Changes in the planet’s climate have consequences for nature and animals, which are increasingly affected by their habitats. The recent geographic approximation between polar bears and brown bears in Russia is an example of these effects, as reported by the Russian company TASS. Due to the close contact in the same environment, there is a high chance of two different species interbreeding, creating a hybrid: Bislies, also known as Glolar Bears.
Studies indicate that the Arctic’s melting ice, used by polar bears to hunt seals, their staple food, is prompting them to explore new areas further inland from their home territories. At the same time, with the warming of previously uninhabitable areas, brown bears are exploring more northern regions of the planet, resulting in overlapping habitats of the two species.
In the Far East of Russia, where polar bears live, scientists have noted the presence of brown bears. They believe this sharing will produce more frequent hybrids in the future.
Surveys conducted in October revealed that the area is home to 60 polar bears, protected as part of the Bear Islands Nature Reserve.
“Brown bears are moving into the tundra. They are found in the lower reaches of the Kolyma River, where polar bears live,” Innokentiy Okhlopkov, a scientist at the Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), told TASS.
A hybrid of two species x
Polar bears are considered the largest land predators on the planet and subsist on a specific fat-based diet. Bartos, on the other hand, are more flexible: they are adapted to eating hard foods such as tubers or scavenging for food on carcasses in situations where resources are scarce.
Now, hybrid species bring together the common characteristics of polar and grizzly bears in one animal. This would, in theory, facilitate animal survival in the face of climate change. However, according to the British tabloid Daily Mail, experts have warned that the adaptive traits of brown bears could genetically “eat polar bears”, contributing to the extinction of the species.
Scientists first observed this species in nature in 2006. Canadian scientists studied a polar bear with unusual characteristics that was shot by hunters. Its fur had brown markings and the muzzle had a different anatomy. DNA tests showed it was actually a hybrid between a polar bear and a grizzly bear, according to Doss.
In 2010, another bear was killed in the same Arctic region of Canada. At this time, it was concluded that this animal was the result of crossing a hybrid mother and a brown father – indicating the existence of other hybrid specimens.
Since then, climate change has become even more intense on the planet – A theme discussed during COP 27 this week🇧🇷 The Daily Mail points out that a 2020 study warned that most polar bears are at risk of extinction by 2100 due to melting Arctic sea ice.
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