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Jan 152010
 

2) Ringed seals

Courtesy IUCN / Ringed seal © Kit M. Kovacs/Christian Lydersen

Courtesy IUCN / Ringed seal © Kit M. Kovacs/Christian Lydersen

These seals depend on Arctic ice for their survival – they rarely touch land. The seals are the primary source of polar bears’ diets. With ice breaking and decreasing, young seals are separated from mothers and survival rates are dropping. Less ice means more human presence, and that also affects the seals, the report says.

“Marked decreases in ringed seal abundance are likely to have cascading effects in Arctic food webs,” say two experts cited in the report.