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dc.contributor.authorAndersen, Magnus
dc.date.accessioned2013-04-08T10:52:01Z
dc.date.available2013-04-08T10:52:01Z
dc.date.issued2013-03-16
dc.description.abstractPolar bears in the Barents Sea population have been protected from hunting in Russia since 1956 and following the signing of the international Polar Bear Agreement in 1973 in Norway. This thesis seeks to summarise current knowledge on key population biology issues four decades after the Norwegian protection and almost six after the Russian. Further, it discusses threats that have developed in the decades following protection against human harvesting. It concludes with a discussion of the effect of multiple stressors on the population, and some thoughts on future research, monitoring and management. Polar bears in Svalbard and the Barents Sea area have been studied during the last 40 years with the aim of gaining knowledge regarding population biology and to evaluate potential sources of impact on the population from anthropogenic activity and changes to their habitat. The initial threat to polar bears in the region was unquestionably overharvest. Polar bear numbers were reduced quite drastically and hunting was clearly not sustainable. After the harvesting was stopped, the population grew in size to an estimated 2650 (1900-3600) in 2004. We believe that population recovery led to a wider distribution of maternity denning in the Svalbard Archipelago, compared to the period just after the protection of the population in 1973. However, during recent decades, the population has faced challenges from a variety of new anthropogenic impacts. The population has been exposed to a range of pollutants and an increasing level of human presence and activity within their range. Contaminants are bioaccumulated through the trophic levels in the marine food web, culminating in this top predator that consumes primarily ringed, bearded and harp seals. Females with small cubs use the land-fast sea ice for hunting, and are vulnerable to human disturbance. Changes in sea ice conditions also affect polar bears in the region, and reduced access to denning areas on the eastern islands of Svalbard is currently a concern. A decrease in spring land-fast ice close to important denning areas could negatively affect the survival of cubs. Research and monitoring provides advice to management bodies both locally and globally. Information on the presence of toxic compounds in High Arctic systems has resulted in progress in recent decades in having better control of harmful substances and in some cases international bans on their production and use. This has resulted in declining contaminant burdens in polar bears. Unfortunately, new harmful substances are finding their way to the Arctic, while others, such as radionuclides, are stored locally (within Russian Territories) in large quantities, representing potential sources of pollution. The protection of important habitats locally with restrictions on motorized traffic may help reduce negative impacts from human activity on polar bears in the region. The fate of polar bears with regard to climate change is uncertain, but significant negative effects have been documented and these impacts are expected to increase in the coming decades. Relevant research and monitoring of polar bears is essential for future management of the species. The arctic environment should be managed in such a way that the combined effects of stressors on polar bear populations are minimized.en
dc.description.doctoraltypedr.philos.en
dc.description.popularabstractKlimaendinger, forstyrrelse og forurensing er en dårlig kombinasjon for isbjørn. Avhandlingen viser at flere av isbjørnens egenskaper, som gjør den så godt tilpasset livet i Arktis, også er de som skaper problemer for isbjørnen i møte med menneskeskapte trusler. Avhandlingen baserer seg på 9 vitenskapelige artikler, publisert i løpet av de siste 12 årene og som omhandler ulike deler av isbjørnens biologi på Svalbard, samt studier av menneskeskapte trusler. Hovedmålsetningen var å beskrive hvordan isbjørnbestanden på Svalbard og i Barentshavet har utviklet seg etter at den ble fredet i 1973 for så å kunne vurdere hvordan biologien til isbjørnen kan bli påvirket av endringer i sjøisen, motorisert forstyrrelse og forurensning. Videre ble det diskutert hvordan den samlede effekten av trusler kan påvirke bestanden, og hvordan fremtidig forskning og overvåking bør ta hensyn til dette temaet. Norsk Polarinstitutt har studert koblingene mellom isbjørnens biologi og trusler som endringer i sjøis, forstyrrelse i form av motorisert ferdsel og forurensing for å kunne vurdere effekten av disse. Det har blitt benyttet en rekke ulike metoder i dette prosjektet, inkludert flytelling, satellitt-telemetri, adferdsstudie samt merking og prøvetaking av individer. Studien viser at bestanden i Barentshavområdet i dag teller om lag 2650 dyr (mellom 1900 og 3600), et tall som sannsynligvis er lavere enn det historiske maksimum. Isbjørnene går i hi i flere områder enn tidligere, og i dag benyttes hele Svalbard som hiområde, selv om det er flest hi i de østlige delene. De fleste viktige hiområder finnes i nærheten av områder med fastis (sjøis) om våren. Denne typen is er viktig for binner som kommer ut av hiene med små unger i begynnelsen av april, for her finner de ringsel. Det er på denne typen is mye av snøscootertrafikken på Svalbard foregår, og spesielt binner med unger lar seg lett skremme av denne typen trafikk, noe som kan medføre avbrutt jakt og fordriving til mindre gode jaktområde. Endinger i sjøisen påvirker både hvor isbjørnen finne hiplasser og hvor den kan jakte ringsel. Isbjørnen får i seg ulike typer forurensing gjennom sin diett, i hovedsak bestående av ringsel, storkobbe og grønlandssel. Kombinasjonen av ulike trusler mot isbjørnens biologi er spesielt bekymringsfull og et tema som bør få oppmerksomhet i fremtidig forskning og overvåking.en
dc.descriptionAll but paper 5 of this thesis are not available in Munin: <br/>1. Aars J, Marques T A, Buckland ST, Andersen M, Belikov S, Boltunov A & Wiig Ø.: 'Estimating the Barents Sea polar bear subpopulation size', Marine Mammal Science (2009), vol. 25(1):35-52. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2008.00228.x>http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1748-7692.2008.00228.x</a> <br/>2. Andersen M, Derocher AE, Wiig Ø & Aars J.: 'Movements of two Svalbard polar bears recorded using geographical positioning system satellite transmitters', Polar Biology (2008), vol. 31:501-507. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-008-0428-x>http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-008-0428-x</a> <br/>3. Freitas C, Kovacs KM, Andersen M, Aars J, Sandven S, Mauritzen M, Pavlova O & Lydersen C.: 'Importance of fast ice and glacier fronts for female polar bears and their cubs during spring in Svalbard, Norway', Marine Ecology Progress Series (2012), 447:289-304. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps09516>http://dx.doi.org/10.3354/meps09516</a> <br/>4. Andersen M, Derocher AE, Wiig Ø & Aars J.: 'Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternity den distribution in Svalbard, Norway', Polar Biology (2012), vol.35:499-508. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-011-1094-y>http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-011-1094-y</a> <br/>6. Andersen M and Aars J.: 'Short-term behavioural responses of polar bears to disturbance by snowmobiles', Polar Biology (2008), vol.31:501-507. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-007-0376-x>http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-007-0376-x</a> <br/>7. Derocher AE, Wiig Ø & Andersen M.: 'Diet composition of polar bears in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea', Polar Biology (2002), vol.25:448-452. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-002-0364-0>http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00300-002-0364-0</a> <br/>8. Andersen M, Lie E, Derocher AE, Belikov SE, Bernhoft A, Boltunov AN, Garner GW, Skaare JU & Wiig Ø.: 'Geographic variation of PCB congeners in polar bears (Ursus maritimus), from Svalbard to the Chukchi Sea', Polar Biology (2001), vol. 24:231-238. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003000000201>http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003000000201</a> <br/>9. Andersen M, Gwynn JP, Dowdall M, Lydersen C & Kovacs KM.: 'Radiocaesium in marine mammals from Svalbard, the Barents Sea and the North Greenland Sea', Science of the Total Environment (2006), vol. 363:87-94. Available at <a href=http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.06.019>http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.06.019</a>en
dc.identifier.isbn978-82-8266-048-8
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10037/5069
dc.identifier.urnURN:NBN:no-uit_munin_4782
dc.language.isoengen
dc.publisherUniversity of Tromsøen
dc.publisherUniversitetet i Tromsøen
dc.rights.accessRightsopenAccess
dc.subject.courseIDDOKTOR-002en
dc.subjectVDP::Matematikk og Naturvitenskap: 400::Zoologiske og botaniske fag: 480::Økologi: 488en
dc.subjectVDP::Mathematics and natural science: 400::Zoology and botany: 480::Ecology: 488en
dc.subjectVDP::Matematikk og Naturvitenskap: 400::Zoologiske og botaniske fag: 480::Marinbiologi: 497en
dc.subjectVDP::Mathematics and natural science: 400::Zoology and botany: 480::Marine biology: 497en
dc.titlePolar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the Barents Sea area : population biology and linkages to sea ice change, human disturbance and pollutionen
dc.typeDoctoral thesisen
dc.typeDoktorgradsavhandlingen


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