Skip to comments.USGS: Some Alaska polar bears losing their fur
Posted on 04/07/2012 8:54:34 PM PDT by quantim
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) -- Alaska polar bears are losing their fur and U.S. Geological Survey scientists don't know why.
In the past two weeks, nine of 33 bears checked by scientists in the southern Beaufort Sea region near Barrow were found to have alopecia - loss of fur - and skin lesions, said Tony DeGange, chief of the biology office at the USGS Science Center in Anchorage.
Three of four bears inspected Thursday near Kaktovik showed the symptoms as well.
Scientists have been collecting blood and tissue samples from the afflicted bears, but they do not know the cause or the significance of the outbreak, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
"Our data set suggests that this is unusual but not unprecedented," DeGange said. Ten of 48 bears checked by the team in 1998-99 had a similar condition, he said.
In a long-standing project, the USGS has sent polar bear research teams to the area since 1984. The teams track, sedate and examine the bears to help determine their general health and habits.
This year they saw their first bear with hair loss on March 21. The team will wind up this year's operations in May when the sea ice becomes too treacherous for safe travel.
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Kinda strange how stuff that was on your forehead winds up in your ears. It’s like God’s playing one of those awful magic tricks your weird uncle used to do. Except I’d rather have money coming out of my ears than hair!
>> Also sometimes referred to as Spring.
Thyroid problems. Japanese radiation?
Now available in POLAR BEAR strength formula.
They’re probably losing it because global warming is making it too warm for them under all that fur.
Add now to "polar bears aggressive, polar bears cannibalistic, polar bears deaf, polar bears drowning, polar bears fewer cubs...", "polar bears losing fur".
Look forward to soon having to add "polar bears getting furrier".
I tend to take this seriously. My Lab is losing hair at an alarming rate right now. This has happened the last two years about the same time of year. I thought he was getting better last fall, as it seemed it was growing back/s
It’s been so cold there this year, I’m sure the cause is frostbite.
The air currents come right over Alaska, and zigzag across the US all the way to the Northeastern US. Georgia has received the least amount of that airborne fallout.
You do know that the Japenese are burning the radioactive debris and that the reactors themselves are still venting radiactive material, don't you?
That's because polar bears are not made of rocks. Maybe someone should talk to a biologist.