Polar bears

On thin ice

Print edition : August 07, 2015

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. Photo: Jon Langeland

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

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

Finishing off the carcass of a seal.

Long periods without ice force the polar bear to seek even a carcass. Photo: Jon Langeland

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

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. Photo: Jon Langeland

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. Photo: Jon Langeland

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

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

After a swim. Photo: Jon Langeland

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. Photo: Jon Langeland

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

Jon Langeland shooting a seal. Photo: By Special Arrrangement

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