Category Archives: Bears

Premiere PBS Series, “EARTH: A New Wild” Looks Dope

Are you sick of nature shows sidestepping environmental disasters and general negative effects humans cause on the species we come into contact with? PBS has always been a mark of quality programming but this new series has me jazzed up for it’s innovative approach to the discussion of human impact on the environment.

EARTH A New Wild questions society’s conventional approach to nature shows by including humankind’s relationship to the natural world as beautiful locations and exotic species are examined with the production values we’ve come to expect from PBS. It’s a new style that is more appropriate to the ongoing environmental discussion of 2015.

The show is a joint production between National Geographic Studios in association with Passion Planet, the series is hosted by Dr. M. Sanjayan, conservation scientist, who takes viewers on a stunning visual journey to explore how humans are inextricably woven into every aspect of the planet’s natural systems.

The series shows humans and the natural environment interacting by editing footage from 45 shoots in 29 different countries. It shows humans in cohabitation with giant pandas, humpback whales, African lions and Arctic reindeer. Dr. Sanjayan posits that humans must learn to work together with animal and plant life in order to survive as a species.

EARTH A New Wild Premieres tonight, February 4th, at 8/9 Central

Jonathan Howard
Jonathan is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, NY

Genetic Analysis Shows Polar Bears Migrating To Northern Canada

As with most animals whose natural habitats are being threatened, polar bears are beginning to travel to the far Northern side of Canada where a lot more plentiful ice is more prevalent.

A US Geological Survey conducted a study in which the team evaluated the local bear population’s genetic makeup. The scientists noticed that starting somewhere in the 1990s, the last three generations of polar bears have been headed in a northern direction where ice is present all year-round. Similarly, Lily Peacock, a USGS wildlife biologist, stated that there have been serious directional movements of bears towards the Canadian Archipelago. Peacock thinks that in the long term, the genetic analysis used by them provides better data.

The genetic analysis can help them estimate both directions and levels of genetic flow, pattern of population as whether it has expanded or contracted. Such genetic flows take place over the course of generations, and would remain undetectable through measures like tracking methods.

At first glance this might seem like simply a natural reaction to climate change, but researchers are concerned that the move further in the northern direction can turn out to be a harmful decision for the species as the bears could become isolated up there. Isolated populations face problems regarding their genetics and how they interact with the weather which makes the species more vulnerable to extinction in the long run.

Kristin Laidre at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center said that there are many other Arctic species as well that have also shifted due to loss of sea ice and, while many skeptics still feel this is a natural progression of the Earth, most climate change scientists still agree that human contributions to global warming is the being threat to the species. Could this be the end of an era for our furry white friends up North?