Postcards from the Arctic

The polar bear. Climate change poses a real threat to its habitat, the ice sheets in the Arctic.

Depletion or Arctic ice has left the polar bear with far fewer seals to hunt for food.

The polar bear is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN and its numbers have declined in many parts of the Arctic.

A bear yawning, one of Langeland's iconic pictures of the animal.

Finishing off the carcass of a seal.

Long periods without ice force the polar bear to seek even a carcass.

The restricted availablity of seals has led to nutritional problems, infant mortality and even affected the bears' reproductive capacity.

The polar bear is a unique and highly evolved predator, yet it is vulnerable because it is highly evolved to a specific ecological requirement. Here, after preying on a seal.

Scientists say there has been a depletion of at least 14 per cent of Arctic ice since 1979. Such melting of sea ice has the potential to threaten the very existence of the polar bear.

They need a platform of ice to live and hunt seals because they cannot swim long distances.

The substratum is the ideal breeding ground for seals, the bear's prey.

After a swim.

There are an estimated 25,000 polar bears in the Arctic, and at the current rate of global warming, two-thirds of them could be gone by mid-century.

Will the world wake up to the dangers of the fragmentation of Arctic ice, and save the polar bear?

Jon Langeland shooting a seal.

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The polar bear. Climate change poses a real threat to its habitat, the ice sheets in the Arctic.
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