particular urgency for polar bears because additional research is needed to monitor and understand population responses to rapid loss of sea ice habitat.Aims: This study used data collected from polar bears sampled in the Alaska portion of the southern Beaufort Sea to investigate the potential for capture to adversely affect behaviour and vital rates. We evaluated the extent to which capture, collaring and handling may influence activity and movement days to weeks post-capture, and body mass, body condition, reproduction and survival over 6 months or more.Methods: We compared post-capture activity and movement rates, and relationships between prior capture history and body mass, body condition and reproductive success. We also summarised data on capture-related mortality.Key results: Individual-based estimates of activity and movement rates reached near-normal levels within 2–3 days and fully normal levels within 5 days post-capture. Models of activity and movement rates among all bears had poor fit, but suggested potential for prolonged, lower-level rate reductions. Repeated captures was not related to negative effects on body condition, reproduction or cub growth or survival. Capture-related mortality was substantially reduced after 1986, when immobilisation drugs were changed, with only 3 mortalities in 2517 captures from 1987–2013.Conclusions: Polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea exhibited the greatest reductions in activity and movement rates 3.5 days post-capture. These shorter-term, post-capture effects do not appear to have translated into any long-term effects on body condition, reproduction, or cub survival. Additionally, collaring had no effect on polar bear recovery rates, body condition, reproduction or cub survival.Implications: This study provides empirical evidence that current capture

  13. Identifying and managing an adverse food reaction in a polar bear (Ursus maritimus) by an elimination diet trial.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Monson, Sara; Minter, Larry J; Krouse, Marissa; De Voe, Ryan S

    2014-06-01

    A 16-yr-old polar bear (Ursus maritimus) presented with severe diarrhea shortly following transfer to the North Carolina Zoological Park. Multiple diagnostic procedures were performed over several months and the cause of the chronic diarrhea was inconclusive. Histologically, colonic mucosal biopsies were consistent with severe chronic eosinophilic and lymphoplasmacytic colitis with no evidence of etiologic agents present. A dietary elimination trial was conducted and an adverse food reaction to the dog chow in the diet was confirmed.

  14. Long Range Dependence Prognostics for Bearing Vibration Intensity Chaotic Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Li

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the chaotic features and typical fractional order characteristics of the bearing vibration intensity time series, a forecasting approach based on long range dependence (LRD is proposed. In order to reveal the internal chaotic properties, vibration intensity time series are reconstructed based on chaos theory in phase-space, the delay time is computed with C-C method and the optimal embedding dimension and saturated correlation dimension are calculated via the Grassberger–Procaccia (G-P method, respectively, so that the chaotic characteristics of vibration intensity time series can be jointly determined by the largest Lyapunov exponent and phase plane trajectory of vibration intensity time series, meanwhile, the largest Lyapunov exponent is calculated by the Wolf method and phase plane trajectory is illustrated using Duffing-Holmes Oscillator (DHO. The Hurst exponent and long range dependence prediction method are proposed to verify the typical fractional order features and improve the prediction accuracy of bearing vibration intensity time series, respectively. Experience shows that the vibration intensity time series have chaotic properties and the LRD prediction method is better than the other prediction methods (largest Lyapunov, auto regressive moving average (ARMA and BP neural network (BPNN model in prediction accuracy and prediction performance, which provides a new approach for running tendency predictions for rotating machinery and provide some guidance value to the engineering practice.

  15. Effect-directed analysis to explore the polar bear exposome: identification of thyroid hormone disrupting compounds in plasma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Eszter; van Velzen, Martin; Brandsma, Sicco H; Lie, Elisabeth; Løken, Katharina; de Boer, Jacob; Bytingsvik, Jenny; Jenssen, Bjørn M; Aars, Jon; Hamers, Timo; Lamoree, Marja H

    2013-08-06

    Compounds with transthyretin (TTR)-binding potency in the blood plasma of polar bear cubs were identified with effect-directed analysis (EDA). This approach contributes to the understanding of the thyroid disrupting exposome of polar bears. The selection of these samples for in-depth EDA was based on the difference between the observed TTR-binding potency on the one hand and the calculated potency (based on known concentrations of TTR-binding compounds and their relative potencies) on the other. A library-based identification was applied to the liquid chromatography-time-of-flight-mass spectrometry (LC-ToF-MS) data by screening for matches between compound lists and the LC-ToF-MS data regarding accurate mass and isotope pattern. Then, isotope cluster analysis (ICA) was applied to the LC-ToF-MS data allowing specific screening for halogen isotope patterns. The presence of linear and branched nonylphenol (NP) was observed for the first time in polar bears. Furthermore, the presence of one di- and two monohydroxylated octachlorinated biphenyls (octaCBs) was revealed in the extracts. Linear and branched NP, 4'-OH-CB201 and 4,4'-OH-CB202 could be successfully confirmed with respect to their retention time in the analytical system. In addition, branched NP, mono- and dihydroxylated-octaCBs showed TTR-binding potencies and could explain another 32 ± 2% of the total measured activities in the extracts.

  16. The value of a polar bear: evaluating the role of a multiple-use resource in the Nunavut mixed economy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dowsley, Martha

    2010-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a common pool resource that contributes to both the subsistence and monetary aspects of the Nunavut mixed economy through its use as food, the sale of hides in the fur trade, and sport hunt outfitting. Sport hunting is more financially profitable than subsistence hunting; however, the proportion of the polar bear quota devoted to the sport hunt has become relatively stable at approximately 20% across Nunavut. This ratio suggests local Inuit organizations are not using a neoclassical economic model based on profit maximization. This paper examines local-level hunting organizations and their institutions (as sets of rules) governing the sport and Inuit subsistence hunts from both formalist and substantivist economic perspectives. It concludes that profit maximization is used within the sport hunting sphere, which fits a neoclassical model of economic rationality. A second and parallel system, better viewed through the substantivist perspective, demonstrates that the communities focus on longer-term goals to maintain and reproduce the socio-economic system of the subsistence economy, which is predicated on maintaining social, human-environment, and human-polar bear relations.

  17. Searches for possible T-odd and P-odd short range interactions using polarized nuclei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chu P. H.

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Various theories predict the possible existence of T-odd and P-odd shortrange forces between spin ½ fermions, proportional to S・r where S is the fermion spin and r is the separation between particles. We use ensembles of polarized nuclei and an un-polarized mass to search for such a force over sub-mm ranges. We established an improved upper bound on the product gsgpn of the scalar coupling to particles in the un-polarized mass and the pseudo-scalar coupling of polarized neutrons for force ranges from 10−4 to 10−2 m, corresponding to a mass range of 2・10−3 to 2・10−5 eV for the exchange boson [1].

  18. Whitebark pine, population density, and home-range size of grizzly bears in the greater yellowstone ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel D Bjornlie

    Full Text Available Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE, recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis, an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size.

  19. Whitebark pine, population density, and home-range size of grizzly bears in the greater yellowstone ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bjornlie, Daniel D; Van Manen, Frank T; Ebinger, Michael R; Haroldson, Mark A; Thompson, Daniel J; Costello, Cecily M

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be associated with changes in population growth. Distinguishing these effects based on changes in demographic rates can be difficult. However, unlike the parallel demographic responses expected from both decreasing food availability and increasing population density, we hypothesized opposing behavioral responses of grizzly bears with regard to changes in home-range size. We used the dynamic changes in food resources and population density of grizzly bears as a natural experiment to examine hypotheses regarding these potentially competing influences on grizzly bear home-range size. We found that home-range size did not increase during the period of whitebark pine decline and was not related to proportion of whitebark pine in home ranges. However, female home-range size was negatively associated with an index of population density. Our data indicate that home-range size of grizzly bears in the GYE is not associated with availability of WBP, and, for female grizzly bears, increasing population density may constrain home-range size.

  20. The influence of gastrocnemius stretching combined with joint mobilization on weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kang, Min-Hyeok; Lee, Dong-Kyu; Kim, Soo-Yong; Kim, Jun-Seok; Oh, Jae-Seop

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of gastrocnemius stretching combined with talocrural joint mobilization on weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion passive range of motion. [Subjects...

  1. Extensive sampling of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) reveals population differentiation across multiple spatial and temporal scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagna, Leonardo; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Saunders, Brenda L; Atkinson, Stephen N; Weber, Diana S; Dyck, Markus G; Boag, Peter T; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2013-01-01

    As global warming accelerates the melting of Arctic sea ice, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This process will necessarily alter the species distribution together with population dynamics and structure. Detailed knowledge of these changes is crucial to delineating conservation priorities. Here, we sampled 361 polar bears from across the center of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago spanning the Gulf of Boothia (GB) and M'Clintock Channel (MC). We use DNA microsatellites and mitochondrial control region sequences to quantify genetic differentiation, estimate gene flow, and infer population history. Two populations, roughly coincident with GB and MC, are significantly differentiated at both nuclear (FST = 0.01) and mitochondrial (ΦST = 0.47; FST = 0.29) loci, allowing Bayesian clustering analyses to assign individuals to either group. Our data imply that the causes of the mitochondrial and nuclear genetic patterns differ. Analysis of mtDNA reveals the matrilineal structure dates at least to the Holocene, and is common to individuals throughout the species’ range. These mtDNA differences probably reflect both genetic drift and historical colonization dynamics. In contrast, the differentiation inferred from microsatellites is only on the scale of hundreds of years, possibly reflecting contemporary impediments to gene flow. Taken together, our data suggest that gene flow is insufficient to homogenize the GB and MC populations and support the designation of GB and MC as separate polar bear conservation units. Our study also provide a striking example of how nuclear DNA and mtDNA capture different aspects of a species demographic history. PMID:24102001

  2. Extensive sampling of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) reveals population differentiation across multiple spatial and temporal scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campagna, Leonardo; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J; Saunders, Brenda L; Atkinson, Stephen N; Weber, Diana S; Dyck, Markus G; Boag, Peter T; Lougheed, Stephen C

    2013-09-01

    As global warming accelerates the melting of Arctic sea ice, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This process will necessarily alter the species distribution together with population dynamics and structure. Detailed knowledge of these changes is crucial to delineating conservation priorities. Here, we sampled 361 polar bears from across the center of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago spanning the Gulf of Boothia (GB) and M'Clintock Channel (MC). We use DNA microsatellites and mitochondrial control region sequences to quantify genetic differentiation, estimate gene flow, and infer population history. Two populations, roughly coincident with GB and MC, are significantly differentiated at both nuclear (F ST = 0.01) and mitochondrial (ΦST = 0.47; F ST = 0.29) loci, allowing Bayesian clustering analyses to assign individuals to either group. Our data imply that the causes of the mitochondrial and nuclear genetic patterns differ. Analysis of mtDNA reveals the matrilineal structure dates at least to the Holocene, and is common to individuals throughout the species' range. These mtDNA differences probably reflect both genetic drift and historical colonization dynamics. In contrast, the differentiation inferred from microsatellites is only on the scale of hundreds of years, possibly reflecting contemporary impediments to gene flow. Taken together, our data suggest that gene flow is insufficient to homogenize the GB and MC populations and support the designation of GB and MC as separate polar bear conservation units. Our study also provide a striking example of how nuclear DNA and mtDNA capture different aspects of a species demographic history.

  3. Distribution of vitamins A (retinol) and E (alpha-tocopherol) in polar bear kidney: Implications for biomarker studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bechshøft, T.Ø.; Jakobsen, Jette; Sonne, C.

    2011-01-01

    Vitamins A and E content of inner organs, among these the kidneys, are increasingly being used as an indicator of adverse effects caused to the organism by e.g. environmental contaminants. In general, only a renal sub sample is used for analyses, and it is thus essential to know which part...... of the organ to sample in order to get a representative value for this important biomarker. The aim here was to assess the distribution of vitamins A (retinol) and E (α-tocopherol) within the polar bear multireniculate kidney (i.e. polar vs. medial position) and also within the cortex vs. medulla of each...... separate renculi. The results showed no significant difference between the medial and polar renculi with regards to either retinol (p=0.44) or α-tocopherol (p=0.75). There were, however, significant differences between cortex and medulla for both vitamins (retinol, p=0.0003; α-tocopherol, p...

  4. In vitro assay shows that PCB metabolites completely saturate thyroid hormone transport capacity in blood of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gutleb, A.C.; Cenijn, P.H.; van Velzen, P.; Lie, E.; Ropstad, E.; Skaare, J.U.; Malmberg, T.; Bergman, A.; Gabrielsen, G. W.; Legler, J.

    2010-01-01

    Persistent chemicals accumulate in the arctic environment due to their chemical reactivity and physicochemical properties and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are the most concentrated pollutant class in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Metabolism of PCB and polybrominated biphenyl ether (PBDE)

  5. U.S. Geological Survey Polar Bear Mark-Recapture Records, Alaska Portion of the Southern Beaufort Sea, 2001-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, Polar Bear Research Program as part of long-term research on the southern Beaufort...

  6. Summer Activity Sensor Data from Collars Deployed on Female Polar Bears in the Chukchi Sea 1989 to 1995 and Southern Beaufort Sea 1989 to 2014

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These are data collected from two types of activity sensors housed within collars deployed on female polar bears in the Chukchi and southern Beaufort Seas during the...

  7. Denning Behavior Classifications Using Temperature Sensor Data on Collars Deployed on Polar Bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 1986-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — These data include two spreadsheets. The first is average daily temperatures received via satellite transmitting collars deployed on polar bears in the southern...

  8. Short-range correlations studies in collisions of polarized nuclei at Nuclotron-M

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sakai H.

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available The status and prospects of 2-nucleon and 3-nucleon short range correlations (SRCs studies at Nuclotron-M (JINR are presented. This program is focused on the investigations of the spin part of SRCs with polarized deuteron beam from new high intensity polarized deuterons ion source which is under development at JINR. The wide experimental program on the systematic studies of the polarization effects in dp- elastic scattering, dp- nonmesonic breakup, dd → 3Hen(3Hp and d3He → p4He reactions sensitive to SRCs using both internal and extracted beam at Nuclotron-M is presented.

  9. The Energetic Value of Land-Based Foods in Western Hudson Bay and Their Potential to Alleviate Energy Deficits of Starving Adult Male Polar Bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormezano, Linda J; Rockwell, Robert F

    2015-01-01

    Climate change is predicted to expand the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay and when it grows to 180 days, 28-48% of adult male polar bears are projected to starve unless nutritional deficits can be offset by foods consumed on land. We updated a dynamic energy budget model developed by Molnar et al. to allow influx of additional energy from novel terrestrial foods (lesser snow geese, eggs, caribou) that polar bears currently consume as part of a mixed diet while on land. We calculated the units of each prey, alone and in combination, needed to alleviate these lethal energy deficits under conditions of resting or limited movement (2 km d-1) prior to starvation. We further considered the total energy available from each sex and age class of each animal prey over the period they would overlap land-bound polar bears and calculated the maximum number of starving adult males that could be sustained on each food during the ice-free season. Our results suggest that the net energy from land-based food, after subtracting costs of limited movement to obtain it, could eliminate all projected nutritional deficits of starving adult male polar bears and likely other demographic groups as well. The hunting tactics employed, success rates as well as behavior and abundance of each prey will determine the realized energetic values for individual polar bears. Although climate change may cause a phenological mismatch between polar bears and their historical ice-based prey, it may simultaneously yield a new match with certain land-based foods. If polar bears can transition their foraging behavior to effectively exploit these resources, predictions for starvation-related mortality may be overestimated for western Hudson Bay. We also discuss potential complications with stable-carbon isotope studies to evaluate utilization of land-based foods by polar bears including metabolic effects of capture-related stress and consuming a mixed diet.

  10. Extensive sampling of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Northwest Passage (Canadian Arctic Archipelago) reveals population differentiation across multiple spatial and temporal scales

    OpenAIRE

    Campagna, Leonardo; Van Coeverden de Groot, Peter J.; Saunders, Brenda L; Atkinson, Stephen N; Weber, Diana S.; Dyck, Markus G; Boag, Peter T; Lougheed, Stephen C.

    2013-01-01

    As global warming accelerates the melting of Arctic sea ice, polar bears (Ursus maritimus) must adapt to a rapidly changing landscape. This process will necessarily alter the species distribution together with population dynamics and structure. Detailed knowledge of these changes is crucial to delineating conservation priorities. Here, we sampled 361 polar bears from across the center of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago spanning the Gulf of Boothia (GB) and M'Clintock Channel (MC). We use DNA ...

  11. The Energetic Value of Land-Based Foods in Western Hudson Bay and Their Potential to Alleviate Energy Deficits of Starving Adult Male Polar Bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda J Gormezano

    Full Text Available Climate change is predicted to expand the ice-free season in western Hudson Bay and when it grows to 180 days, 28-48% of adult male polar bears are projected to starve unless nutritional deficits can be offset by foods consumed on land. We updated a dynamic energy budget model developed by Molnar et al. to allow influx of additional energy from novel terrestrial foods (lesser snow geese, eggs, caribou that polar bears currently consume as part of a mixed diet while on land. We calculated the units of each prey, alone and in combination, needed to alleviate these lethal energy deficits under conditions of resting or limited movement (2 km d-1 prior to starvation. We further considered the total energy available from each sex and age class of each animal prey over the period they would overlap land-bound polar bears and calculated the maximum number of starving adult males that could be sustained on each food during the ice-free season. Our results suggest that the net energy from land-based food, after subtracting costs of limited movement to obtain it, could eliminate all projected nutritional deficits of starving adult male polar bears and likely other demographic groups as well. The hunting tactics employed, success rates as well as behavior and abundance of each prey will determine the realized energetic values for individual polar bears. Although climate change may cause a phenological mismatch between polar bears and their historical ice-based prey, it may simultaneously yield a new match with certain land-based foods. If polar bears can transition their foraging behavior to effectively exploit these resources, predictions for starvation-related mortality may be overestimated for western Hudson Bay. We also discuss potential complications with stable-carbon isotope studies to evaluate utilization of land-based foods by polar bears including metabolic effects of capture-related stress and consuming a mixed diet.

  12. Distribution of vitamins A (retinol) and E (α-tocopherol) in polar bear kidney: Implications for biomarker studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bechshøft, T Ø; Jakobsen, J; Sonne, C; Dietz, R

    2011-08-15

    Vitamins A and E content of inner organs, among these the kidneys, are increasingly being used as an indicator of adverse effects caused to the organism by e.g. environmental contaminants. In general, only a renal sub sample is used for analyses, and it is thus essential to know which part of the organ to sample in order to get a representative value for this important biomarker. The aim here was to assess the distribution of vitamins A (retinol) and E (α-tocopherol) within the polar bear multireniculate kidney (i.e. polar vs. medial position) and also within the cortex vs. medulla of each separate renculi. The results showed no significant difference between the medial and polar renculi with regards to either retinol (p=0.44) or α-tocopherol (p=0.75). There were, however, significant differences between cortex and medulla for both vitamins (retinol, p=0.0003; α-tocopherol, ppolar bear kidneys. Prior to analysis, the renculi should be separated into medulla and cortex. The results indicated no significant differences between renculi from different parts of the kidney. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Weight-Bearing Dorsiflexion Range of Motion and Landing Biomechanics in Individuals With Chronic Ankle Instability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoch, Matthew C; Farwell, Kelley E; Gaven, Stacey L; Weinhandl, Joshua T

    2015-08-01

    People with chronic ankle instability (CAI) exhibit less weight-bearing dorsiflexion range of motion (ROM) and less knee flexion during landing than people with stable ankles. Examining the relationship between dorsiflexion ROM and landing biomechanics may identify a modifiable factor associated with altered kinematics and kinetics during landing tasks. To examine the relationship between weight-bearing dorsiflexion ROM and single-legged landing biomechanics in persons with CAI. Cross-sectional study. Laboratory. Fifteen physically active persons with CAI (5 men, 10 women; age = 21.9 ± 2.1 years, height = 168.7 ± 9.0 cm, mass = 69.4 ± 13.3 kg) participated. Participants performed dorsiflexion ROM and single-legged landings from a 40-cm height. Sagittal-plane kinematics of the lower extremity and ground reaction forces (GRFs) were captured during landing. Static dorsiflexion was measured using the weight-bearing-lunge test. Kinematics of the ankle, knee, and hip were observed at initial contact, maximum angle, and sagittal displacement. Sagittal displacements of the ankle, knee, and hip were summed to examine overall sagittal displacement. Kinetic variables were maximum posterior and vertical GRFs normalized to body weight. We used Pearson product moment correlations to evaluate the relationships between dorsiflexion ROM and landing biomechanics. Correlations (r) were interpreted as weak (0.00-0.40), moderate (0.41-0.69), or strong (0.70-1.00). The coefficient of determination (r(2)) was used to determine the amount of explained variance among variables. Static dorsiflexion ROM was moderately correlated with maximum dorsiflexion (r = 0.49, r(2) = 0.24), ankle displacement (r = 0.47, r(2) = 0.22), and total displacement (r = 0.67, r(2) = 0.45) during landing. Dorsiflexion ROM measured statically and during landing demonstrated moderate to strong correlations with maximum knee (r = 0.69-0.74, r(2) = 0.47-0.55) and hip (r = 0.50-0.64, r(2) = 0.25-0.40) flexion, hip

  14. Regional contamination versus regional dietary differences: Understanding geographic variation in brominated and chlorinated contaminant levels in polar bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, M.A.; Letcher, R.J.; Aars, Jon; Born, E.W.; Branigan, M.; Dietz, R.; Evans, T.J.; Gabrielsen, G.W.; Muir, D.C.G.; Peacock, E.; Sonne, C.

    2011-01-01

    The relative contribution of regional contamination versus dietary differences to geographic variation in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) contaminant levels is unknown. Dietary variation between Alaska Canada, East Greenland, and Svalbard subpopulations was assessed by muscle nitrogen and carbon stable isotope (?? 15N, ?? 13C) and adipose fatty acid (FA) signatures relative to their main prey (ringed seals). Western and southern Hudson Bay signatures were characterized by depleted ?? 15N and ??13C, lower proportions of C20 and C22 monounsaturated FAs and higher proportions of C18 and longer chain polyunsaturated FAs. East Greenland and Svalbard signatures were reversed relative to Hudson Bay. Alaskan ?? 2011 American Chemical Society.

  15. Longer ice-free seasons increase the risk of nest depredation by polar bears for colonial breeding birds in the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iverson, Samuel A; Gilchrist, H Grant; Smith, Paul A; Gaston, Anthony J; Forbes, Mark R

    2014-03-22

    Northern polar regions have warmed more than other parts of the globe potentially amplifying the effects of climate change on biological communities. Ice-free seasons are becoming longer in many areas, which has reduced the time available to polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to hunt for seals and hampered bears' ability to meet their energetic demands. In this study, we examined polar bears' use of an ancillary prey resource, eggs of colonial nesting birds, in relation to diminishing sea ice coverage in a low latitude region of the Canadian Arctic. Long-term monitoring reveals that bear incursions onto common eider (Somateria mollissima) and thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) nesting colonies have increased greater than sevenfold since the 1980s and that there is an inverse correlation between ice season length and bear presence. In surveys encompassing more than 1000 km of coastline during years of record low ice coverage (2010-2012), we encountered bears or bear sign on 34% of eider colonies and estimated greater egg loss as a consequence of depredation by bears than by more customary nest predators, such as foxes and gulls. Our findings demonstrate how changes in abiotic conditions caused by climate change have altered predator-prey dynamics and are leading to cascading ecological impacts in Arctic ecosystems.

  16. Tuning the Polarization State of Light over a Broad Frequency Range with Metasurfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Mu; Jiang, Shang-Chi; Wang, Zheng-Han; Xiong, Xiang; Peng, Ru-Wen; Nanjing University Team

    Controlling the polarization state, the transmission direction and the phase of light within a confined space is an important issue in optics. By integrating metallic metastructure and dielectric interlayer, it is possible to realize the dispersion-free broadband device on sub-wavelength scale, where the strong response of the metallic structures helps to decrease the device size while the dielectric interlayer helps to eliminate the dispersion simultaneously in both the amplitude and the phase difference of the reflected/transmitted light. As an examples to apply this concept, a broadband quarter-wave plate and a half-wave plate are experimentally demonstrated. By carefully selecting the structural parameters, the polarization state of light can be freely tuned across a broad frequency range, and all of the polarization states on the Poincaré sphere can be realized dispersion free. Some contents of this talk can be found in the following references: [1] S.-C. Jiang, et al., High-efficiency generation of circularly polarized light via symmetry-induced anomalous reflection,Physical Review B 91, 125421 (2015), [2] S.-C. Jiang, et al., Controlling the Polarization State of Light with a Dispersion-Free Metastructure, Physical Review X 4, 021026 (2014), [3] X. Xiong, et al., Metallic stereostructured layer: an approach for broadband polarization state manipulation,Applied Physics Letters 105, 201105 (2014).

  17. Projecting range-wide sun bear population trends using tree cover and camera-trap bycatch data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scotson, Lorraine; Fredriksson, Gabriella; Ngoprasert, Dusit; Wong, Wai-Ming; Fieberg, John

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring population trends of threatened species requires standardized techniques that can be applied over broad areas and repeated through time. Sun bears Helarctos malayanus are a forest dependent tropical bear found throughout most of Southeast Asia. Previous estimates of global population trends have relied on expert opinion and cannot be systematically replicated. We combined data from 1,463 camera traps within 31 field sites across sun bear range to model the relationship between photo catch rates of sun bears and tree cover. Sun bears were detected in all levels of tree cover above 20%, and the probability of presence was positively associated with the amount of tree cover within a 6-km2 buffer of the camera traps. We used the relationship between catch rates and tree cover across space to infer temporal trends in sun bear abundance in response to tree cover loss at country and global-scales. Our model-based projections based on this "space for time" substitution suggested that sun bear population declines associated with tree cover loss between 2000-2014 in mainland southeast Asia were ~9%, with declines highest in Cambodia and lowest in Myanmar. During the same period, sun bear populations in insular southeast Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei) were projected to have declined at a much higher rate (22%). Cast forward over 30-years, from the year 2000, by assuming a constant rate of change in tree cover, we projected population declines in the insular region that surpassed 50%, meeting the IUCN criteria for endangered if sun bears were listed on the population level. Although this approach requires several assumptions, most notably that trends in abundance across space can be used to infer temporal trends, population projections using remotely sensed tree cover data may serve as a useful alternative (or supplement) to expert opinion. The advantages of this approach is that it is objective, data-driven, repeatable, and it requires that all assumptions

  18. Exposure to mixtures of organohalogen contaminants and associative interactions with thyroid hormones in East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Villanger, Gro D.; Jenssen, Bjørn M.; Fjeldberg, Rita R.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the multivariate relationships between adipose tissue residue levels of 48 individual organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) and circulating thyroid hormone (TH) levels in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (1999–2001, n=62), using projection to latent structure (PLS......) regression for four groupings of polar bears; subadults (SubA), adult females with cubs (AdF_N), adult females without cubs (AdF_S) and adult males (AdM). In the resulting significant PLS models for SubA, AdF_N and AdF_S, some OHCs were especially important in explaining variations in circulating TH levels...... influence on total 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (TT3) in AdF_S, and that a group of 17 higher chlorinated ortho-PCBs had a positive influence on total 3,5,3′,5′-tetraiodothyronine (thyroxine, TT4) in AdF_N. TH levels in AdM seemed less influenced by OHCs because of non-significant PLS models. TH levels were also...

  19. Sea ice-associated diet change increases the levels of chlorinated and brominated contaminants in polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckinney, Melissa A; Peacock, Elizabeth; Letcher, Robert J

    2009-06-15

    Two global environmental issues, climate change and contamination by persistent organic pollutants, represent major concerns for arctic ecosystems. Yet, it is unclear how these two stressors interact in the Arctic. For instance, the influence of climate-associated changes in food web structure on exposure to pollutants within arctic ecosystems is presently unknown. Here, we report on recent changes in feeding ecology (1991-2007) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the western Hudson Bay subpopulation that have resulted in increases in the tissue concentrations of several chlorinated and brominated contaminants. Differences in timing of the annual sea ice breakup explained a significant proportion of the diet variation among years. As expected from climate change predictions, this diet change was consistent with an increase in the consumed proportions of open water-associated seal species compared to ice-associated seal species in years of earlier sea ice breakup. Our results demonstrate that climate change is a modulating influence on contaminants in this polar bear subpopulation and may pose an additional and previously unidentified threat to northern ecosystems through altered exposures to contaminants.

  20. Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, G.M.; Whiteman, J.P.; Harlow, H.J.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Regehr, E.V.; Ben-David, M.

    2011-01-01

    Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) prefer to live on Arctic sea ice but may swim between ice floes or between sea ice and land. Although anecdotal observations suggest that polar bears are capable of swimming long distances, no data have been available to describe in detail long distance swimming events or the physiological and reproductive consequences of such behavior. Between an initial capture in late August and a recapture in late October 2008, a radio-collared adult female polar bear in the Beaufort Sea made a continuous swim of 687 km over 9 days and then intermittently swam and walked on the sea ice surface an additional 1,800 km. Measures of movement rate, hourly activity, and subcutaneous and external temperature revealed distinct profiles of swimming and walking. Between captures, this polar bear lost 22% of her body mass and her yearling cub. The extraordinary long distance swimming ability of polar bears, which we confirm here, may help them cope with reduced Arctic sea ice. Our observation, however, indicates that long distance swimming in Arctic waters, and travel over deep water pack ice, may result in high energetic costs and compromise reproductive fitness. ?? 2011 US Government.

  1. Persistent organic pollutants, skull size and bone density of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland 1892-2015 and Svalbard 1964-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F; Letcher, Robert J; Hyldstrup, Lars; Jensen, Jens-Erik Bech; Bechshoft, Thea; Wiig, Øystein; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Pertoldi, Cino; Lorenzen, Eline D; Dietz, Rune; Sonne, Christian

    2017-12-26

    We investigated skull size (condylobasal length; CBL) and bone mineral density (BMD) in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland (n = 307) and Svalbard (n = 173) sampled during the period 1892-2015 in East Greenland and 1964-2004 at Svalbard. Adult males from East Greenland showed a continuous decrease in BMD from 1892 to 2015 (linear regression: p non-significant trend that the skull size of adult East Greenland females was negatively correlated with collection year 1892-2015 (linear regression: p = 0.06). No temporal change was found for BMD or skull size in Svalbard polar bears (ANOVA: all p > 0.05) nor was there any significant difference in BMD between Svalbard and East Greenland subpopulations. Skull size was larger in polar bears from Svalbard than from East Greenland (two-way ANOVA: p = 0.003). T-scores reflecting risk of osteoporosis showed that adult males from both East Greenland and Svalbard are at risk of developing osteopenia. Finally, when correcting for age and sex, BMD in East Greenland polar bears increased with increasing concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) i.e. ΣPCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣHCH (hexachlorohexane), HCB (hexachlorobenzene) and ΣPBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) while skull size increased with ΣHCH concentrations all in the period 1999-2014 (multiple linear regression: all p polar bears. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The role of Pleistocene glaciations in shaping the evolution of polar and brown bears. Evidence from a critical review of mitochondrial and nuclear genome analyses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanin, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    In this report, I review recent molecular studies dealing with the origin and evolution of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), with special emphasis on their relationships with brown bears (U. arctos). On the basis of mitochondrial and nuclear data, different hypotheses have been proposed, including rapid morphological differentiation of U. maritimus, genetic introgression from U. arctos into U. maritimus, or inversely from U. maritimus into U. arctos, involving either male- or female-mediated gene flow. In the light of available molecular and eco-ethological data, I suggest, firstly, that all divergences among major clades of large bears can be linked to glacial periods, secondly, that polar bears diverged from brown bears before 530 thousand years ago (ka), during one of the three glacial marine isotope stages (MIS) 14, 15.2 or 16, and, thirdly, that genetic introgression had occurred from female polar bears into brown bear populations during at least two glacial periods, at 340 ± 10 ka (MIS 10) in western Europe, and at 155 ± 5 ka (MIS 6) on the ABC islands of southeastern Alaska, and probably also in Beringia and Ireland based on ancient DNA sequences. Copyright © 2015 Académie des sciences. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  3. Polar Bears or People? Exploring Ways in Which Teachers Frame Climate Change in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, K. C.

    2016-01-01

    Not only will young adults bear the brunt of the effects of climate change, but they are also the ones who will be required to take action-to mitigate and to adapt. Framing, as both a theory and an analytic method, has been used to understand how language in the media can affect the audience's concern and intention to act. The theory and the…

  4. Vitamins A and E in liver, kidney, and whole blood of East Greenland polar bears sampled 1994–2008: reference values and temporal trends

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bechshoft, T.; Sonne, C.; Jakobsen, Jette

    2015-01-01

    Vitamins A (retinol) and E (α-tocopherol) are dietary vitamins, essential for, e.g., growth and development, reproduction, and immune function. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been found to be related to vitamin A and E metabolism. However, few investigations have been published...... on this health issue in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The aim of this study was thus to provide reference values for concentrations of vitamin A in liver, kidney cortex, and whole blood and vitamin E in kidney cortex and whole blood from 166 East Greenland polar bears, as well as to assess the relationship...... between POPs and vitamin concentrations. In addition, vitamin concentrations were analyzed for temporal trends (1994–2008). Results showed vitamin A in liver to be higher in adult bears and the concentrations of vitamin E in kidney and blood to likewise be generally higher in adult bears. In addition, all...

  5. Materials Pushing the Application Limits of Wire Grid Polarizers further into the Deep Ultraviolet Spectral Range

    CERN Document Server

    Siefke, Thomas; Pfeiffer, Kristin; Puffky, Oliver; Dietrich, Kay; Franta, Daniel; Ohlídal, Ivan; Szeghalmi, Adriana; Kley, Ernst-Bernhard; Tünnermann, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Wire grid polarizers (WGPs), periodic nano-optical meta-surfaces, are convenient polarizing elements for many optical applications. However, they are still inadequate in the deep ultraviolet spectral range. We show that to achieve high performance ultraviolet WGPs a material with large absolute value of the complex permittivity and extinction coefficient at the wavelength of interest has to be utilized. This requirement is compared to refractive index models considering intraband and interband absorption processes. We elucidate why the extinction ratio of metallic WGPs intrinsically humble in the deep ultraviolet, whereas wide bandgap semiconductors are superior material candidates in this spectral range. To demonstrate this, we present the design, fabrication and optical characterization of a titanium dioxide WGP. At a wavelength of 193 nm an unprecedented extinction ratio of 384 and a transmittance of 10 % is achieved.

  6. Global change effects on the long-term feeding ecology and contaminant exposures of East Greenland polar bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Melissa A; Iverson, Sara J; Fisk, Aaron T; Sonne, Christian; Rigét, Frank F; Letcher, Robert J; Arts, Michael T; Born, Erik W; Rosing-Asvid, Aqqalu; Dietz, Rune

    2013-08-01

    Rapid climate changes are occurring in the Arctic, with substantial repercussions for arctic ecosystems. It is challenging to assess ecosystem changes in remote polar environments, but one successful approach has entailed monitoring the diets of upper trophic level consumers. Quantitative fatty acid signature analysis (QFASA) and fatty acid carbon isotope (δ(13) C-FA) patterns were used to assess diets of East Greenland (EG) polar bears (Ursus maritimus) (n = 310) over the past three decades. QFASA-generated diet estimates indicated that, on average, EG bears mainly consumed arctic ringed seals (47.5 ± 2.1%), migratory subarctic harp (30.6 ± 1.5%) and hooded (16.7 ± 1.3%) seals and rarely, if ever, consumed bearded seals, narwhals or walruses. Ringed seal consumption declined by 14%/decade over 28 years (90.1 ± 2.5% in 1984 to 33.9 ± 11.1% in 2011). Hooded seal consumption increased by 9.5%/decade (0.0 ± 0.0% in 1984 to 25.9 ± 9.1% in 2011). This increase may include harp seal, since hooded and harp seal FA signatures were not as well differentiated relative to other prey species. Declining δ(13) C-FA ratios supported shifts from more nearshore/benthic/ice-associated prey to more offshore/pelagic/open-water-associated prey, consistent with diet estimates. Increased hooded seal and decreased ringed seal consumption occurred during years when the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) was lower. Thus, periods with warmer temperatures and less sea ice were associated with more subarctic and less arctic seal species consumption. These changes in the relative abundance, accessibility, or distribution of arctic and subarctic marine mammals may have health consequences for EG polar bears. For example, the diet change resulted in consistently slower temporal declines in adipose levels of legacy persistent organic pollutants, as the subarctic seals have higher contaminant burdens than arctic seals. Overall, considerable changes are occurring in the EG

  7. Polarization-Entangled Photon Pairs From Periodically-Poled Crystalline Waveguides Over a Range of Frequencies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heberle, Dylan A; Levine, Zachary H

    2013-01-01

    We propose a method to extend the frequency range of polarization entanglement in periodically poled rubidium-doped potassium titanyl phosphate (Rb:KTP) waveguides. Our calculations predict that output wavelengths from 1130 nm to 1257 nm may be achieved using Rb:KTP by the appropriate selection of a direction of propagation for the waveguide. The fidelity using a poling period of 1 mm is approximately 0.98.

  8. Resource selection by sympatric free-ranging dairy cattle and brown bears

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steyaert, S.M.J.G.; Stoen, O.G.; Elfström, M.; Karlsson, J.; Lammeren, van R.J.A.; Bokdam, J.; Zedrosser, A.

    2011-01-01

    Livestock depredation is an important factor that contributes to low public acceptance of large carnivores, and is often used as an incentive to reduce large carnivore populations. In central Sweden, brown bears (Ursus arctos) coexist with a traditional cattle husbandry system that allows daytime

  9. Connecting endangered brown bear subpopulations in the Cantabrian Range (north-western Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. C. Mateo-Sanchez; Samuel Cushman; S. Saura

    2014-01-01

    The viability of many species depends on functional connectivity of their populations through dispersal across broad landscapes. This is particularly the case for the endangered brown bear in north-western Spain, with a total population of about 200 individuals in two subpopulations that are separated by a wide gap with low permeability. Our goal in this paper...

  10. Polar bear encephalitis: establishment of a comprehensive next-generation pathogen analysis pipeline for captive and free-living wildlife.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szentiks, C A; Tsangaras, K; Abendroth, B; Scheuch, M; Stenglein, M D; Wohlsein, P; Heeger, F; Höveler, R; Chen, W; Sun, W; Damiani, A; Nikolin, V; Gruber, A D; Grobbel, M; Kalthoff, D; Höper, D; Czirják, G Á; Derisi, J; Mazzoni, C J; Schüle, A; Aue, A; East, M L; Hofer, H; Beer, M; Osterrieder, N; Greenwood, A D

    2014-05-01

    This report describes three possibly related incidences of encephalitis, two of them lethal, in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Standard diagnostic methods failed to identify pathogens in any of these cases. A comprehensive, three-stage diagnostic 'pipeline' employing both standard serological methods and new DNA microarray and next generation sequencing-based diagnostics was developed, in part as a consequence of this initial failure. This pipeline approach illustrates the strengths, weaknesses and limitations of these tools in determining pathogen caused deaths in non-model organisms such as wildlife species and why the use of a limited number of diagnostic tools may fail to uncover important wildlife pathogens. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Images of Polar Bears and Penguins, Storms, Deforestation and More - Middle School Students Perceptions of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopal, S.; Melaas, E. K.; Malmrose, M.; Mullokandov, A.

    2014-12-01

    Global change studies aim to foster a deeper understanding of the causes and consequences of global change on planet Earth. The study of global change presents a rich domain of inquiry, exploration, and discovery at all grade levels. The main objective of this exploratory study was to assess middle school students' perceptions of global change as part of their participation in the NSF GK12 program called GLACIER (Global Change Initiative - Education and Research) during the academic year 2012-13. The middle schools are located in the Metro Boston area. As part of the program, participating students were asked to draw pictures of their perceptions and ideas on global change. The drawings of 150 children, ages 11 to 13, were qualitatively analyzed. The analysis focused on (a) the type of concepts children chose to convey, (b) the specific context of the global change described (polar bears in floating glaciers), (c) students direct representation of anthropocentric impacts (such as pollution or deforestation), and (d) the match between students concepts and the recent IPCC reports. About 20% of the students focused on the iconic imagery of the melting glaciers and impact on animals such as penguins and polar bears, more than 25% focused on natural disasters (such as storms, sea level changes) while 30% focused on urban problems. These concepts are matched with the recent IPCC report. These results are notable and suggest students in middle schools understand the varied dimensions of global change and the role of human activities in bringing about change. Students' perspectives may help in developing a suitable curriculum using existing science standards to discuss this significant topic in middle school classrooms. In addition, students' drawings illustrate their perception of the coupled human and natural systems.

  12. Seasonal variation in haematological and biochemical variables in free-ranging subadult brown bears (Ursus arctos) in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Græsli, Anne Randi; Evans, Alina L; Fahlman, Åsa; Bertelsen, Mads F; Blanc, Stéphane; Arnemo, Jon M

    2015-12-08

    Free-ranging brown bears exhibit highly contrasting physiological states throughout the year. They hibernate 6 months of the year, experiencing a decrease in body temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate and metabolism. An increase in food consumption and the resulting weight gain (mostly through fat storage) prior to hibernation are also part of the brown bear's annual cycle. Due to these physiological changes, haematological and biochemical variables vary dramatically throughout the year. Seasonal changes in 12 haematological and 34 biochemical variables were evaluated in blood samples collected from 40 free-ranging subadult brown bears (22 females, 18 males) immobilised in Sweden in winter (February-March), spring (April-May), and summer (June). Higher levels of haemoglobin, haematocrit and red blood cell count, and a lower white blood cell count and mean cell volume was found during hibernation than in spring and summer. Lower values of the enzymes; aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine transaminase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (AP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), glutamate dehydrogenase (GD) and amylase, and increased values of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HBA) and blood lipids; triglycerides, cholesterol and free fatty acids, were present during hibernation compared to spring and summer. This study documents significant shifts in haematological and biochemical variables in samples collected from brown bears anaesthetised in winter (February-March) compared to in spring and summer (April-June), reflecting the lowered metabolic, renal and hepatic activity during hibernation. Lower values of enzymes and higher values of blood lipids during hibernation, likely reflect a lipid-based metabolism.

  13. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E; Jensen, Jan S; Galatius, Søren; Frøbert, Ole

    2014-09-16

    Despite 5-7 months of physical inactivity during hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to cope with physiological conditions that would be detrimental to humans. During hibernation, the tissue metabolic demands fall to 25% of the active state. Our objective was to assess cardiac function associated with metabolic depression in the hibernating vs. active states in free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We performed echocardiography on seven free-ranging brown bears in Dalarna, Sweden, anesthetized with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine-ketamine during winter hibernation in February 2013 and with medetomidine-zolazepam-tiletamine during active state in June 2013. We measured cardiac output noninvasively using estimates of hemodynamics obtained by pulsed wave Doppler echocardiography and 2D imaging. Comparisons were made using paired T-tests. During hibernation, all hemodynamic indices were significantly decreased (hibernating vs. active state): mean heart rate was 26.0 (standard deviation (SD): 5.6) beats per min vs. 75.0 (SD: 17.1) per min (P=0.002), mean stroke volume 32.3 (SD: 5.2) ml vs. 47.1 (SD: 7.9) ml (P=0.008), mean cardiac output 0.86 (SD: 0.31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pbears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease. Free-ranging brown bears demonstrate hemodynamics comparable to humans during active state, whereas during hibernation, we documented extremely low-flow hemodynamics. Understanding these physiological changes in bears may help to gain insight into the mechanisms of cardiogenic shock and heart failure in humans.

  14. An Arctic predator-prey system in flux: climate change impacts on coastal space use by polar bears and ringed seals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Charmain D; Kovacs, Kit M; Ims, Rolf A; Aars, Jon; Lydersen, Christian

    2017-09-01

    Climate change is impacting different species at different rates, leading to alterations in biological interactions with ramifications for wider ecosystem functioning. Understanding these alterations can help improve predictive capacity and inform management efforts designed to mitigate against negative impacts. We investigated how the movement and space use patterns of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in coastal areas in Svalbard, Norway, have been altered by a sudden decline in sea ice that occurred in 2006. We also investigated whether the spatial overlap between polar bears and their traditionally most important prey, ringed seals (Pusa hispida), has been affected by the sea-ice decline, as polar bears are dependent on a sea-ice platform for hunting seals. We attached biotelemetry devices to ringed seals (n = 60, both sexes) and polar bears (n = 67, all females) before (2002-2004) and after (2010-2013) a sudden decline in sea ice in Svalbard. We used linear mixed-effects models to evaluate the association of these species to environmental features and an approach based on Time Spent in Area to investigate changes in spatial overlap between the two species. Following the sea-ice reduction, polar bears spent the same amount of time close to tidal glacier fronts in the spring but less time in these areas during the summer and autumn. However, ringed seals did not alter their association with glacier fronts during summer, leading to a major decrease in spatial overlap values between these species in Svalbard's coastal areas. Polar bears now move greater distances daily and spend more time close to ground-nesting bird colonies, where bear predation can have substantial local effects. Our results indicate that sea-ice declines have impacted the degree of spatial overlap and hence the strength of the predator-prey relationship between polar bears and ringed seals, with consequences for the wider Arctic marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Shifts in ecological

  15. Formal behavioral evaluation of enrichment programs on a zookeeper's schedule: a case study with a polar bear (Ursus Maritimus) at the Bronx Zoo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canino, Wendy; Powell, David

    2010-01-01

    We conducted a brief study of the effectiveness of environmental enrichment for a polar bear at the Bronx Zoo with two objectives in mind. First we wanted to determine if a novel method of collecting data that easily fits into a zookeeper's work routine would produce usable data and if so, we wanted to evaluate the effectiveness of some new items that had been purchased for enriching the polar bear in reducing his pacing behavior. Observations were recorded for 119 days over a period of 5 months from April 2007 through August 2007. Five new items and eight previously used items were rotated and presented to the polar bear in the morning and afternoon. We recorded the bear's behavior five times per day as we passed by his exhibit during our regular work routine. Predictably, we found that the newer enrichment items were more effective at increasing play and decreasing pacing, as well as other more subtle effects on his behavior that helped us to design a better enrichment routine. More importantly, we found that this method of "multi-point scan sampling" was effective at producing ample and reliable data that could be used to analyze the bear's behavior without adding significant work to the keepers' daily routine. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  16. Variation in visitor perceptions of a polar bear enclosure based on the presence of natural vs. un-natural enrichment items.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kutska, Debra

    2009-07-01

    A debate exists among modern zoo staff as to whether or not the addition of un-naturalistic enrichment takes away from, or even defeats, the educational messages designers are trying to incorporate in naturalistic exhibits. A visitor study was conducted at the Central Park Zoo's polar bear exhibit in order to determine whether or not the type of enrichment in an enclosure actually alters guest perceptions. Visitors were exposed to one of two enrichment treatments in the bear enclosure: Naturalistic or Un-naturalistic. The results of this study suggest that enrichment type did not alter the perceptions of visitors. However, it did identify some of the different ways adults and youths perceive animals and zoos. Additionally, the study highlighted the varying perceptions individuals have of the concept of polar bears vs. their perceptions of the captive individuals at the Central Park Zoo. Implications for enrichment usage and exhibit design are discussed.

  17. Polarized Imaging Lidar Using Underwater Range Gating in a Multifunctional Remote Sensing System.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fournier, G.; Trees, C.

    2016-02-01

    This work describes the design of a compact imaging underwater polarized LIDAR system using a new modular laser beam shaping technology, which ensures eye safe operation at significant optical power levels that were previously unattainable in such an eye safe mode. The system is based on an existing battery powered high efficiency compact range-gated system which can be operated from a variety of underwater vehicles including AUV's. A detailed analysis is presented of the procedure required to successfully extract information on the depth distribution of the inherent optical properties along with the shape of the phase function in the near forward direction. The effect of polarization in helping to constrain and improve the retrieval of these fundamental optical properties of the water column is also discussed. The LIDAR mode is shown to be only one of the many functionalities useful to oceanographic research, which can be implemented using the beam shaping technology described above. Beyond the improvement in range and image quality of gated imaging over conventional imaging in turbid waters, the application of gated-structured imaging can be shown to significantly improve range and precision of 3D bottom mapping near the turbid seabed environment. We will show that the spatial precision that is available is sufficient for seabed habitat mapping and litter identification required for an environmental impact evaluation.

  18. Collar temperature sensor data reveal long-term patterns in southern Beaufort Sea polar bear den distribution on pack ice and land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Jay W; Rode, Karyn D.; Eggett, Dennis L.; Smith, T.S.; Wilson, R. R.; Durner, George M.; Fischbach, Anthony; Atwood, Todd C.; Douglas, David

    2017-01-01

    In response to a changing climate, many species alter habitat use. Polar bears Ursus maritimus in the southern Beaufort Sea have increasingly used land for maternal denning. To aid in detecting denning behavior, we developed an objective method to identify polar bear denning events using temperature sensor data collected by satellite-linked transmitters deployed on adult females between 1985 and 2013. We then applied this method to determine whether southern Beaufort Sea polar bears have continued to increase land denning with recent sea-ice loss and examined whether sea-ice conditions affect the distribution of dens between pack-ice and coastal substrates. Because land use in summer and autumn has also increased, we examined potential associations between summering substrate and denning substrate. Statistical process control methods applied to temperature-sensor data identified denning events with 94.5% accuracy in comparison to direct observations (n = 73) and 95.7% accuracy relative to subjective classifications based on temperature, location, and activity sensor data (n = 116). We found an increase in land-based denning during the study period. The frequency of land denning was directly related to the distance that sea ice retreated from the coast. Among females that denned, all 14 that summered on land subsequently denned there, whereas 29% of the 69 bears summering on ice denned on land. These results suggest that denning on land may continue to increase with further loss of sea ice. While the effects that den substrate have on nutrition, energetics, and reproduction are unclear, more polar bears denning onshore will likely increase human-bear interactions.

  19. Sex, Diet, and the Social Environment: Factors Influencing Hair Cortisol Concentration in Free-Ranging Black Bears (Ursus americanus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana J R Lafferty

    Full Text Available Increasingly, measures of glucocorticoid levels (e.g., cortisol, key components of the neuroendocrine stress axis, are being used to measure past hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA activity to index psychological and physiological stress exhibited by wildlife for assessing individual and population-level well-being. However, many intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect HPA activity in animals. Using American black bears (Ursus americanus; n = 116 as an ecological model and hair cortisol concentration (HCC as an integrative measure of past HPA activity, we evaluated the influence of diet, sex and the social environment on black bear HCC in a free-ranging population that spanned adjoining ecoregions with differing densities of potential conspecific and heterospecific competitors. HCC varied by sex, with female HCC ranging from 0.6 to 10.7 pg/mg (median = 4.5 ± 1.2 mean absolute deviation [MAD] and male HCC ranging from 0.5 to 35.1 pg/mg (median = 6.2 ± 2.6 MAD. We also observed a three-way interaction among sex, δ14C and ecoregion, which may indicate that some differences in HCC between female and male black bears results from variability in the nutritional needs of larger-bodied males relative to smaller-bodied females, slight differences in food resources use between ecoregions as well as sex-based differences regarding the social environment. Once we understand what drives sex-specific differences in HCC, HCC may aid our understanding of the physiological responses by bears and other wildlife to diverse environmental challenges.

  20. Morbillivirus and Toxoplasma exposure and association with hematological parameters for southern Beaufort Sea polar bears: potential response to infectious agents in a sentinel species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirk, Cassandra M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Swor, Rhonda; Holcomb, Darce; O'Hara, Todd M.

    2010-01-01

    Arctic temperatures are increasing in response to greenhouse gas forcing and polar bears have already responded to changing conditions. Declines in body stature and vital rates have been linked to warming-induced loss of sea-ice. As food webs change and human activities respond to a milder Arctic, exposure of polar bears and other arctic marine organisms to infectious agents may increase. Because of the polar bear’s status as arctic ecosystem sentinel, polar bear health could provide an index of changing pathogen occurrence throughout the Arctic, however, exposure and monitoring protocols have yet to be established. We examine prevalence of antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii, and four morbilliviruses (canine distemper [CDV], phocine distemper [PDV], dolphin morbillivirus [DMV], porpoise morbillivirus [PMV]) including risk factors for exposure. We also examine the relationships between antibody levels and hematologic values established in the previous companion article. Antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii and morbilliviruses were found in both sample years. We found a significant inverse relationship between CDV titer and total leukocytes, neutrophils, monocytes, and eosinophils, and a significant positive relationship between eosinophils and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies. Morbilliviral prevalence varied significantly among age cohorts, with 1–2 year olds least likely to be seropositive and bears aged 5–7 most likely. Data suggest that the presence of CDV and Toxoplasma gondii antibodies is associated with polar bear hematologic values. We conclude that exposure to CDV-like antigen is not randomly distributed among age classes and suggest that differing behaviors among life history stages may drive probability of specific antibody presence.

  1. Weight-bearing ankle dorsiflexion range of motion-can side-to-side symmetry be assumed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabin, Alon; Kozol, Zvi; Spitzer, Elad; Finestone, Aharon S

    2015-01-01

    In clinical practice, the range of motion (ROM) of the non involved side often serves as the reference for comparison with the injured side. Previous investigations of non-weight-bearing (NWB) ankle dorsiflexion (DF) ROM measurements have indicated bilateral symmetry for the most part. Less is known about ankle DF measured under weight-bearing (WB) conditions. Because WB and NWB ankle DF are not strongly correlated, there is a need to determine whether WB ankle DF is also symmetrical in a healthy population. To determine whether WB ankle DF is bilaterally symmetrical. A secondary goal was to further explore the correlation between WB and NWB ankle DF ROM. Cross-sectional study. Training facility of the Israeli Defense Forces. A total of 64 healthy males (age = 19.6 ± 1.0 years, height = 175.0 ± 6.4 cm, and body mass = 71.4 ± 7.7 kg). Dorsiflexion ROM in WB was measured with an inclinometer and DF ROM in NWB was measured with a universal goniometer. All measurements were taken bilaterally by a single examiner. Weight-bearing ankle DF was greater on the nondominant side compared with the dominant side (P < .001). Non-weight-bearing ankle DF was not different between sides (P = .64). The correlation between WB and NWB DF was moderate, with the NWB DF measurement accounting for 30% to 37% of the variance of the WB measurement. Weight-bearing ankle DF ROM should not be assumed to be bilaterally symmetrical. These findings suggest that side-to-side differences in WB DF may need to be interpreted while considering which side is dominant. The difference in bilateral symmetry between the WB and NWB measurements, as well as the only moderate level of correlation between them, suggests that both measurements should be performed routinely.

  2. Weight-Bearing Ankle Dorsiflexion Range of Motion—Can Side-to-Side Symmetry Be Assumed?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabin, Alon; Kozol, Zvi; Spitzer, Elad; Finestone, Aharon S.

    2015-01-01

    Context: In clinical practice, the range of motion (ROM) of the noninvolved side often serves as the reference for comparison with the injured side. Previous investigations of non–weight-bearing (NWB) ankle dorsiflexion (DF) ROM measurements have indicated bilateral symmetry for the most part. Less is known about ankle DF measured under weight-bearing (WB) conditions. Because WB and NWB ankle DF are not strongly correlated, there is a need to determine whether WB ankle DF is also symmetrical in a healthy population. Objective: To determine whether WB ankle DF is bilaterally symmetrical. A secondary goal was to further explore the correlation between WB and NWB ankle DF ROM. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Training facility of the Israeli Defense Forces. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 64 healthy males (age = 19.6 ± 1.0 years, height = 175.0 ± 6.4 cm, and body mass = 71.4 ± 7.7 kg). Main Outcome Measure(s): Dorsiflexion ROM in WB was measured with an inclinometer and DF ROM in NWB was measured with a universal goniometer. All measurements were taken bilaterally by a single examiner. Results: Weight-bearing ankle DF was greater on the nondominant side compared with the dominant side (P < .001). Non–weight-bearing ankle DF was not different between sides (P = .64). The correlation between WB and NWB DF was moderate, with the NWB DF measurement accounting for 30% to 37% of the variance of the WB measurement. Conclusions: Weight-bearing ankle DF ROM should not be assumed to be bilaterally symmetrical. These findings suggest that side-to-side differences in WB DF may need to be interpreted while considering which side is dominant. The difference in bilateral symmetry between the WB and NWB measurements, as well as the only moderate level of correlation between them, suggests that both measurements should be performed routinely. PMID:25329350

  3. Ultra Wideband Polarization-Selective Conversions of Electromagnetic Waves by Metasurface under Large-Range Incident Angles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Jia Yuan; Wan, Xiang; Zhang, Qian; Cui, Tie Jun

    2015-07-23

    We propose an ultra-wideband polarization-conversion metasurface with polarization selective and incident-angle insensitive characteristics using anchor-shaped units through multiple resonances. The broadband characteristic is optimized by the genetic optimization algorithm, from which the anchor-shaped unit cell generates five resonances, resulting in expansion of the operating frequency range. Owing to the structural feature of the proposed metasurface, only x- and y-polarized incident waves can reach high-efficiency polarization conversions, realizing the polarization-selective property. The proposed metasurface is also insensitive to the angle of incident waves, which indicates a promising future in modern communication systems. We fabricate and measure the proposed metasurface, and both the simulated and measured results show ultra-wide bandwidth for the x- and y-polarized incident waves.

  4. Spatial and temporal trends of selected trace elements in liver tissue from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, Canada and Greenland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routti, H.; Letcher, R.J.; Born, E.W.; Branigan, M.; Dietz, R.; Evans, T.J.; Fisk, A.T.; Peacock, E.; Sonne, C.

    2011-01-01

    Spatial trends and comparative changes in time of selected trace elements were studied in liver tissue from polar bears from ten different subpopulation locations in Alaska, Canadian Arctic and East Greenland. For nine of the trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se and Zn) spatial trends were investigated in 136 specimens sampled during 2005-2008 from bears from these ten subpopulations. Concentrations of Hg, Se and As were highest in the (northern and southern) Beaufort Sea area and lowest in (western and southern) Hudson Bay area and Chukchi/Bering Sea. In contrast, concentrations of Cd showed an increasing trend from east to west. Minor or no spatial trends were observed for Cu, Mn, Rb and Zn. Spatial trends were in agreement with previous studies, possibly explained by natural phenomena. To assess temporal changes of Cd, Hg, Se and Zn concentrations during the last decades, we compared our results to previously published data. These time comparisons suggested recent Hg increase in East Greenland polar bears. This may be related to Hg emissions and/or climate-induced changes in Hg cycles or changes in the polar bear food web related to global warming. Also, Hg:Se molar ratio has increased in East Greenland polar bears, which suggests there may be an increased risk for Hg 2+-mediated toxicity. Since the underlying reasons for spatial trends or changes in time of trace elements in the Arctic are still largely unknown, future studies should focus on the role of changing climate and trace metal emissions on geographical and temporal trends of trace elements. ?? 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

  5. Spatial and temporal trends of selected trace elements in liver tissue from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Routti, Heli; Letcher, Robert J; Born, Erik W; Branigan, Marsha; Dietz, Rune; Evans, Thomas J; Fisk, Aaron T; Peacock, Elizabeth; Sonne, Christian

    2011-08-01

    Spatial trends and comparative changes in time of selected trace elements were studied in liver tissue from polar bears from ten different subpopulation locations in Alaska, Canadian Arctic and East Greenland. For nine of the trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Hg, Mn, Pb, Rb, Se and Zn) spatial trends were investigated in 136 specimens sampled during 2005-2008 from bears from these ten subpopulations. Concentrations of Hg, Se and As were highest in the (northern and southern) Beaufort Sea area and lowest in (western and southern) Hudson Bay area and Chukchi/Bering Sea. In contrast, concentrations of Cd showed an increasing trend from east to west. Minor or no spatial trends were observed for Cu, Mn, Rb and Zn. Spatial trends were in agreement with previous studies, possibly explained by natural phenomena. To assess temporal changes of Cd, Hg, Se and Zn concentrations during the last decades, we compared our results to previously published data. These time comparisons suggested recent Hg increase in East Greenland polar bears. This may be related to Hg emissions and/or climate-induced changes in Hg cycles or changes in the polar bear food web related to global warming. Also, Hg:Se molar ratio has increased in East Greenland polar bears, which suggests there may be an increased risk for Hg(2+)-mediated toxicity. Since the underlying reasons for spatial trends or changes in time of trace elements in the Arctic are still largely unknown, future studies should focus on the role of changing climate and trace metal emissions on geographical and temporal trends of trace elements.

  6. Reflecting and Polarizing Properties of Conductive Fabrics in Ultra-High Frequency Range

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg Kiprijanovič

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The system based on ultra-wide band (UWB signals was employed for qualitative estimation of attenuating, reflecting and polarizing properties of conductive fabrics, capable to prevent local static charge accumulation. Pulsed excitation of triangle monopole antenna of 6.5 cm height by rectangular electric pulses induced radiation of UWB signals with spectral density of power having maximum in ultra-high frequency (UHF range. The same antenna was used for the radiated signal receiving. Filters and amplifiers of different passband were employed to divide UHF range into subranges of 0.3-0.55 GHz, 0.55-1 GHz, 1-2 GHz and 2-4 GHz bands. The free space method, when conductive fabric samples of 50x50 cm2 were placed between transmitting and receiving antennas, was used to imitate a practical application. Received wideband signals corresponding to the defined range were detected by unbiased detectors. The fabrics made of two types of warps, containing different threads with conductive yarns, were investigated. It was estimated attenuation and reflective properties of the fabrics when electric field is collinear or perpendicular to thread direction. In the UHF range it was revealed good reflecting properties of the fabrics containing metallic component in the threads. The system has advantages but not without a certain shortcoming. Adapting it for specific tasks should lead to more effective usage, including yet unused properties of the UWB signals.

  7. Penile density and globally used chemicals in Canadian and Greenland polar bears

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dyck, Markus; Rigét, Frank F

    2015-01-01

    Industrially produced chemicals have been a major environmental concern across our entire Globe since the onset of rapid industrial development around the early 1900. Many of the substances being used are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are also known to be long-range disper......Industrially produced chemicals have been a major environmental concern across our entire Globe since the onset of rapid industrial development around the early 1900. Many of the substances being used are known to be endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and are also known to be long...

  8. Long-range dipolar order and dispersion forces in polar liquids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besford, Quinn Alexander; Christofferson, Andrew Joseph; Liu, Maoyuan; Yarovsky, Irene

    2017-11-21

    Complex solvation phenomena, such as specific ion effects, occur in polar liquids. Interpretation of these effects in terms of structure and dispersion forces will lead to a greater understanding of solvation. Herein, using molecular dynamics, we probe the structure of polar liquids through specific dipolar pair correlation functions that contribute to the potential of mean force that is "felt" between thermally rotating dipole moments. It is shown that unique dipolar order exists at separations at least up to 20 Å for all liquids studied. When the structural order is compared with a dipolar dispersion force that arises from local co-operative enhancement of dipole moments, a strong agreement is found. Lifshitz theory of dispersion forces was compared with the structural order, where the theory is validated for all liquids that do not have significant local dipole correlations. For liquids that do have significant local dipole correlations, specifically liquid water, Lifshitz theory underestimates the dispersion force by a factor of 5-10, demonstrating that the force that leads to the increased structure in liquid water is missed by Lifshitz theory of van der Waals forces. We apply similar correlation functions to an ionic aqueous system, where long-range order between water's dipole moment and a single chloride ion is found to exist at 20 Å of separation, revealing a long-range perturbation of water's structure by an ion. Furthermore, we found that waters within the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd solvation shells of a chloride ion exhibit significantly enhanced dipolar interactions, particularly with waters at larger distances of separation. Our results provide a link between structures, dispersion forces, and specific ion effects, which may lead to a more robust understanding of solvation.

  9. Long-range dipolar order and dispersion forces in polar liquids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besford, Quinn Alexander; Christofferson, Andrew Joseph; Liu, Maoyuan; Yarovsky, Irene

    2017-11-01

    Complex solvation phenomena, such as specific ion effects, occur in polar liquids. Interpretation of these effects in terms of structure and dispersion forces will lead to a greater understanding of solvation. Herein, using molecular dynamics, we probe the structure of polar liquids through specific dipolar pair correlation functions that contribute to the potential of mean force that is "felt" between thermally rotating dipole moments. It is shown that unique dipolar order exists at separations at least up to 20 Å for all liquids studied. When the structural order is compared with a dipolar dispersion force that arises from local co-operative enhancement of dipole moments, a strong agreement is found. Lifshitz theory of dispersion forces was compared with the structural order, where the theory is validated for all liquids that do not have significant local dipole correlations. For liquids that do have significant local dipole correlations, specifically liquid water, Lifshitz theory underestimates the dispersion force by a factor of 5-10, demonstrating that the force that leads to the increased structure in liquid water is missed by Lifshitz theory of van der Waals forces. We apply similar correlation functions to an ionic aqueous system, where long-range order between water's dipole moment and a single chloride ion is found to exist at 20 Å of separation, revealing a long-range perturbation of water's structure by an ion. Furthermore, we found that waters within the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd solvation shells of a chloride ion exhibit significantly enhanced dipolar interactions, particularly with waters at larger distances of separation. Our results provide a link between structures, dispersion forces, and specific ion effects, which may lead to a more robust understanding of solvation.

  10. The polar bear in the room: diseases of poverty in the Arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Nelson

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available In the face of global warming, budgetary austerity and impoverished Arctic residents, the nations of the circumpolar region are presented with a number of difficult choices regarding the provision of health care to the far-flung and isolated regions of their northernmost provinces. Complicating that picture is the reality of neglected tropical diseases in areas far from their perceived normal equatorial range as well as endemic food-borne diseases, including protozoan and helminth parasites, respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases and vaccine-preventable illnesses. This paper discusses the problems of caring for the health and well-being of indigenous populations suffering from extreme poverty, isolation and discrimination in the circumpolar region. After presenting difficulties as supported by the extant literature, the paper continues by suggesting solutions that include novel telenursing applications, targeted distance-educational programs and local community-based health care assistant (HCA vocational training. These programs will provide cost-effective care that increases life-spans, improves quality of life and provides opportunities to distressed populations in isolated rural communities of the Far North. The toolkit presented in the paper is intended to spur discussion on community health programs that could be adopted to provide proper and humane care for marginalized Arctic populations in an extreme and rapidly changing environment.

  11. Polymeric pH nanosensor with extended measurement range bearing octaarginine as cell penetrating peptide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ke, Peng; Sun, Honghao; Liu, Mingxing

    2016-01-01

    A synthetic peptide octaarginine which mimics human immunodeficiency virus-1, Tat protein is used as cell penetrating moiety for new pH nanosensors which demonstrate enhanced cellular uptake and expanded measurement range from pH 3.9 to pH 7.3 by simultaneously incorporating two complemental p...

  12. Mating-related behaviour of grizzly bears inhabiting marginal habitat at the periphery of their North American range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Mark A; Derocher, Andrew E

    2015-02-01

    In comparison to core populations, peripheral populations have low density and recruitment, and are subject to different selective pressures, such as environmental conditions, food type and availability, predation, disease, etc., which may result in behavioural modifications to mating. We test the roam-to-mate hypothesis for a peripheral population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) at the northern extent of their North American range, in Canada's Arctic. If bears are roaming-to-mate, we predicted greater range size and daily displacement, and more linear movements for receptive animals during the mating period compared to post-mating. In contrast to our predictions, we found that in general range size and displacement increased from mating to post-mating regardless of reproductive status. When considered across both periods, females with cubs-of-the-year had smaller range use metrics than other reproductive groups, which we attribute to a counter-strategy against sexually selected infanticide and the reduced mobility of cubs. Linearity of movements remained near zero during both periods across all groups, suggesting tortuous movements more characteristic of foraging than of mate-searching. We suggest that for this population, finding quality habitat takes precedence over mate-searching in this marginal Arctic landscape. Alternatively, a more monogamous mating system and sequestering behaviour may have obscured movement differences between the two periods. The behavioural differences in mating that we observed from what is typical of core populations may reflect local adaptation to marginal conditions and could benefit the species in the face of ongoing environmental change. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Rasmus; Sønderkær, Mads; Arinell, Karin; Swenson, Jon E.; Revsbech, Inge G.

    2016-01-01

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5–7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms as follows: (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of a few key proteins. The comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general. PMID:27609515

  14. Biochemical Foundations of Health and Energy Conservation in Hibernating Free-ranging Subadult Brown Bear Ursus arctos.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welinder, Karen Gjesing; Hansen, Rasmus; Overgaard, Michael Toft; Brohus, Malene; Sønderkær, Mads; von Bergen, Martin; Rolle-Kampczyk, Ulrike; Otto, Wolfgang; Lindahl, Tomas L; Arinell, Karin; Evans, Alina L; Swenson, Jon E; Revsbech, Inge G; Frøbert, Ole

    2016-10-21

    Brown bears (Ursus arctos) hibernate for 5-7 months without eating, drinking, urinating, and defecating at a metabolic rate of only 25% of the summer activity rate. Nonetheless, they emerge healthy and alert in spring. We quantified the biochemical adaptations for hibernation by comparing the proteome, metabolome, and hematological features of blood from hibernating and active free-ranging subadult brown bears with a focus on conservation of health and energy. We found that total plasma protein concentration increased during hibernation, even though the concentrations of most individual plasma proteins decreased, as did the white blood cell types. Strikingly, antimicrobial defense proteins increased in concentration. Central functions in hibernation involving the coagulation response and protease inhibition, as well as lipid transport and metabolism, were upheld by increased levels of very few key or broad specificity proteins. The changes in coagulation factor levels matched the changes in activity measurements. A dramatic 45-fold increase in sex hormone-binding globulin levels during hibernation draws, for the first time, attention to its significant but unknown role in maintaining hibernation physiology. We propose that energy for the costly protein synthesis is reduced by three mechanisms as follows: (i) dehydration, which increases protein concentration without de novo synthesis; (ii) reduced protein degradation rates due to a 6 °C reduction in body temperature and decreased protease activity; and (iii) a marked redistribution of energy resources only increasing de novo synthesis of a few key proteins. The comprehensive global data identified novel biochemical strategies for bear adaptations to the extreme condition of hibernation and have implications for our understanding of physiology in general. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  15. Taming The Polar Bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-04-01

    GIUK gap) and the Svalbard- Murmansk gap, and the landmass of Norway and Greenland. Iceland is key terrain for military operations in the European...Ocean.33 The Svalbard- Murmansk gap is the opening in which the Russian Northern Fleet has to pass through for operations in the European Arctic. In

  16. POlarization Emission of Millimeter Activity at the Sun (POEMAS): New Circular Polarization Solar Telescopes at Two Millimeter Wavelength Ranges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valio, Adriana; Kaufmann, P.; Giménez de Castro, C. G.; Raulin, J.-P.; Fernandes, L. O. T.; Marun, A.

    2013-04-01

    We present a new system of two circular polarization solar radio telescopes, POEMAS, for observations of the Sun at 45 and 90 GHz. The novel characteristic of these instruments is the capability to measure circular right- and left-hand polarizations at these high frequencies. The two frequencies were chosen so as to bridge the gap at radio frequencies between 20 and 200 GHz of solar flare spectra. The telescopes, installed at CASLEO Observatory (Argentina), observe the full disk of the Sun with a half power beam width of 1.4∘, a time resolution of 10 ms at both frequencies, a sensitivity of 2 - 4 K that corresponds to 4 and 20 solar flux unit (=104 Jy), considering aperture efficiencies of 50±5 % and 75±8 % at 45 and 90 GHz, respectively. The telescope system saw first light in November 2011 and is satisfactorily operating daily since then. A few flares were observed and are presented here. The millimeter spectra of some flares are seen to rise toward higher frequencies, indicating the presence of a new spectral component distinct from the microwave one.

  17. Reliability and validity of a weight-bearing measure of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chisholm, Martin D; Birmingham, Trevor B; Brown, Janet; Macdermid, Joy; Chesworth, Bert M

    2012-01-01

    To examine reliability and validity of the Lunge Test (LT) of dorsiflexion range of motion and determine the impact of different approaches to obtain a score on these parameters. Fifty-three patients with ankle injury/dysfunction provided initial assessment data for cross-sectional convergent and known-groups validity analysis with the Pearson coefficient (r) and paired t-test, respectively; data after 4-8 weeks of treatment for longitudinal validity analysis with coefficient r; and data 3 days later for test-retest reliability using the intra-class correlation coefficient (ICC) and minimal detectable change (MDC). LT scores were determined for the affected leg only (LTAff) and for the difference between the two limbs (LTDiff). Two strategies were used to calculate LT scores: a single series and the mean of three series of lunges. LTs were correlated with the Lower Extremity Functional Scale and Global Foot and Ankle Scale. Reliability coefficients were high (ICC=0.93-0.99). The MDC=1.0/1.5 cm, LTAff/LTDiff, respectively. Cross-sectional validity was confirmed for LTDiff (r=-0.40 to -0.50). Between-limb differences (p<0.05) supported known-groups validity. Longitudinal validity was supported for both LT change scores (r=0.39-0.63). The number of series of lunges used did not impact results. A single series of lunges produces a reliable LT score. From a validity perspective, clinicians should use LTDiff on initial assessment and either LT to assess change.

  18. Circularly polarized microwaves for magnetic resonance study in the GHz range: Application to nitrogen-vacancy in diamonds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mrózek, M., E-mail: mariusz.mrozek@uj.edu.pl; Rudnicki, D. S.; Gawlik, W. [Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Lojasiewicza 11, 30-348 Krakow (Poland); Mlynarczyk, J. [Department of Electronics, AGH University of Science and Technology, Mickiewicza 30, 30-059 Krakow (Poland)

    2015-07-06

    The ability to create time-dependent magnetic fields of controlled polarization is essential for many experiments with magnetic resonance. We describe a microstrip circuit that allows us to generate strong magnetic field at microwave frequencies with arbitrary adjusted polarization. The circuit performance is demonstrated by applying it to an optically detected magnetic resonance and Rabi nutation experiments in nitrogen-vacancy color centers in diamond. Thanks to high efficiency of the proposed microstrip circuit and degree of circular polarization of 85%; it is possible to address the specific spin states of a diamond sample using a low power microwave generator. The circuit may be applied to a wide range of magnetic resonance experiments with a well-controlled polarization of microwaves.

  19. Multimodal nonlinear optical polarizing microscopy of long-range molecular order in liquid crystals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Taewoo; Trivedi, Rahul P; Smalyukh, Ivan I

    2010-10-15

    We demonstrate orientation-sensitive multimodal nonlinear optical polarizing microscopy capable of probing orientational, polar, and biaxial features of mesomorphic ordering in soft matter. This technique achieves simultaneous imaging in broadband coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering, multiphoton excitation fluorescence, and multiharmonic generation polarizing microscopy modes and is based on the use of a single femtosecond laser and a photonic crystal fiber as sources of the probing light. We show the viability of this technique for mapping of three-dimensional patterns of molecular orientations and show that images obtained in different microscopy modes are consistent with each other.

  20. Grizzly bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, C.C.; Miller, S.D.; Haroldson, M.A.; Feldhamer, G.; Thompson, B.; Chapman, J.

    2003-01-01

    The grizzly bear inspires fear, awe, and respect in humans to a degree unmatched by any other North American wild mammal. Like other bear species, it can inflict serious injury and death on humans and sometimes does. Unlike the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) of the sparsely inhabited northern arctic, however, grizzly bears still live in areas visited by crowds of people, where presence of the grizzly remains physically real and emotionally dominant. A hike in the wilderness that includes grizzly bears is different from a stroll in a forest from which grizzly bears have been purged; nighttime conversations around the campfire and dreams in the tent reflect the presence of the great bear. Contributing to the aura of the grizzly bear is the mixture of myth and reality about its ferocity. unpredictable disposition, large size, strength, huge canines, long claws, keen senses, swiftness, and playfulness. They share characteristics with humans such as generalist life history strategies. extended periods of maternal care, and omnivorous diets. These factors capture the human imagination in ways distinct from other North American mammals. Precontact Native American legends reflected the same fascination with the grizzly bear as modern stories and legends (Rockwell 1991).

  1. Current-use pesticides in seawater and their bioaccumulation in polar bear-ringed seal food chains of the Canadian Arctic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Adam D; Muir, Derek C G; Solomon, Keith R; Letcher, Robert J; McKinney, Melissa A; Fisk, Aaron T; McMeans, Bailey C; Tomy, Gregg T; Teixeira, Camilla; Wang, Xiaowa; Duric, Mark

    2016-07-01

    The distribution of current-use pesticides (CUPs) in seawater and their trophodynamics were investigated in 3 Canadian Arctic marine food chains. The greatest ranges of dissolved-phase concentrations in seawater for each CUP were endosulfan sulfate (less than method detection limit (MDL) to 19 pg L(-1) ) > dacthal (0.76-15 pg L(-1) ) > chlorpyrifos (less than MDL to 8.1 pg L(-1) ) > pentachloronitrobenzene (less than MDL to 2.6 pg L(-1) ) > α-endosulfan (0.20-2.3 pg L(-1) ). Bioaccumulation factors (BAFs, water-respiring organisms) were greatest in plankton, including chlorothalonil (log BAF = 7.4 ± 7.1 L kg(-1) , mean ± standard error), chlorpyrifos (log BAF = 6.9 ± 6.7 L kg(-1) ), and α-endosulfan (log BAF = 6.5 ± 6.0 L kg(-1) ). The largest biomagnification factors (BMFs) were found for dacthal in the capelin:plankton trophic relationship (BMF = 13 ± 5.0) at Cumberland Sound (Nunvavut), and for β-endosulfan (BMF = 16 ± 4.9) and α-endosulfan (BMF = 9.3 ± 2.8) in the polar bear-ringed seal relationship at Barrow and Rae Strait (NU), respectively. Concentrations of endosulfan sulfate exhibited trophic magnification (increasing concentrations with increasing trophic level) in the poikilothermic portion of the food web (trophic magnification factor = 1.4), but all of the CUPs underwent trophic dilution in the marine mammal food web, despite some trophic level-specific biomagnification. Together, these observations are most likely indicative of metabolism of these CUPs in mammals. Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1695-1707. © 2016 SETAC. © 2016 SETAC.

  2. Validity of clinical outcome measures to evaluate ankle range of motion during the weight-bearing lunge test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Emily A; Docherty, Carrie L

    2017-07-01

    To determine the concurrent validity of standard clinical outcome measures compared to laboratory outcome measure while performing the weight-bearing lunge test (WBLT). Cross-sectional study. Fifty participants performed the WBLT to determine dorsiflexion ROM using four different measurement techniques: dorsiflexion angle with digital inclinometer at 15cm distal to the tibial tuberosity (°), dorsiflexion angle with inclinometer at tibial tuberosity (°), maximum lunge distance (cm), and dorsiflexion angle using a 2D motion capture system (°). Outcome measures were recorded concurrently during each trial. To establish concurrent validity, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficients (r) were conducted, comparing each dependent variable to the 2D motion capture analysis (identified as the reference standard). A higher correlation indicates strong concurrent validity. There was a high correlation between each measurement technique and the reference standard. Specifically the correlation between the inclinometer placement at 15cm below the tibial tuberosity (44.9°±5.5°) and the motion capture angle (27.0°±6.0°) was r=0.76 (p=0.001), between the inclinometer placement at the tibial tuberosity angle (39.0°±4.6°) and the motion capture angle was r=0.71 (p=0.001), and between the distance from the wall clinical measure (10.3±3.0cm) to the motion capture angle was r=0.74 (p=0.001). This study determined that the clinical measures used during the WBLT have a high correlation with the reference standard for assessing dorsiflexion range of motion. Therefore, obtaining maximum lunge distance and inclinometer angles are both valid assessments during the weight-bearing lunge test. Copyright © 2016 Sports Medicine Australia. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Hungry Horse Dam Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project: Long-Term Habitat Management Plan, Elk and Mule Deer Winter Range Enhancement, Firefighter Mountain and Spotted Bear Winter Ranges.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Casey, Daniel; Malta, Patrick

    1990-06-01

    Project goals are to rehabilitate 1120 acres of big game (elk and mule deer, Odocoileus hemionus) winter range on the Hungry Horse and Spotted Bear Districts of Flathead National Forest lands adjacent to Hungry Horse Reservoir. This project represents the initial phase of implementation toward the mitigation goal. A minimum of 547 acres Trust-funded enhancements are called for in this plan. The remainder are part of the typical Forest Service management activities for the project area. Monitor and evaluate the effects of project implementation on the big game forage base and elk and mule deer populations in the project area. Monitor enhancement success to determine effective acreage to be credited against mitigation goal. Additional enhancement acreage will be selected elsewhere in the Flathead Forest or other lands adjacent'' to the reservoir based on progress toward the mitigation goal as determined through monitoring. The Wildlife Mitigation Trust Fund Advisory Committee will serve to guide decisions regarding future enhancement efforts. 7 refs.

  4. Composite optical fiber polarizer with ternary copolymer overlay for large range modulation of phase difference

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, Minxin; Tian, Xiujie; Zou, Gang; Zhu, Bing; Zhang, Qijin

    2017-04-01

    In this work, a ternary copolymer composed of (E)-2-(4-((4-isocyanophenyl) diazenyl) phenoxy) ethyl methacrylate (2-CN), methacrylisobutyl polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane (MAPOSS) and 2,2,2-trifluoroethyl methacrylate (TFEMA) is synthesized and used as the overlay for composite optical fiber, in which cage-like POSS component and fluorine-containing component are used to reduce refractive index, and azobenzene component is used to finely manipulate the refractive indices in two orthogonal directions through photo-induced orientation under irradiation of polarized light. Before irradiation, the refractive index of terpolymer (1.4503) is slightly higher than that of the core material (1.4489) of commercial silica single-mode fiber, which is obtained by optimizing the amount of each monomer. After the irradiation of 435 nm polarized light, refractive indices of the overlay in two orthogonal directions decrease, and two values have been finely manipulated so that one is higher and another is lower than the refractive index of the fiber core by optimizing irradiation time. In this way, a radial loss type fiber polarization modulator is obtained. By changing the polarization direction of the irradiation at 435 nm, the polarization of propagating light at 1550 nm in the fiber can also be modulated continuously. The maximum change of phase difference is about 300°, making the device useful as a quarter-wave plate or a half-wave plate.

  5. Sea ice-associated decline in body condition leads to increased concentrations of lipophilic pollutants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Svalbard, Norway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tartu, Sabrina; Bourgeon, Sophie; Aars, Jon; Andersen, Magnus; Polder, Anuschka; Thiemann, Gregory W; Welker, Jeffrey M; Routti, Heli

    2017-01-15

    Global climate changes are magnified in the Arctic and are having an especially dramatic effect on the spatial and temporal distribution and the thickness traits of sea ice. Decline of Arctic sea ice may lead to qualitative and/or quantitative changes in diet and reduced body condition (i.e. adipose tissue stores) of ice-associated apex predators such as polar bears (Ursus maritimus). This may further affect their tissue concentrations of lipophilic pollutants. We determined how variations in adipose tissue stores associated to both breeding status and spatial changes in sea ice conditions and diet influence concentrations and biotransformation of lipophilic persistent organic pollutants (POPs). We collected 112 blood and fat samples from female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of different breeding status (alone, with cubs of the year, or with yearlings) during two seasons (April and September) in 2012 and 2013 at three locations of Svalbard, Norway, with contrasted sea ice conditions. We inferred diet from nitrogen and carbon stable isotope ratios in red blood cells and fatty acid composition in adipose tissue. Relative to diet, body condition, which was negatively related to sea ice extent at both temporal and spatial scales, was the most important predictor for concentrations of POPs in plasma and fat, whereas diet showed a minor influence. Additionally, fatter females were more efficient at biotransforming PCBs than were leaner ones. Breeding status influenced the concentrations of less lipophilic compounds such as β-hexachlorocyclohexane, which were lower in females with yearlings, probably due to excretion into milk and subsequent offloading to young. In conclusion, our results indicate that declining sea ice indirectly leads to increased concentrations of lipophilic pollutants in polar bears mediated through reduced feeding opportunities and declining body condition rather than changes in diet composition. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Persistent organic pollutants, skull size and bone density of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland 1892-2015 and Svalbard 1964-2004

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Daugaard-Petersen, Tobias; Langebæk, Rikke; Rigét, Frank F

    2017-01-01

    and sex, BMD in East Greenland polar bears increased with increasing concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) i.e. ΣPCB (polychlorinated biphenyls), ΣHCH (hexachlorohexane), HCB (hexachlorobenzene) and ΣPBDE (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) while skull size increased with ΣHCH concentrations...... a continuous decrease in BMD from 1892 to 2015 (linear regression: p pollution period had the highest BMD. A similar decrease in BMD over time was not found for the East Greenland adult females. However, there was a non-significant trend...

  7. Fluctuating asymmetry in skulls of Svalbard and East Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to time, geography and organohalogen pollution

    OpenAIRE

    Bechshøft, Thea Østergaard

    2006-01-01

    Fluctuating asymmetry (FA) as a measure of environmental stress was studied in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) skulls from East Greenland (n = 300, collected during the period 1892-2004) and Svalbard (n = 391, collected during the period 1950-2004). Nine bilateral metric traits in skull and lower jaw were measured twice. The measured levels of FA for each trait were compared between sex/age groups (subadult, adult females, adult males), time periods (¡Ü1960 and >1960), and localities (East Green...

  8. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker responses in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Kathrine Eggers; Basu, Niladri; Letcher, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a growing class of contaminants in the Arctic environment, and include the established perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs; especially perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and carboxylic acids (PFCAs). PFSAs and PFCAs of varying chain length have been reported...... to bioaccumulate in lipid rich tissues of the brain among other tissues such as liver, and can reach high concentrations in top predators including the polar bear. PFCA and PFSA bioaccummulation in the brain has the potential to pose neurotoxic effects and therefore we conducted a study to investigate...

  9. Diseases and mortality in free-ranging brown bear (Ursus arctos), gray wolf (Canis lupus), and wolverine (Gulo gulo) in Sweden.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mörner, Torsten; Eriksson, Hanna; Bröjer, Caroline; Nilsson, Kristina; Uhlhorn, Henrik; Agren, Erik; af Segerstad, Carl Hård; Jansson, Désirée S; Gavier-Widén, Dolores

    2005-04-01

    Ninety-eight brown bears (Ursus arctos), 20 gray wolves (Canis lupus), and 27 wolverines (Gulo gulo), all free-ranging, were submitted to the National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala, Sweden, during 1987-2001 for investigation of diseases and causes of mortality. The most common cause of natural death in brown bears was infanticide. Infanticide also was observed in wolverines but not in wolves. Traumatic injuries, originating from road or railway accidents, were the most common cause of death in wolves and occurred occasionally in brown bears. Most wolverines were submitted as forensic cases in which illegal hunting/poaching was suspected. Sarcoptic mange was observed in several wolves but not in brown bears or wolverines. Sarcoptic mange most likely was acquired from infected red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) that were killed by wolves. Other parasites and infectious diseases were only found sporadically.

  10. Photoluminescence polarization anisotropy for studying long-range structural ordering within semiconductor multi-atomic alloys and organic crystals

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Prutskij, T.; Percino, J. [Instituto de Ciencias, BUAP, Privada 17 Norte, No 3417, col. San Miguel Huyeotlipan, 72050, Puebla, Pue. (Mexico); Orlova, T. [Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN (United States); Vavilova, L. [Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, 26 Polytekhnicheskaya, St Petersburg 194021, Russian Federation (Russian Federation)

    2013-12-04

    Long-range structural ordering within multi-component semiconductor alloys and organic crystals leads to significant optical anisotropy and, in particular, to anisotropy of the photoluminescence (PL) emission. The PL emission of ternary and quaternary semiconductor alloys is polarized if there is some amount of the atomic ordering within the crystal structure. We analyze the polarization of the PL emission from the quaternary GaInAsP semiconductor alloy grown by Liquid Phase Epitaxy (LPE) and conclude that it could be caused by low degree atomic ordering within the crystal structure together with the thermal biaxial strain due to difference between the thermal expansion coefficients of the layer and the substrate. We also study the state of polarization of the PL from organic crystals in order to identify different features of the crystal PL spectrum.

  11. Study on the Impact of Thermal Agitation on Doppler Coefficient in Epithermal Range for Gd-Bearing Fuel

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satoshi Takeda

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The impact of thermal agitation on Doppler coefficient for Gd-bearing fuel was analyzed. It was found through the analysis that the impact increases when a small amount of Gd2O3 is added to pure UO2 fuel although the impact decreases for a large amount of Gd2O3. This tendency was discussed with the usage of simplified expression for the difference of Doppler coefficient. The simplified expression was used to consider the tendency, and it was revealed that the tendency mainly comes from the rapid decrement of multiplication factor and the relatively slow decrement of the magnitude of sensitivity coefficient of U-238 capture cross section at low Gd2O3 concentration. Similar tendency which shows a maximum impact on Doppler coefficient at interior concentration is expected for other UO2 fuel with a slight content of strong absorber. This indicates that Doppler coefficient of UO2 fuel system with low content of strong absorber should be analyzed carefully by considering thermal agitation in epithermal range.

  12. Inter- and intraspecific mitochondrial DNA variation in North American bears (Ursus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cronin, Matthew A.; Amstrup, Steven C.; Garner, Gerald W.; Vyse, Ernest R.

    1991-01-01

    We assessed mitochondrial DNA variation in North American black bears (Ursus americanus), brown bears (Ursus arctos), and polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Divergent mitochondrial DNA haplotypes (0.05 base substitutions per nucleotide) were identified in populations of black bears from Montana and Oregon. In contrast, very similar haplotypes occur in black bears across North America. This discordance of haplotype phylogeny and geographic distribution indicates that there has been maintenance of polymorphism and considerable gene flow throughout the history of the species. Intraspecific mitochondrial DNA sequence divergence in brown bears and polar bears is lower than in black bears. The two morphological forms of U. arctos, grizzly and coastal brown bears, are not in distinct mtDNA lineages. Interspecific comparisons indicate that brown bears and polar bears share similar mitochondrial DNA (0.023 base substitutions per nucleotide) which is quite divergent (0.078 base substitutions per nucleotide) from that of black bears. High mitochondrial DNA divergence within black bears and paraphyletic relationships of brown and polar bear mitochondrial DNA indicate that intraspecific variation across species' ranges should be considered in phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial DNA.

  13. The fur of mammals in exposed environments; do crypsis and thermal needs necessarily conflict? The polar bear and marsupial koala compared.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, Terence J; Webster, Koa N; Maloney, Shane K

    2014-02-01

    The furs of mammals have varied and complex functions. Other than for thermoregulation, fur is involved in physical protection, sensory input, waterproofing and colouration, the latter being important for crypsis or camouflage. Some of these diverse functions potentially conflict. We have investigated how variation in cryptic colouration and thermal features may interact in the coats of mammals and influence potential heat inflows from solar radiation, much of which is outside the visible spectral range. The coats of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) and the marsupial koala (Phascolarctus cinereus) have insulative similarities but, while they feature cryptic colouration, they are of contrasting colour, i.e. whitish and dark grey. The reflectance of solar radiation by coats was measured across the full solar spectrum using a spectroradiometer. The modulation of incident solar radiation and resultant heat flows in these coats were determined at a range of wind speeds by mounting them on a heat flux transducer/temperature-controlled plate apparatus in a wind tunnel. A lamp with a spectral distribution of radiation similar to the solar spectrum was used as a proxy for the sun. Crypsis by colour matching was apparent within the visible spectrum for the two species, U. maritimus being matched against snow and P. cinereus against Eucalyptus forest foliage. While reflectances across the full solar spectrum differed markedly, that of U. maritimus being 66 % as opposed to 10 % for P. cinereus, the heat influxes from solar radiation reaching the skin were similar. For both coats at low wind speed (1 m s(-1)), 19 % of incident solar radiation impacted as heat at the skin surface; at higher wind speed (10 m s(-1)) this decreased to approximately 10 %. Ursus maritimus and P. cinereus have high and comparable levels of fur insulation and although the patterns of reflectance and depths of penetrance of solar radiation differ for the coats, the considerable insulation limited the

  14. Combined thin layer chromatography and gas chromatography with mass spectrometric analysis of lipid classes and fatty acids in malnourished polar bears (Ursus maritimus) which swam to Iceland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibler, Dorothee; Krüger, Sabine; Skírnisson, Karl; Vetter, Walter

    2017-03-01

    Between 2008 and 2011, four polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Greenland population swam and/or drifted on ice to Iceland where they arrived in very poor body condition. Body fat resources in these animals were only between 0% and 10% of the body weight (usually 25%). Here we studied the lipid composition in different tissues (adipose tissue if available, liver, kidney and muscle). Lipid classes were determined by thin layer chromatography (TLC) and on-column gas chromatography with mass spectrometry (GC/MS). The fatty acid pattern of total lipids and free fatty acids was analyzed by GC/MS in selected ion monitoring (SIM) mode. Additionally, cholesteryl esters and native fatty acid methyl esters, initially detected as zones in thin layer chromatograms, were enriched by solid phase extraction and quantified by GC/MS. The ratio of free fatty acids to native fatty acid methyl esters could be correlated with the remained body lipids in the polar bears and thus may also serve as a marker for other starving animals or even for humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Brain region-specific perfluoroalkylated sulfonate (PFSA) and carboxylic acid (PFCA) accumulation and neurochemical biomarker responses in east Greenland polar bears (Ursus maritimus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eggers Pedersen, Kathrine; Basu, Niladri; Letcher, Robert; Greaves, Alana K; Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Styrishave, Bjarne

    2015-04-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) is a growing class of contaminants in the Arctic environment, and include the established perfluorinated sulfonates (PFSAs; especially perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS)) and carboxylic acids (PFCAs). PFSAs and PFCAs of varying chain length have been reported to bioaccumulate in lipid rich tissues of the brain among other tissues such as liver, and can reach high concentrations in top predators including the polar bear. PFCA and PFSA bioaccummulation in the brain has the potential to pose neurotoxic effects and therefore we conducted a study to investigate if variations in neurochemical transmitter systems i.e. the cholinergic, glutaminergic, dopaminergic and GABAergic, could be related to brain-specific bioaccumulation of PFASs in East Greenland polar bears. Nine brain regions from nine polar bears were analyzed for enzyme activity (monoamine oxidase (MAO), acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and glutamine synthetase (GS)) and receptor density (dopamine-2 (D2), muscarinic cholinergic (mAChR) and gamma-butyric acid type A (GABA-A)) along with PFSA and PFCA concentrations. Average brain ∑PFSA concentration was 25ng/g ww where PFOS accounted for 91%. Average ∑PFCA concentration was 88ng/g ww where PFUnDA, PFDoDA and PFTrDA combined accounted for 79%. The highest concentrations of PFASs were measured in brain stem, cerebellum and hippocampus. Correlative analyses were performed both across and within brain regions. Significant positive correlations were found between PFASs and MAO activity in occipital lobe (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.83, p=0.041, n=6) and across brain regions (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=0.47, p=0.001, ∑PFSA; rp=0.44, p>0.001; n=50). GABA-A receptor density was positively correlated with two PFASs across brain regions (PFOS; rp=0.33, p=0.02 and PFDoDA; rp=0.34, p=0.014; n=52). Significant negative correlations were found between mAChR density and PFASs in cerebellum (e.g. ∑PFCA; rp=-0.95, p=0.013, n=5) and across brain regions (e.g.

  16. Polarization tunable spatial and angular Goos-Hänchen shift and Imbert-Fedorov shift using long range surface plasmon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goswami, Nabamita; Saha, Ardhendu; Kar, Aparupa

    2015-03-01

    A new proposal towards the polarization tunable Goos-Hänchen (GH) and Imbert-Fedorov (IF) spatial and angular shifts is explored analytically in a four layer Kretschmann-Raether geometry comprising a ZnSe prism, a dielectric layer of PMMA-DR1 (Polymethylmthacryalate-Disperse red) and two metal layers of silver having thicknesses of 50 nm and 200 nm respectively. Observations from the different graphical representations reveal that in correspondence of the long range surface plasmon (LRSP) resonant angle both spatial and angular GH shifts get appreciably enhanced in case of p polarized light whereas negligible or very less amplification of spatial and angular GH shifts are obtained for s polarized light. With the switching of polarization of the incident light beam on the proposed configuration through the half wave plate, the spatial and angular GH shift is tuned from -17.35 μm to 0.105 μm and -0.631 μrad to 4.28 nrad respectively and the spatial and angular IF shift is tuned from 94.16 μm to -53.58 μm and about 7.774 μrad to -11.17 μrad respectively. To the best of our knowledge, several articles have been devoted for depicting the GH shift without considering the IF shift, whereas the exact beam position of the output beam can only be identified with the composite effect of GH and IF spatial and angular shifts. The above new proposal can be implemented in the field of fine tuning of optical switching at the μm ranges with varying polarization, optical sensors applications and serves interesting opportunities to make atomic mirrors.

  17. Six Years in the Life of a Mother Bear - The Longest Continuous Heart Rate Recordings from a Free-Ranging Mammal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laske, Timothy G.; Iaizzo, Paul A.; Garshelis, David L.

    2017-01-01

    Physiological monitoring of free-ranging wild animals is providing new insights into their adaptations to a changing environment. American black bears (Ursus americanus) are highly adaptable mammals, spending up to half the year hibernating, and the remainder of the year attempting to gain weight on a landscape with foods that vary seasonally and year to year. We recorded heart rate (HR) and corresponding activity of an adult female black bear over the course of six years, using an implanted monitor. Despite yearly differences in food, and an every-other year reproductive cycle, this bear exhibited remarkable consistency in HR and activity. HR increased for 12 weeks in spring, from minimal hibernation levels (mean 20-25 beats/minute [bpm]; min 10 bpm) to summer active levels (July daytime: mean 95 bpm). Timing was delayed following one cold winter. In August the bear switched from primarily diurnal to nocturnal, coincident with the availability of baits set by legal hunters. Activity in autumn was higher when the bear was with cubs. Birthing of cubs in January was identified by a transient increase in HR and activity. Long-term physiological and behavioral monitoring is valuable for understanding adaptations of free-ranging animals to climate change, food availability, and human-related stressors.

  18. Microstrip Antennas with Polarization Diversity across a Wide Frequency Range and Phased Array Antennas for Radar and Satellite Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Kevin Ming-Jiang

    The thesis comprises of 3 projects; an L-band microstrip antenna with frequency agility and polarization diversity, X-band phased array antennas incorporating commercially packaged RFIC phased array chips, and studies for Ku/Ka-band shared aperture antenna array. The first project features the use of commercially packaged RF-MEMS SPDT switches, that boasts of high reliability, high linearity, low losses, hermetically packaged and fully compatible for SMTA processes for mass-assembly and production. Using the switches in a novel manner for the feed network, microstrip antennas with polarization diversity are presented. Frequency agility is achieved with the use of tuning diodes to provide capacitive loading to the antenna element. Additional inductance effects from surface-mounted capacitors, and its impact, is introduced. Theoretical cross-polarization of probe-fed antenna elements is presented for both linear and circular polarized microstrip antennas. Designs and measurements are presented, for microstrip antennas with polarization diversity, wide frequency tuning range, and both features. Replacement of the tuning diodes with commercially-packaged high Q RF MEMS tunable capacitors will allow for significant improvements to the radiation efficiency. In another project, multi-channel CMOS RFIC phased-array receiver chips are assembled in QFN packages and directly integrated on the same multi-layered PCB stack-up with the antenna arrays. Problems of isolation from the PCB-QFN interface, and potential performance degradation on antenna array from the use of commercial-grade laminates for assembly requirements, namely potential scan blindness and radiation efficiency, are presented. Causes for apparent drift of dielectric constant for microstrip circuits, and high conductor losses observed in measurements, are introduced. Finally, studies are performed for the design of a Ku/Ka-Band shared aperture array. Different approaches for developing dual-band shared apertures

  19. Analytical modeling of polarization transformation of laser radiation of various spectral ranges by birefringent structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motrich, A. V.; Ushenko, O. G.

    2018-01-01

    The results of statistical dependence and correlation structures of two-dimensional Mueller matrix elements in various spectral regions of laser radiation by changes in the distribution of orientations of optical axes and birefringence of protein crystals. Namely, a two-wave ("red-blue") approach - layer of biological tissues irradiated by He-Ne laser (λ1 = 0,63μm ) and He-Cd laser (λ1 = 0,41μm )was used Conducted analysis of polarimetric sensitivity was made, a state of polarization points that contain volumetric structures of biological objects to spectral region of laser radiation was detected.

  20. PCBs and OH-PCBs in polar bear mother-cub pairs: a comparative study based on plasma levels in 1998 and 2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bytingsvik, Jenny; Lie, Elisabeth; Aars, Jon; Derocher, Andrew E; Wiig, Øystein; Jenssen, Bjørn M

    2012-02-15

    The aim of this study was to examine the plasma concentrations and prevalence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and hydroxylated PCB-metabolites (OH-PCBs) in polar bear (Ursus maritimus) mothers (n=26) and their 4 months old cubs-of-the-year (n=38) from Svalbard to gain insight into the mother-cub transfer, biotransformation and to evaluate the health risk associated with the exposure to these contaminants. As samplings were performed in 1997/1998 and 2008, we further investigated the differences in levels and pattern of PCBs between the two sampling years. The plasma concentrations of Σ(21)PCBs (1997/1998: 5710 ± 3090 ng/g lipid weight [lw], 2008: 2560 ± 1500 ng/g lw) and Σ(6)OH-PCBs (1997/1998: 228 ± 60 ng/g wet weight [ww], 2008: 80 ± 38 ng/g ww) in mothers were significantly lower in 2008 compared to in 1997/1998. In cubs, the plasma concentrations of Σ(21)PCBs (1997/1998: 14680 ± 5350 ng/g lw, 2008: 6070 ± 2590 ng/g lw) and Σ(6)OH-PCBs (1997/1998: 98 ± 23 ng/g ww, 2008: 49 ± 21 ng/g ww) were also significantly lower in 2008 than in 1997/1998. Σ(21)PCBs in cubs was 2.7 ± 0.7 times higher than in their mothers. This is due to a significant maternal transfer of these contaminants. In contrast, Σ(6)OH-PCBs in cubs were approximately 0.53 ± 0.16 times the concentration in their mothers. This indicates a lower maternal transfer of OH-PCBs compared to PCBs. The majority of the metabolite/precursor-ratios were lower in cubs compared to mothers. This may indicate that cubs have a lower endogenous capacity to biotransform PCBs to OH-PCBs than polar bear mothers. Exposure to PCBs and OH-PCBs is a potential health risk for polar bears, and the levels of PCBs and OH-PCBs in cubs from 2008 were still above levels associated with health effects in humans and wildlife. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide metabolites in the blood of free-ranging brown bears and their potential roles in hibernation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revsbech, Inge G; Shen, Xinggui; Chakravarti, Ritu; Jensen, Frank B; Thiel, Bonnie; Evans, Alina L; Kindberg, Jonas; Fröbert, Ole; Stuehr, Dennis J; Kevil, Christopher G; Fago, Angela

    2014-08-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) lie in dens for half a year without eating while their basal metabolism is largely suppressed. To understand the underlying mechanisms of metabolic depression in hibernation, we measured type and content of blood metabolites of two ubiquitous inhibitors of mitochondrial respiration, hydrogen sulfide (H2S) and nitric oxide (NO), in winter-hibernating and summer-active free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears. We found that levels of sulfide metabolites were overall similar in summer-active and hibernating bears but their composition in the plasma differed significantly, with a decrease in bound sulfane sulfur in hibernation. High levels of unbound free sulfide correlated with high levels of cysteine (Cys) and with low levels of bound sulfane sulfur, indicating that during hibernation H2S, in addition to being formed enzymatically from the substrate Cys, may also be regenerated from its oxidation products, including thiosulfate and polysulfides. In the absence of any dietary intake, this shift in the mode of H2S synthesis would help preserve free Cys for synthesis of glutathione (GSH), a major antioxidant found at high levels in the red blood cells of hibernating bears. In contrast, circulating nitrite and erythrocytic S-nitrosation of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, taken as markers of NO metabolism, did not change appreciably. Our findings reveal that remodeling of H2S metabolism and enhanced intracellular GSH levels are hallmarks of the aerobic metabolic suppression of hibernating bears. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. The endocrine disruption properties of an adipose contaminant mixture extracted from East Greenland polar bears studied in the H295R cell line

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hjorth, R.; Letcher, R. J.; Blair, D.

    -MS/MS analysis showed that all 10 adipose extracts caused significant changes to the hormone levels in H295R compared to solvent controls. Levels of progestagens expressed upstream of the enzyme CYP17 (pregnenolone and progesterone) increased with a corresponding decrease in androgens expressed downstream...... in 2011. Specifically, the tissue extracts were tested for steroidogenic activity in the human adrenocortical carcinoma cell line H295R. These extracts contained a complex mixture of measured polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and brominated flame retardants (BFRs). GC...... (dehydroepiandrosterone and androstenedione). These results demonstrated comprehensive in vitro effects of POPs extracted from polar bear adipose tissue on key elements in the steroidogenesis, and identifies disruption of CYP17 activity as a mode of action. A POP-induced interference with CYP17 can potentially explain...

  3. Ultra Wideband Polarization-Selective Conversions of Electromagnetic Waves by Metasurface under Large-Range Incident Angles

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yin, Jia Yuan; Wan, Xiang; Zhang, Qian; Cui, Tie Jun

    2015-01-01

    .... Owing to the structural feature of the proposed metasurface, only x- and y-polarized incident waves can reach high-efficiency polarization conversions, realizing the polarization-selective property...

  4. Nonlinear Dynamic Response of an Unbalanced Flexible Rotor Supported by Elastic Bearings Lubricated with Piezo-Viscous Polar Fluids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mustapha Lahmar

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of the V. K. Stokes micro-continuum theory, the effects of couple stresses on the nonlinear dynamic response of the unbalanced Jeffcott’s flexible rotor supported by layered hydrodynamic journal bearings is presented in this paper. A nonlinear transient modified Reynolds’ equation is derived and discretized by the finite element method to obtain the fluid-film pressure field as well as the film thickness by means of the implicit Euler method. The nonlinear orbits of the rotor center are determined by solving the nonlinear differential equations of motion with the explicit Euler’s scheme taking into account the flexibility of rotor. According to the obtained results, the combined effects of couple stresses due to the presence of polymer additives in lubricant and the pressure dependent viscosity on the nonlinear dynamic response of the rotor-bearing system are significant and cannot be ignored or overlooked. As expected, these effects are more noticeable for polymers characterized by higher length molecular chains.

  5. Low cardiac output as physiological phenomenon in hibernating, free-ranging Scandinavian brown bears (Ursus arctos) - an observational study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, Peter Godsk; Arnemo, Jon; Swenson, Jon E

    2014-01-01

    .31) l/min vs. 3.54 (SD: 1.04) l/min (P=0.003), and mean cardiac index 0.63 (SD: 0.21) l/min/kg vs. 2.45 (SD: 0.52) l/min/ m2 (Pecho contrast was present in all cardiac chambers in all seven bears during hibernation, despite the absence of atrial arrhythmias and valvular disease...

  6. Whitebark Pine, Population Density, and Home-Range Size of Grizzly Bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Bjornlie, Daniel D; van Manen, Frank T.; Ebinger, Michael R.; Haroldson, Mark A; Thompson, Daniel J.; Cecily M Costello

    2014-01-01

    Changes in life history traits of species can be an important indicator of potential factors influencing populations. For grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), recent decline of whitebark pine (WBP; Pinus albicaulis), an important fall food resource, has been paired with a slowing of population growth following two decades of robust population increase. These observations have raised questions whether resource decline or density-dependent processes may be as...

  7. Factors affecting date of implantation, parturition, and den entry estimated from activity and body temperature in free-ranging brown bears.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Friebe

    Full Text Available Knowledge of factors influencing the timing of reproduction is important for animal conservation and management. Brown bears (Ursus arctos are able to vary the birth date of their cubs in response to their fat stores, but little information is available about the timing of implantation and parturition in free-ranging brown bears. Body temperature and activity of pregnant brown bears is higher during the gestation period than during the rest of hibernation and drops at parturition. We compared mean daily body temperature and activity levels of pregnant and nonpregnant females during preimplantation, gestation, and lactation. Additionally we tested whether age, litter size, primiparity, environmental conditions, and the start of hibernation influence the timing of parturition. The mean date of implantation was 1 December (SD = 12, the mean date of parturition was 26 January (SD = 12, and the mean duration of the gestation period was 56 days (SD = 2. The body temperature of pregnant females was higher during the gestation and lactation periods than that of nonpregnant bears. The body temperature of pregnant females decreased during the gestation period. Activity recordings were also used to determine the date of parturition. The parturition dates calculated with activity and body temperature data did not differ significantly and were the same in 50% of the females. Older females started hibernation earlier. The start of hibernation was earlier during years with favorable environmental conditions. Dates of parturition were later during years with good environmental conditions which was unexpected. We suggest that free-ranging pregnant brown bears in areas with high levels of human activities at the beginning of the denning period, as in our study area, might prioritize investing energy in early denning than in early parturition during years with favorable environmental conditions, as a strategy to prevent disturbances caused by human.

  8. Factors affecting date of implantation, parturition, and den entry estimated from activity and body temperature in free-ranging brown bears.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friebe, Andrea; Evans, Alina L; Arnemo, Jon M; Blanc, Stéphane; Brunberg, Sven; Fleissner, Günther; Swenson, Jon E; Zedrosser, Andreas

    2014-01-01

    Knowledge of factors influencing the timing of reproduction is important for animal conservation and management. Brown bears (Ursus arctos) are able to vary the birth date of their cubs in response to their fat stores, but little information is available about the timing of implantation and parturition in free-ranging brown bears. Body temperature and activity of pregnant brown bears is higher during the gestation period than during the rest of hibernation and drops at parturition. We compared mean daily body temperature and activity levels of pregnant and nonpregnant females during preimplantation, gestation, and lactation. Additionally we tested whether age, litter size, primiparity, environmental conditions, and the start of hibernation influence the timing of parturition. The mean date of implantation was 1 December (SD = 12), the mean date of parturition was 26 January (SD = 12), and the mean duration of the gestation period was 56 days (SD = 2). The body temperature of pregnant females was higher during the gestation and lactation periods than that of nonpregnant bears. The body temperature of pregnant females decreased during the gestation period. Activity recordings were also used to determine the date of parturition. The parturition dates calculated with activity and body temperature data did not differ significantly and were the same in 50% of the females. Older females started hibernation earlier. The start of hibernation was earlier during years with favorable environmental conditions. Dates of parturition were later during years with good environmental conditions which was unexpected. We suggest that free-ranging pregnant brown bears in areas with high levels of human activities at the beginning of the denning period, as in our study area, might prioritize investing energy in early denning than in early parturition during years with favorable environmental conditions, as a strategy to prevent disturbances caused by human.

  9. Least Limiting Water Range and Load Bearing Capacity of Soil under Types of Tractor-Trailers for Mechanical Harvesting of Green Sugarcane

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio Higino Frederico Pereira

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The expansion of the sugarcane industry in Brazil has intensified the mechanization of agriculture and caused effects on the soil physical quality. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the limiting water range and soil bearing capacity of a Latossolo Vermelho distroférrico típico (Rhodic Hapludox under the influence of different tractor-trailers used in mechanical sugarcane harvesting. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block design with five replications. The treatments consisted of green sugarcane harvesting with: harvester without trailer (T1; harvester with two trailers with a capacity of 10 Mg each (T2; harvester with trailer with a capacity of 20 Mg (T3 and harvester and truck with trailer with a capacity of 20 Mg (10 Mg per compartment (T4. The least limiting water range and soil bearing capacity were evaluated. The transport equipment to remove the harvested sugarcane from the field (trailer at harvest decreased the least limiting water range, reducing the structural soil quality. The truck trailer caused the greatest impact on the soil physical properties studied. The soil load bearing capacity was unaffected by the treatments, since the pressure of the harvester (T1 exceeded the pre-consolidation pressure of the soil.

  10. Efficacy of GPS cluster analysis for predicting carnivory sites of a wide-ranging omnivore: the American black bear

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kindschuh, Sarah R.; Cain, James W.; Daniel, David; Peyton, Mark A.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to describe and quantify predation by large carnivores expanded considerably with the advent of GPS technology. Analyzing clusters of GPS locations formed by carnivores facilitates the detection of predation events by identifying characteristics which distinguish predation sites. We present a performance assessment of GPS cluster analysis as applied to the predation and scavenging of an omnivore, the American black bear (Ursus americanus), on ungulate prey and carrion. Through field investigations of 6854 GPS locations from 24 individual bears, we identified 54 sites where black bears formed a cluster of locations while predating or scavenging elk (Cervus elaphus), mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), or cattle (Bos spp.). We developed models for three data sets to predict whether a GPS cluster was formed at a carnivory site vs. a non-carnivory site (e.g., bed sites or non-ungulate foraging sites). Two full-season data sets contained GPS locations logged at either 3-h or 30-min intervals from April to November, and a third data set contained 30-min interval data from April through July corresponding to the calving period for elk. Longer fix intervals resulted in the detection of fewer carnivory sites. Clusters were more likely to be carnivory sites if they occurred in open or edge habitats, if they occurred in the early season, if the mean distance between all pairs of GPS locations within the cluster was less, and if the cluster endured for a longer period of time. Clusters were less likely to be carnivory sites if they were initiated in the morning or night compared to the day. The top models for each data set performed well and successfully predicted 71–96% of field-verified carnivory events, 55–75% of non–carnivory events, and 58–76% of clusters overall. Refinement of this method will benefit from further application across species and ecological systems.

  11. Seismic bearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Dennis

    2009-05-01

    Textron Systems (Textron) has been using geophones for target detection for many years. This sensing capability was utilized for detection and classification purposes only. Recently Textron has been evaluating multiaxis geophones to calculate bearings and track targets more specifically personnel. This capability will not only aid the system in locating personnel in bearing space or cartesian space but also enhance detection and reduce false alarms. Textron has been involved in the testing and evaluation of several sensors at multiple sites. One of the challenges of calculating seismic bearing is an adequate signal to noise ratio. The sensor signal to noise ratio is a function of sensor coupling to the ground, seismic propagation and range to target. The goals of testing at multiple sites are to gain a good understanding of the maximum and minimum ranges for bearing and detection and to exploit that information to tailor sensor system emplacement to achieve desired performance. Test sites include 10A Site Devens, MA, McKenna Airfield Ft. Benning, GA and Yuma Proving Ground Yuma, AZ. Geophone sensors evaluated include a 28 Hz triax spike, a 15 Hz triax spike and a hybrid triax spike consisting of a 10 Hz vertical geophone and two 28 Hz horizontal geophones. The algorithm uses raw seismic data to calculate the bearings. All evaluated sensors have triaxial geophone configuration mounted to a spike housing/fixture. The suite of sensors also compares various types of geophones to evaluate benefits in lower bandwidth. The data products of these tests include raw geophone signals, seismic features, seismic bearings, seismic detection and GPS position truth data. The analyses produce Probability of Detection vs range, bearing accuracy vs range, and seismic feature level vs range. These analysis products are compared across test sites and sensor types.

  12. Multicore Magnetic Nanoparticles Coated with Oligomeric Micelles: Characterization and Potential for the Extraction of Contaminants over a Wide Polarity Range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naous, Mohamed; García-Gómez, Diego; López-Jiménez, Francisco José; Bouanani, Farida; Lunar, María Loreto; Rubio, Soledad

    2017-01-17

    Oligomeric micelles from sodium undecylenate (oSUD) were chemisorbed to magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (MNPs) through a single-step synthetic route involving the simultaneous nanoparticle formation and functionalization in an aqueous medium. The resulting spherical nanoparticles (MNPs-oSUD) consisted of a concatenation of iron oxide cores, with an average size of 7.7 nm, bound by oSUD micelles (particle average diameter of ca. 200 nm). Micellar coverage was ∼50% of the MNP-oSUD (by weight) and offered multiple retention mechanisms (e.g., dispersion, hydrogen bonding, polar, and ionic) for solute solubilization while keeping it intact during analyte elution. The high density of micelles and variety of interactions provided by this sorbent rendered it highly efficient for the extraction of aromatic amines in a wide polarity range (log K ow values from -0.80 to 4.05) from textiles, urine, and wastewater. Extraction took 5 min, no cleanup or evaporation of the extracts was needed and the method, based on LC-MS/MS quantitation, proved matrix-independent. Recoveries for 17 aromatic amines in samples were in the range of 93%-123% while those with negative log K ow values were in the range of 69%-87%. Detection limits for aromatic amines in textiles (0.007-2 mg kg -1 ) were well below the limits legislated by the European Union (EU) (30 mg kg -1 ) and those in urine and wastewater (0.004-1.5 μg L -1 ) were at the level usually found in real-world applications. All the analyzed samples were positive in aromatic amines. The easy synthesis and excellent extraction properties of MNPs-oSUD anticipate their high potential not only for multiresidue analysis but also in other fields such as water remediation.

  13. Synchrotron Polarization and Synchrotron Self-absorption Spectra for a Power-law Particle Distribution with Finite Energy Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouka, M.; Ouichaoui, S.

    2011-12-01

    We have derived asymptotic forms for the degree of polarization of the optically thin synchrotron and for synchrotron self-absorption (SSA) spectra assuming a power-law particle distribution of the form N(γ) ~ γ-p with γ1 Lambert W function based on the analytical asymptotic form of the absorption coefficient, αν, for the high-frequency range ν Gt ν2 (with ν2 the synchrotron frequency corresponding to γ2). We have shown that the latter frequency may not have realistic applications in astrophysics, except in the case of an adequate set of parameters allowing one to neglect Comptonization effects. More detailed calculations and discussions are presented.

  14. Polar Bears or People?: How Framing Can Provide a Useful Analytic Tool to Understand & Improve Climate Change Communication in Classrooms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, K. C.

    2014-12-01

    Not only will young adults bear the brunt of climate change's effects, they are also the ones who will be required to take action - to mitigate and to adapt. The Next Generation Science Standards include climate change, ensuring the topic will be covered in U.S. science classrooms in the near future. Additionally, school is a primary source of information about climate change for young adults. The larger question, though, is how can the teaching of climate change be done in such a way as to ascribe agency - a willingness to act - to students? Framing - as both a theory and an analytic method - has been used to understand how language in the media can affect the audience's intention to act. Frames function as a two-way filter, affecting both the message sent and the message received. This study adapted both the theory and the analytic methods of framing, applying them to teachers in the classroom to answer the research question: How do teachers frame climate change in the classroom? To answer this question, twenty-five lessons from seven teachers were analyzed using semiotic discourse analysis methods. It was found that the teachers' frames overlapped to form two distinct discourses: a Science Discourse and a Social Discourse. The Science Discourse, which was dominant, can be summarized as: Climate change is a current scientific problem that will have profound global effects on the Earth's physical systems. The Social Discourse, used much less often, can be summarized as: Climate change is a future social issue because it will have negative impacts at the local level on people. While it may not be surprising that the Science Discourse was most often heard in these science classrooms, it is possibly problematic if it were the only discourse used. The research literature on framing indicates that the frames found in the Science Discourse - global scale, scientific statistics and facts, and impact on the Earth's systems - are not likely to inspire action-taking. This

  15. Solubility parameter of drugs for predicting the solubility profile type within a wide polarity range in solvent mixtures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peña, M A; Reíllo, A; Escalera, B; Bustamante, P

    2006-09-14

    The solubility enhancement produced by two binary mixtures with a common cosolvent (ethanol-water and ethyl acetate-ethanol) was studied against the solubility parameter of the mixtures (delta1) to characterize different types of solubility profiles. Benzocaine, salicylic acid and acetanilide show a single peak in the least polar mixture (ethanol-ethyl acetate) at delta1=22.59, 21.70 and 20.91 MPa1/2, respectively. Phenacetin displays two solubility maxima, at delta1=25.71 (ethanol-water) and at delta1=23.30 (ethyl acetate-ethanol). Acetanilide shows an inflexion point in ethanol-water instead of a peak, and the sign of the slope does not vary when changing the cosolvent. The solubility profiles were compared to those obtained in dioxane-water, having a solubility parameter range similar to that covered with the common cosolvent system. All the drugs reach a maximum at about 90% dioxane (delta1=23 MPa1/2). A modification of the extended Hildebrand method is applicable for curves with a single maximum whereas a model including the Hildebrand solubility parameter delta1 and the acidic partial solubility parameter delta1a is required to calculate more complex solubility profiles (with inflexion point or two maxima). A single equation was able to fit the solubility curves of all drugs in the common cosolvent system. The polarity of the drug is related to the shape of the solubility profile against the solubility parameter delta1 of the solvent mixtures. The drugs with solubility parameters below 24 MPa1/2 display a single peak in ethanol-ethyl acetate. The drugs with delta2 values above 25 MPa1/2 show two maxima, one in each solvent mixture (ethanol-water and ethanol-ethyl acetate). The position of the maximum in ethanol-ethyl acetate shifts to larger polarity values (higher delta1 values) as the solubility parameter of the drug delta2 increases.

  16. Refractive index measurements of films with biaxial symmetry. 2. Determination of film thickness and refractive indices using polarized transmission spectra in the transparent wavelength range.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diao, Jie; Hess, Dennis W

    2005-07-07

    A technique is formulated to determine both thickness and refractive indices of free-standing films with biaxial symmetry from polarized transmission spectra. The films must be transparent and show little dispersion in refractive indices in the wavelength range where the transmission spectra are collected. Methods are proposed to correct the errors caused by imperfect polarization of incident radiation and thickness variation across the sampling area. Anisotropic refractive indices and thickness of poly(biphenyl dianhydride-p-phenylenediamine) films which exhibit uniaxial optical anisotropy are determined from polarized transmission spectra. The refractive index and thickness values compare well to those obtained from waveguide prism coupler and profilometer measurements.

  17. Effects of ankle joint mobilization with movement and weight-bearing exercise on knee strength, ankle range of motion, and gait velocity in patients with stroke: a pilot study

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    An, Chang-Man; Won, Jong-Im

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ankle joint mobilization with movement on knee strength, ankle range of motion, and gait velocity, compared with weight-bearing exercise in stroke patients...

  18. Altered knee and ankle kinematics during squatting in those with limited weight-bearing-lunge ankle-dorsiflexion range of motion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dill, Karli E; Begalle, Rebecca L; Frank, Barnett S; Zinder, Steven M; Padua, Darin A

    2014-01-01

    Ankle-dorsiflexion (DF) range of motion (ROM) may influence movement variables that are known to affect anterior cruciate ligament loading, such as knee valgus and knee flexion. To our knowledge, researchers have not studied individuals with limited or normal ankle DF-ROM to investigate the relationship between those factors and the lower extremity movement patterns associated with anterior cruciate ligament injury. To determine, using 2 different measurement techniques, whether knee- and ankle-joint kinematics differ between participants with limited and normal ankle DF-ROM. Cross-sectional study. Sports medicine research laboratory. Forty physically active adults (20 with limited ankle DF-ROM, 20 with normal ankle DF-ROM). Ankle DF-ROM was assessed using 2 techniques: (1) nonweight-bearing ankle DF-ROM with the knee straight, and (2) weight-bearing lunge (WBL). Knee flexion, knee valgus-varus, knee internal-external rotation, and ankle DF displacements were assessed during the overhead-squat, single-legged squat, and jump-landing tasks. Separate 1-way analyses of variance were performed to determine whether differences in knee- and ankle-joint kinematics existed between the normal and limited groups for each assessment. We observed no differences between the normal and limited groups when classifying groups based on nonweight-bearing passive-ankle DF-ROM. However, individuals with greater ankle DF-ROM during the WBL displayed greater knee-flexion and ankle-DF displacement and peak knee flexion during the overhead-squat and single-legged squat tasks. In addition, those individuals also demonstrated greater knee-varus displacement during the single-legged squat. Greater ankle DF-ROM assessed during the WBL was associated with greater knee-flexion and ankle-DF displacement during both squatting tasks as well as greater knee-varus displacement during the single-legged squat. Assessment of ankle DF-ROM using the WBL provided important insight into compensatory

  19. The Case of Polar Bears

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowlands, Olivia; Hokayem, Hayat; Biediger, Debbie

    2017-01-01

    "A Framework for K-12 Science Education" emphasizes the need to teach students the core ideas of science through capitalizing on students' curiosity to discover the world around them (NRC 2012). Children's experiences vary, and for educators to engage them in the process of science, they need to think of diverse ways to nourish their…

  20. Mafic microgranular enclaves (MMEs) in amphibole-bearing granites of the Bintang batholith, Main Range granite province: Evidence for a meta-igneous basement in Western Peninsular Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quek, Long Xiang; Ghani, Azman A.; Chung, Sun-Lin; Li, Shan; Lai, Yu-Ming; Saidin, Mokhtar; Amir Hassan, Meor H.; Muhammad Ali, Muhammad Afiq; Badruldin, Muhammad Hafifi; Abu Bakar, Ahmad Farid

    2017-08-01

    Mafic microgranular enclaves (MMEs) with varying sizes are a common occurrence in porphyritic amphibole-bearing granite of the Bintang batholith, which is part of the Main Range granite province. The MMEs of the amphibole-bearing granite are significant as they are related to the I-type granitoids within the Main Range granite province. Petrographic observations indicate the MMEs are mantled with coarse mafic crystals on the rim and contain similar minerals to the host (biotite + plagioclase + K-feldspar + pyroxene + amphibole), but in different proportions. Geochemical analyses indicate the MMEs are shoshonitic with mg# comparable to the granite host. Substantial similarities exist between the MMEs and granite with regards to the normalized rare earth element patterns and trace elements variation diagrams. The MMEs and granite are not completely coeval as the MME zircon U-Pb age (224.3 ± 1.2 Ma) is slightly older than its granite host zircon U-Pb age (216.2 ± 1.0 Ma). The age difference is also observed from the unusual 500 m-long Tiak MME and another amphibole-bearing granite sample from the south of the pluton, which yield 221.8 ± 1.1 Ma and 217.4 ± 1.0 Ma respectively. The oldest inherited zircons found in the MME and granite are 2.0 Ga and 1.3 Ga respectively, while the oldest xenocrystic zircons found in the MME and granite are 2.5 Ga and 1.5 Ga respectively. Identical negative εHf(t) values from zircon U-Pb and Lu-Hf analysis for a MME-granite pair indicates the rocks were generated from a similar, ancient source in the basement. Combining the results, we suggest that incongruent melting of an ancient protolith played an important part in the evolution of the MMEs and granite and the MMEs characteristics are best explained as restite. The zircon Hf model age (two-stage) and the I-type peritectic and restitic mineral assemblages in the MMEs further describe the protolith as Early Proterozoic-Late Archean (≈2.5 Ga) meta-igneous rock. This shows the

  1. Seasonal variability in physicochemical characteristics of small water bodies across a High Arctic wetland, Polar Bear Pass, Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abnizova, A.; Miller, E.; Shakil, S.; Young, K. L.

    2012-12-01

    Small water bodies (lakes, ponds) in permafrost environments make up roughly half of the total area of surface water, but their relevance to nutrient and carbon fluxes on a landscape scale still remains largely unknown. Small variations in pond water balance as a result of seasonal changes in precipitation, evaporation, or drainage processes have the potential to produce considerable changes in the carbon and nutrient budgets as small changes in the water level can have a major effect on volumes and surface areas of ponds. The aims of this study were (1) to identify the main characteristics in pond hydrology both seasonally and between years; (2) to identify factors controlling variation in measured physicochemical variables; and (3) to detect seasonal trends in the hydrological and chemical characteristics of ponds located in an extensive low-gradient High Arctic wetland. We conducted detailed limnological surveys of 50 wetland ponds located at Polar Bear Pass (PBP), Bathurst Island, Nunavut, Canada during 2007-2010. The results indicate large seasonal variability in physicochemical parameters that is associated with pond water budget changes, especially for ponds with steady water levels vs. dynamic ponds (fluctuating water levels). Principal component analysis (PCA) of the datasets indicated that major ion content, specifically calcium (Ca2+), was responsible for much of the variability among the ponds in both 2008 and 2009. Additionally in 2009 most of the variability was also due to specific conductivity in the summer and magnesium (Mg2+) in the fall. These trends are typically identified as a result of dilution or evapo-concentration processes in small water bodies. In 2007, a warm and dry year, pH and potassium (K+) were responsible for much of variation between ponds. This is attributed to high vegetation growth in ponds and a longer growing season. While no trend was identified in 2010 (PCA analysis), calculations of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 50

  2. Are organohalogen contaminants a bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS

    2006-01-01

    Tissues of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from East Greenland contain the highest concentrations of organohalogen contaminants (OHCs) among subpopulations of any mammalian species in the Arctic. Negative associations also have been found between OHC concentrations and bone mineral density and liver...... histology parameters for this subpopulation of polar bears. The present study examined the OHC concentrations and adverse effects on renal tissue for 75 polar bears collected during 1999 to 2002. Specific lesions were diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening, mesangial glomerular deposits, tubular...

  3. Polarization Diversity Image-Reject Homodyne Receiver for Directional Radial Velocity Measurements in Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Instruments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2015-01-01

    The present invention relates to an improved method and a LIDAR system comprising an emitter for emission of a coherent electromagnetic EM signal and a transmitting optical arrangement configured to transmit the electromagnetic signal towards a measurement area. By the method and system, detectio...... of both the polarized and depolarized backscattered EM signal is obtained, whereby an improved signal-to-noise ratio is obtained....

  4. Microstrip Antennas with Polarization Diversity across a Wide Frequency Range and Phased Array Antennas for Radar and Satellite Communications

    OpenAIRE

    Ho, Kevin Ming-Jiang

    2014-01-01

    The thesis comprises of 3 projects; an L-band microstrip antenna with frequency agility and polarization diversity, X-band phased array antennas incorporating commercially packaged RFIC phased array chips, and studies for Ku/Ka- band shared aperture antenna array. The first project features the use of commercially packaged RF-MEMS SPDT switches, that boasts of high reliability, high linearity, low losses, hermetically packaged and fully compatible for SMTA processes for mass-assembly and prod...

  5. Dietary ecology of the extinct cave bear: Evidence of omnivory as inferred from dental microwear textures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Brent Jones

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The diet of the extinct European cave bear, Ursus spelaeus, has widely been debated. Diverging from the extant brown bear (Ursus arctos approximately 1.2 million years ago, the cave bear is one of the most ubiquitous fossil bears occurring in Europe during the middle and Late Pleistocene. Early morphological studies suggested that the cave bear was likely specialized on processing tough and/or abrasive foods, while later two-dimensional low-magnification microwear studies suggested that they were omnivorous and may have consumed more bone than U. arctos. Here, we used dental microwear texture analysis (DMTA to further interpret the diet of the cave bear. Microscopic wear features were assessed and compared to modern ursids, including the cave bears’ closest living relative, U. arctos. Results suggest that U. spelaeus consumed a diet with a diversity of textural properties, similar to most other bears and only distinguishable from the hyper-carnivorous polar bear (Ursus maritimus. Further, only U. maritimus can be distinguished from all bear species here examined (i.e., the giant panda bear, Ailuropoda melanoleuca; sun-bear, Ursus malayanus; spectacled bear, Tremarctos ornatus; American black bear, Ursus americanus; and U. arctos, with significantly greater area-scale fractal complexity (Asfc of microwear surfaces. The DMTA of A. melanoleuca also has significantly lower Asfc than T. ornatus and U. americanus, consistent with observed dietary behavior. As modern bears vary their diets seasonally and across their range, it may be difficult to characterize the dietary ecology of extinct bears using dental microwear alone. Nevertheless, DMTA here demonstrates that U. spelaeus had a diet distinct from the hyper-carnivorous U. maritimus and instead likely consumed food with textural properties most similar to other herbivorous/omnivorous bears. Lastly, the European cave bear and North American giant short-faced bear (Arctodus simus may have had

  6. Complete polarization analysis in the 1keV to 2keV energy range using a high-precision polarimeter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongchang; Dhesi, Sarnjeet; Bencok, Peter; Steadman, Paul; Maccherozzi, Francesco; Sawhney, Kawal

    2013-03-01

    The Beryl and YB66 crystals are proved to be suitable as analyzers in the energy range from 1.0keV to 2.0keV. The s-component reflectivity (Rs) of Beryl crystal reaches up to 10% with polarizing power Rs/Rp over 1000 at 1.1keV. The free-standing W/B4C multilayer has the phase shift over 5° with moderate transmission up to 1.7keV. The Bragg resonance width of the Beryl crystal is only 350 microradians at 1.1keV, and the incidence angle of the beam onto the crystal needs to be constant within 50 microradians or better. A high-precision polarimeter was used for the polarimetry experiment, and the complete polarization analysis of the APPLE II undulator at 1.1 keV and 1.56keV will be presented.

  7. Thermodynamic properties of spin-polarized 3He gas in the temperature range 1 mK-4 K from the quantum second virial coefficient

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Maaitah, A. F.; Sandouqa, A. S.; Joudeh, B. R.; Ghassib, H. B.

    2017-11-01

    The quantum second virial coefficient Bq of 3He↑ gas is determined in the temperature range 0.001-4 K from the Beth-Uhlenbeck formula. The corresponding phase shifts are calculated from the Lippmann-Schwinger equation using a highly-accurate matrix-inversion technique. A positive Bq corresponds to an overall repulsive interaction; whereas a negative Bq represents an overall attractive interaction. It is found that in the low-energy limit, Bq tends to increase with increasing spin polarization. The compressibility Z is evaluated as another measure of nonideality of the system. Z becomes most significant at low temperatures and increases with polarization. From the pressure-temperature (P-T) behavior of 3He↑ at low T, it is deduced that P decreases with increasing T below 8 mK.

  8. Salting-out-enhanced ionic liquid microextraction with a dual-role solvent for simultaneous determination of trace pollutants with a wide polarity range in aqueous samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Man; Qu, Jingang; Chen, Kai; Jin, Lide; Dahlgren, Randy Alan; Wang, Huili; Tan, Chengxia; Wang, Xuedong

    2017-11-01

    In real aquatic environments, many occupational pollutants with a wide range of polarities coexist at nanogram to milligram per liter levels. Most reported microextraction methods focus on extracting compounds with similar properties (e.g., polarity or specific functional groups). Herein, we developed a salting-out-enhanced ionic liquid microextraction based on a dual-role solvent (SILM-DS) for simultaneous detection of tetracycline, doxycycline, bisphenol A, triclosan, and methyltriclosan, with log K ow ranging from -1.32 to 5.40 in complex milk and environmental water matrices. The disperser in the ionic-liquid-based dispersive liquid-liquid microextraction was converted to the extraction solvent in the subsequent salting-out-assisted microextraction procedures, and thus a single solvent performed a dual role as both extractant and disperser in the SILM-DS process. Acetonitrile was selected as the dual-role solvent because of its strong affinity for both ionic liquids and water, as well as the extractant in the salting-out step. Optimized experimental conditions were 115 μL [C 8 MIM][PF 6 ] as extractor, 1200 μL acetonitrile as dual-role solvent, pH 2.0, 5.0 min ultrasound extraction time, 3.0 g Na 2 SO 4 , and 3.0 min vortex extraction time. Under optimized conditions, the recoveries of the five pollutants ranged from 74.5 to 106.9%, and their LODs were 0.12-0.75 μg kg -1 in milk samples and 0.11-0.79 μg L -1 in environmental waters. Experimental precision based on relative standard deviation was 1.4-6.4% for intraday and 2.3-6.5% for interday analyses. Compared with previous methods, the prominent advantages of the newly developed method are simultaneous determination of pollutants with a wide range of polarities and a substantially reduced workload for ordinary environmental monitoring and food tests. Therefore, the new method has great application potential for simultaneous determination of trace pollutants with strongly contrasting polarities in several

  9. Long Range Surface Plasmon Resonance Based Taper Fiber Optic Sensor with Enhanced Sensitivity using Au Nano-Layer through Radially Polarized Light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaurasia, Deepak; Goswami, Nabamita; Saha, Ardhendu

    2017-08-01

    A new theoretical approach towards the sensitivity enhancement of tapered fiber optic sensor based on the long range surface plasmon (LRSP) resonance technique in Teflonmetal coated tapered fiber structure using radially polarized is proposed, designed and simulated within Kretschmann-Raether geometry. The configuration comprising a fiber core coated with 690 nm and 70 nm thin Teflon layer and Au layer respectively where the uniform taper waist having diameter 330 µm and 350 µm with taper ratio of 1.7 (NA: 0.25, 10 mm long waist region) and a sensing layer having varying refractive index from 1.333 to 1.353. With the increase in refractive index the observed results indicates a 1.7 times better sensitive tapered fiber sensor as compared to the existing LRSP based fibre optic sensors using intensity interrogation technique. To the best of our knowledge several articles have been devoted in the field of LRSP based fibre optic sensor with p-polarized light whereas no such article has yet been reported with Teflonused as a dielectric between metal coated taper fiber optic sensors using radially polarized light with better sensitivity. Here sensitivity also analysed w.r.t wavelength interrogation technique where the sensitivity enhancement is about 1.7 times than the existing fiber optic sensors.

  10. Short-term effects of self-mobilization with a strap on pain and range of motion of the wrist joint in patients with dorsal wrist pain when weight bearing through the hand: a case series.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choung, Sung-Dae; Kwon, Oh-Yun; Park, Kyue-Nam; Kim, Si-Hyun; Cynn, Heon-Seock

    2013-12-01

    Dorsal wrist pain frequently occurs in weight bearing through the hand in patients with distal radius stress injuries, scaphoid impaction syndrome, and dorsal impingement. To improve the wrist extension motion, joint mobilization has been used. However, there is no report on the effects of mobilization on the range of motion (ROM) and pain onset in patients with dorsal wrist pain when weight bearing through the hand. This study determined the effects of self-mobilization with a strap (SMWS) while weight bearing through the hand on the ROM and force generated at the onset of pain (FGOP) and intensity in the wrist joints of patients with dorsal wrist pain. Fifteen patients (six men, nine women) with dorsal wrist pain during weight bearing through the hand were recruited from a workplace-based work-conditioning center. SMWS was applied during five visits for a 1-week period. Both passive and active wrist extension ROM, FGOP, and pain intensity (PI) while pushing down through the hand were measured before and after SMWS. Passive and active ROM of wrist extension and FGOP increased significantly after the five sessions over 1 week of SMWS (p wrist extension ROM and decrease wrist pain in patients with dorsal wrist pain during weight bearing through the hand. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Hydrogen sulfide and nitric oxide metabolites in the blood of free-ranging brown bears and their potential roles in hibernation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Inge G.; Shen, Xinggui; Chakravarti, Ritu

    2014-01-01

    During winter hibernation, brown bears (Ursus arctos) lie in dens for half a year without eating while their basal metabolism is largely suppressed. To understand the underlying mechanisms of metabolic depression in hibernation, we measured type and content of blood metabolites of two ubiquitous...

  12. Multi-locus genotypes of Enterocytozoon bieneusi in captive Asiatic black bears in southwestern China: High genetic diversity, broad host range, and zoonotic potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Xuefeng; Song, Yuan; Wang, Wuyou; Huang, Xiangming; Liu, Xuehan; Hu, Yanchun; Fu, Hualin; He, Min; Wang, Ya; Zhang, Yue; Wu, Kongju; Peng, Guangneng

    2017-01-01

    Enterocytozoon bieneusi is an obligate eukaryotic intracellular parasite that infects a wide variety of vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. Although considerable research has been conducted on this organism, relatively little information is available on the occurrence of E. bieneusi in captive Asiatic black bears. The present study was performed to determine the prevalence, genetic diversity, and zoonotic potential of E. bieneusi in captive Asiatic black bears in zoos in southwestern China. Fecal specimens from Asiatic black bears in four zoos, located in four different cities, were collected and analyzed for the prevalence of E. bieneusi. The average prevalence of E. bieneusi was 27.4% (29/106), with the highest prevalence in Guiyang Zoo (36.4%, 16/44). Altogether, five genotypes of E. bieneusi were identified among the 29 E. bieneusi-positive samples, including three known genotypes (CHB1, SC02, and horse2) and two novel genotypes named ABB1 and ABB2. Multi-locus sequence typing using three microsatellites (MS1, MS3, and MS7) and one minisatellite (MS4) revealed V, III, V, and IV genotypes at these four loci, respectively. Phylogenetic analysis showed that the genotypes SC02 and ABB2 were clustered into group 1 of zoonotic potential, the genotypes CHB1 and ABB1 were clustered into a new group, and the genotype horse2 was clustered into group 6 of unclear zoonotic potential. In conclusion, this study identified two novel E. bieneusi genotypes in captive Asiatic black bears, and used microsatellite and minisatellite markers to reveal E. bieneusi genetic diversity. Moreover, our findings show that genotypes SC02 (identified in humans) and ABB2 belong to group 1 with zoonotic potential, suggesting the risk of transmission of E. bieneusi from Asiatic black bears to humans and other animals. PMID:28182656

  13. Journal bearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menke, John R.; Boeker, Gilbert F.

    1976-05-11

    1. An improved journal bearing comprising in combination a non-rotatable cylindrical bearing member having a first bearing surface, a rotatable cylindrical bearing member having a confronting second bearing surface having a plurality of bearing elements, a source of lubricant adjacent said bearing elements for supplying lubricant thereto, each bearing element consisting of a pair of elongated relatively shallowly depressed surfaces lying in a cylindrical surface co-axial with the non-depressed surface and diverging from one another in the direction of rotation and obliquely arranged with respect to the axis of rotation of said rotatable member to cause a flow of lubricant longitudinally along said depressed surfaces from their distal ends toward their proximal ends as said bearing members are rotated relative to one another, each depressed surface subtending a radial angle of less than 360.degree., and means for rotating said rotatable bearing member to cause the lubricant to flow across and along said depressed surfaces, the flow of lubricant being impeded by the non-depressed portions of said second bearing surface to cause an increase in the lubricant pressure.

  14. Effects of ankle joint mobilization with movement and weight-bearing exercise on knee strength, ankle range of motion, and gait velocity in patients with stroke: a pilot study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    An, Chang-Man; Won, Jong-Im

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of ankle joint mobilization with movement on knee strength, ankle range of motion, and gait velocity, compared with weight-bearing exercise in stroke patients. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty subjects with chronic stroke were divided into three groups: MWM (n = 12), WBE (n = 8), and control (n = 10). All groups attended physical therapy sessions 3 times a week for 5 weeks. Subjects in the MWM group performed mobilization with movement exercises, whilst participants in the WBE group performed weight-bearing exercises. Knee peak torque, ankle range of motion, and spatiotemporal gait parameters were evaluated before and after the interventions. [Results] Knee extensor peak torque increased significantly in both MWM and WBE groups. However, only the MWM group showed significant improvement in passive and active ankle range of motion and gait velocity, among the three groups. [Conclusion] Ankle joint mobilization with movement intervention is more effective than simple weight-bearing intervention in improving gait speed in stroke patients with limited ankle motion.

  15. Tetraphasic polar organic chemical integrative sampler for the determination of a wide polarity range organic pollutants in water. The use of performance reference compounds and in-situ calibration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iparraguirre, A; Prieto, A; Vallejo, A; Moeder, M; Zuloaga, O; Etxebarria, N; Paschke, A

    2017-03-01

    In the present work, a homemade polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) was studied for the determination of 16 target analytes. The suitability of the combination of triphasic mixture (used in so called pesticides-POCIS) and octadecyl-functionalized silica gel (C18) as sorbent for POCIS was evaluated for the determination of alkylphenols (APs), several hormones, bisphenol-A (BPA), synthetic musk fragrances and herbicides such as trifluralin (Tri) and alachlor (Ala). With this purpose, POCIS laboratory calibration study, using a continuous-flow calibration system, was carried out in order to determine the uptake behavior and sampling rate (Rs) values for each target analyte. While the most hydrophobic compounds, (synthetic musk fragrances, some APs and Tri), showed poor linearity and low accumulation, a linear accumulation was observed for compounds whose logarithmic octanol-water partition coefficient (log Kow) ranged from 5.3 (4-tert-octylphenol, 4t-OP) to 3.1 (cis-androsterone, ADT). The Rs values obtained ranged from 0.190Lday-1 (4t-OP) to 0.042Lday-1 (BPA and equilin, EQ). The addition of C18 to the commonly used triphasic mixture increased the applicability of the POCIS sampler to compounds slightly more non-polar, such as 4t-OP. As far as we know, this is the first time that a combination of tetraphasic sorbent composed by the commercially available triphasic sorbent (Isolute ENV+polystyrene divinylbenzene and Ambersorb 1500 carbon dispersed on S-X3 Biobeads) and C18 was evaluated for passive sampling of the target analytes. The developed POCIS samplers were applied in field experiments from Halle (Germany) wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent. Concerning the calculation of Rs values, the time weighted average (TWA) water concentration CWTWA values were determined considering three different approaches: (i) Rs from laboratory calibration (ii) Rs from laboratory calibration corrected with the use of performance reference compounds (PRCs) and

  16. Are organohalogen contaminants a bears (Ursus maritimus)?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonne, Christian; Dietz, Rune; Leifsson, PS

    2006-01-01

    histology parameters for this subpopulation of polar bears. The present study examined the OHC concentrations and adverse effects on renal tissue for 75 polar bears collected during 1999 to 2002. Specific lesions were diffuse glomerular capillary wall thickening, mesangial glomerular deposits, tubular....... In adult males, statistically significant (p thickening and chlordane (sigmaCHL) concentrations, and tubular medullary hyalin casts and sigmaCHL, sigma...

  17. Is there any range-of-motion advantage to using bearings larger than 36mm in primary hip arthroplasty: A case-control study comparing 36-mm and large-diameter heads.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delay, C; Putman, S; Dereudre, G; Girard, J; Lancelier-Bariatinsky, V; Drumez, E; Migaud, H

    2016-10-01

    Large-diameter (>36mm) total hip arthroplasty (THA) has developed rapidly since the advent of ceramic-on-ceramic (CoC) bearings and highly cross-linked polyethylene. Theoretically, the increase in diameter reduces the risk of instability, although the advantage of calibers beyond 36mm has not been demonstrated in terms of range-of-motion recovery. We conducted a comparative study with a single prosthesis model to determine whether increasing the caliber beyond 36mm provides: (1) better recovery of range-of-motion, (2) a higher functional score, and (3) reduction of the dislocation rate. Increasing the range-of-motion by increasing the caliber beyond 36mm provides better range-of-motion. We analyzed two consecutive, single-operator cementless THA series performed via the mini posterior approach, which differed only in the bearing system (51 metal-on-metal [MoM] with a mean caliber of 45mm±3.3 [range, 40-54] and 61 CoC with a 36-mm caliber). Both series were comparable preoperatively in terms of age, diagnosis, functional scores, preoperative range-of-motion, body mass index, UCLA activity level, and Charnley score. We compared the joint range of movement at follow-up and the gains in range of movement, onset of dislocation, and functional scores (Oxford, Postel-Merle d'Aubigné [PMA]). The mean overall joint range-of-motion was 254°±39° (range, 150-310°) for an 81°±44° (range, -50 to 180°) gain in the MoM group and 256°±23° (r