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发布者: 五毒 | 发布时间: 2023-5-25 23:26| 查看数: 27| 评论数: 0|

When you think of a polar bear, you might think white, cold, cute, fuzzy, huggable.


Or maybe you feel a bit sad, imagining a polar bear floating away on a melting ice floe.


Either way, there's a good chance that for you, polar bears are a distant reality.But think of those living and working in the Arctic.

不论哪个情况,对你来说大概率, 北极熊是一个遥远的存在。

For them, melting ice doesn't mean polar bears floating away.

但是想到那些在北极居住、工作的人们,对他们来说,融化的冰 并不意味着北极熊在漂远,

It means the bears getting stuck on land and more desperate for food.


For them, polar bears can be a daily reality.


And whether this reality feels safe or scary depends on how well prepared people are to coexist with the world's largest four-legged predator.


After working and living off and on with polar bears for over 12 years, I know coexisting with them can be a challenge,


and it will only get more challenging as climate change forces our species to increasingly overlap in the coming decades.

还会变得更具挑战性, 因为气候变化迫使物种 在即将到来的几十年里更加重合。

With my organization, Polar Bears International,


I'm focused on conserving wild polar bears while respecting and assisting those who share their coastlines with this carnivore.


To understand how to best coexist with polar bears, we first need to understand them.


And I think one of the best places to start is with one of the most common questions I get asked, which is, "How are they actually doing?"

我认为最好的出发点是我经常被问到的一个问题, “他们的实际状况如何?”

It's a great question.


It's simple, but the answer has some nuance and can depend on where we're looking in time and space.


If we could pause time and stop all the impacts we're having on the planet, then sure, right now the species would be okay.

如果我们能暂停时间, 停止一切正在对地球造成的影响, 那这个物种现在就还行。

We still have about 25,000 polar bears spread across the Arctic, split into 19 different populations in Canada, Russia, Norway, Greenland and Alaska.

目前在北极地区仍分布 约有 25,000 头的北极熊, 它们分成 19 个不同的种群, 分布在加拿大、俄罗斯、挪威、 格陵兰以及阿拉斯加州。

But obviously, we can't pause time.


The world is warming and the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere.


If we did nothing to change our current path, we could lose most of the world's polar bears by the end of the century due to habitat loss.

如果我们不做点什么来改变当下的状况,在本世纪末,可能由于栖息地的丧失, 我们会失去世界上大部分的北极熊。

Populations are experiencing changes at different rates depending on where they are,


but ultimately all will be impacted unless we collectively switch to cleaner energies.

但最终全都将被影响, 除非我们集体转向更清洁的能源。

So we're racing time to tackle climate change in the long term and in the short term, trying to keep as many polar bears in the wild as possible.

所以长期看来,我们正在与时间赛跑,以应对气候变化, 并且在短期内,尽可能维持更多数量的野生北极熊。

But in the short term, one of the biggest hurdles these charismatic megafauna face is us.


Polar bears use the frozen ocean for traveling, mating and hunting their main prey: seals.


Specifically, high-calorie seal blubber.


Polar bears can't outswim seals, so they use the sea ice to sneak up on unsuspecting prey.


Polar bears need sea ice for sustenance and survival, period.


So what happens when ice bears start losing their ice?


They get stuck on land and they get hungry.


Polar bears want and need blubber, but they're still bears, so they will follow their noses to fill their tummies, whatever that takes.

北极熊想要且需要脂肪,但它们终究是熊, 所以它们会依靠嗅觉来填饱肚子, 不管代价几何。

But it takes a lot.


Just one polar bear needs a lot of seals,


and just one seal is equal to about 74 snow geese or 216 snow goose eggs -- it's a big omelet -- or three million crowberries.

一只海豹等同于约 74 只雪雁,或者 216 个雪雁蛋, 这是个巨大的煎蛋。或者三百万颗红梅。

This amount of food doesn't exist on the tundra in quantities great enough to sustain a population of blubber-hunting ice bears.


So when polar bears can't find good food to eat, just like people, they'll fill up on junk food.

因此,当北极熊找不到 好的食物吃的时候,好比人类,它们会用垃圾食品填饱肚子。

And for polar bears, junk food is human food.


And for a hungry bear, the best late-night fast food takeout can be their northern neighborhood's trash.


But we have a saying in conservation: a fed bear is a dead bear, and this has major implications for coexistence.


Many people work and live across the north, and some Indigenous cultures have centuries-old, deep knowledge of polar bears.


But as the world is warming and bears are spending more time on land,


more people are moving north and also spending more time on the land and bringing with them more food and more garbage.


And they might not be so bear aware.


This is a rising safety concern for humans who are always the number-one priority.


It's also a concern for the bears because when a polar bear has a negative encounter with a human,


it risks being taken out of the population in a defense kill, which is the legal killing of an animal to defend life or property.

它有在人类防御过程中被杀,从而消失于种群中的风险, 而这是捍卫生命财产安全的合法杀戮。

Now here, I should also mention that in parts of the range,


polar bears are harvested under a quota system informed by science and Indigenous knowledge.


If I don't mention it, people can think I'm hiding it, and when I do, they can be surprised that I'm not opposed.


It is incredibly important that we protect the rights of Indigenous peoples to practice their traditions.

这是极其重要的,我们保护本土居民的权利, 以此来践行他们的传统。

And right now that practice is not a significant threat to the species.

现在这种做法对该物种 不会构成重大威胁。

Where we could see population-level impacts is through climate change, or if defense kills, which count toward quotas,


defense kills start rising above the relatively low quotas.


That's when I worry.


But people can't worry about conservation when their lives are at risk.


So we need to help limit negative polar bear encounters and support people in protecting themselves with whatever tools work best for them.


And to help with that, we can provide tools that are non-lethal.


Luckily, non-lethal tools are available and more are being developed, particularly in Canada, which is home to two thirds of the world's polar bears.

幸运的是,非致命工具是可以获取的,也正在开发更多的工具, 尤其是在加拿大,那里是世界上三分之二的北极熊的家。

And one of the best testing grounds for tools is in the self-proclaimed polar bear capital of the world, Churchill, Manitoba.

最好的工具测试场地之一是自称是世界北极熊之都的 (加拿大)曼尼托巴省丘吉尔。

Churchill is home to the western Hudson Bay population, some of the best-studied and most-southern polar bears in the world.


In this region, the ice-free season is lengthening,


meaning these bears are on land longer and have less access to calories compared to their grandparents.

这代表着这些北极熊在陆地上呆的时间更长, 并且与它们祖辈相比, 更难获取卡路里。

This does not mean all the bears are starving to death.


It means the females are having a harder time having cubs,


the cubs are having a harder time becoming adults and some bears have just moved elsewhere in search of better conditions.


As a result, this population has declined from about 1,200 bears in the 1980s, to just over 600 today, almost 50 percent.

因此,(北极熊)数量 从 1980 年的 1200 只左右减少到目前仅仅 600 多只,基本减半。

Churchill is also home to about 900 people, but grows by thousands during tourist season.

丘吉尔也是大概 900 人的故乡,但是在旅游季节会剧增到上千人。

And visitors do sometimes ask me, "Do polar bears really come into town or is this some tourism ploy?" Oh yeah, they come into town.

游客有时会问我, “北极熊是真的进城了还是只是忽悠你去旅游?” 哦是的,它们真的进城了。

So this is from last fall, which is in bear season, October, November in Churchill,

这就是去年秋天的事, 当时在“熊出没季节”, 即丘吉尔的十月和十一月,

and the local woman had gone out through a living room about 4 am and watched this through her window.

当地一位女士凌晨 4 点走出客厅时,透过她的窗户看到的景象。

And no doubt she called the Polar Bear Alert hotline right after, which is a real thing.


But you can tell how big they are, curious and pretty rude.

你可以看出它们有多大、 好奇、粗鲁。



So polar bears are an economic keystone in Churchill, driving tourism and creating jobs.

所以北极熊在丘吉尔成了经济基石的一部分, 推动旅游业和创造就业机会。

It's important Churchill protects them and their people, which they do through a wide variety of efforts.


But one of the most interesting and effective is their waste management.


Unsurprisingly, Churchill's garbage dump used to be outdoors, which was fine until it became a popular polar bear buffet.


So this is a problem for the bear's health, but also because when they're on their way to the snack bar, they risk bumping into people.


Polar bears are no more likely to actively hunt and kill people than black bears, But they are more likely to attack near towns,


especially when food is nearby.


So Churchill did the smart thing, and they've just moved their garbage dump indoors.


Now the bears can't even get to it.


They also installed residential bear resistant bins, so no polar bear with late night munchies in this town gets any rotten food rewards.


Churchill continues to evolve their waste management because it's key in coexistence.


But not everywhere can do what Churchill's done.


So we need more options.


Polar Bears International is working on innovative technologies that could help provide longer lead times between when polar bears and people meet or prevent them from meeting altogether.


Just one example, GPS tracking.


It can tell us where, when and why polar bears move.


It's critical data, but we've only successfully collared adult females.

这是十分重要的数据, 但是我们只成功地为成年雌性北极熊戴上了项圈。

Adult males have these like pylon heads with necks thicker than their skulls, and they just pull collars right off.


And then the subadults are still growing.


And this is really too bad because the subadults, or the teenagers, often cause the most trouble, big surprise.

这比较糟糕,因为往往是这些未成年或青少年 (北极熊),造成最多的麻烦,没想到吧。



So we've started working with 3M, the sticky stuff company that makes Post-it notes,


and they're helping us figure out how to stick a tracker to any bear's fur.


These "burr on fur" tags could be a conservation game changer, letting us temporarily tag any bear that comes too close to a community.

这些“毛皮上的芒刺”标签可能成为动物保护的变革者, 让我们暂时为任何离社区太近的北极熊打上标记。

And upon relocation, we can track that bear and intercept it before it gets too close.


This could help reduce dumpster diving and reduce negative human-bear encounters, keeping both species safer.


We also hope the tags could be used on other species that maybe need some support staying away from us humans.


So there's different coexistence tools being worked on for different needs across the north,

因此,北方各地正在为不同的需求 开发不同的共存工具,

but we can't talk about conservation without mentioning one of the most important tools of all education.

但我们不得不提到所有保护方式中 最重要的方式之一:教育。

If you are going into bear country, polar or otherwise, please get bear aware.


Stay together, secure your snacks and carry a deterrent like flares or bangers or bear spray.


Bear spray works even in the cold and the wind.

即使在寒冷和大风中, 防熊喷雾仍然有效。

But finally, the number one most important coexistence tool we have is our willingness to cut carbon emissions and stop trapping so much heat in our atmosphere.


But on that note, I have some optimism.


Sea ice.


It's very responsive to atmospheric temperatures.


We can keep this habitat in the Arctic, but it will mean drastically reducing our emissions and eventually getting them to zero.


Polar bears are fat, white, hairy canaries in the coal mine, warning us to act now.


The faster we switch to cleaner energies, the better we can protect future generations of polar bears and people.

我们越快转向清洁能源,我们就越能更好地 保护未来的北极熊和人类。

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't worried, but action is the best antidote to anxiety.


And I'm working to ensure climate change doesn't separate our species for good.


But until then, it's bringing us too close together.


Coexistence is the only option.


Let's make it safe for all.


Thank you.



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