The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust(WWT) found in a recent research that there are growing fears of Polar Bears preying on the eggs of barnacle geese who migrate to the Solway Firth in Scotland each winter.
The bears have turned to the eggs after being stranded on land in the summer months as a result of diminishing ice. And, the centre have recorded an increase in the polar bear activity while monitoring a barnacle goose colony on the Arctic island of Svalbard. If the situation continues bird numbers could be devastated, the researchers worried.
Barnacle goose Barnacle goose numbers have risen dramatically over the past 60 years. But the polar bears are now capable of diminishing there numbers by eating more than 1,000 eggs at one sitting.
Of more than 500 nests on the island, fewer than 40 were successful and most of them had very small clutch sizes of only one or two gosling. The geese are very long-lived birds and their survival rate is increased if they don’t actually breed, especially the females.
Zoologists says that if their breeding continues to be affected in this way the population will quickly age, which threatens its stability and the future conservation of this bird which is very special to WWT.
The entire population of Svalbard barnacle geese winter on the Solway Firth and return to breed in the Arctic each summer.