Polar Bears In Antarctica
Facts About Polar Bears In Antarctica
Currently there are no polar bears in Antarctica, unless you read some of the environmental protection plans put out by the oil companies, which among other things stated that a large oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would not be expected to harm the resident walrus population. There are of course no resident walruses in the Gulf of Mexico and for those in the Arctic to be harmed by a spill in the Gulf it would have to be a truly massive spill, as it would have to work its way up the Atlantic seaboard to Baffin Island and beyond. The BP environmental protection plan may or may not have mentioned polar bears.
Presumably, if the walrus could migrate to the Gulf, the polar bear could as well, though it would have to make most of its journey on land. Once at the Gulf, the bear could continue south to the Straight of Magellan, and from there to Antarctic. This may have been possible during a past ice age, but if so the polar bear didn't take advantage of it. Consequently, the number of polar bears in Antarctica remains at zero.
Will We Move Polar Bears To Antarctica? - This whole thing may seem a bit silly to be writing about. One could simply state the fact that there are no polar bears in Antarctica. There are however those who propose moving some of the Arctic polar bear population south to the Antarctic continent. These are well meaning people, who are convinced, perhaps rightly, that global warming could eventually result in the North Pole region becoming for all practical purposes open water, which could lead to the extinction of the polar bear.
The thought of putting polar bears in Antarctica is not without controversy. Some think it's a good idea, some believe it is essential, while others consider it to be a rather foolish thought. There are a couple of issues which need to be addressed and answered before such a plan were ever to be put in place. One is, would the polar bear survive? The other is, what about the penguins? They really have no land-based predators to worry about and upon seeing a polar bear of the first time would tend to either ignore it, or might waddle up to one out of curiosity? One clever blogger noted that if we had polar bears both in the Arctic and the Antarctic, we would have bi-polar bears!
Consequences – To Both Predator And Prey - Seriously, aside from water, land, and ice, the Arctic and Antarctic are probably more different than alike, and whether a polar bear introduced to Antarctica could survive is an honest question. Its diet would certain be different, though if it were in a place where seals (or penguins) were abundant most of the year, it might just make it. The number of bears would have to be constantly monitored and possibly controlled if the experiment were a success, as introducing a predator like the polar bear into an area where there such a predator presently does not exist, could potentially have disastrous consequences on the existing wildlife population.
There may come a day when a new home might have to be found for the polar bear, although hopefully that day is still a long ways in the future. The Antarctic, on the surface, would seem to be a viable solution to a relocation issue, but there are still too many unknowns to tell if it really would work or not. There are those of course who could care less, or feel that without polar bears the world would be just a little bit safer. The truth is, to keep things in balance, predators (including humans) will always have to be with us.