Historical and potential future importance of large whales as food for polar bears

Four male polar bears standing on a floating whale carcass shortly after it drifted to shore on the island of Svalbard. Credit: Daniel J. Cox/Arctic Documentary Project

Scavenging on stranded large whale carcasses may have aided polar bear survival through past interglacial periods, during which sea‐ice was limited and access to seals was reduced. Will whales play a similar role in the future as Arctic conditions change? To learn more, read the recent study led by PSC’s Kristin Laidre in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.