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Ivory Gull and Conservation

Polar birds with polar bears...
© Josh London View Large

Polar Bears symbolize the icy landscapes of the far north like no other animal. The bear's way of life — its very survival — is inseparable from the Arctic pack-ice. Less familiar is a remarkable bird that shares with the Polar Bear this vital link to ice: this Ivory Gull. The gulls feed on small fish and other marine life, but also scavenge carcasses, including those left by Polar Bears. Global warming has brought increasing change to the world of ice-dependent species such as the Ivory Gull and Polar Bear. Learn more at ABCBirds.org.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 
BirdNote®
 
Ivory Gulls and Polar Bears
Written by Bob Sundstrom

This is BirdNote.

[Polar Bear growls, roars, or snorts]

Polar Bears symbolize the icy landscapes of the far north like no other animal. The bear’s way of life — its very survival — is inseparable from the Arctic pack-ice. Less familiar is a remarkable bird that shares with the Polar Bear this vital link to ice: the Ivory Gull. [Ivory Gull calls]

Just as Polar Bears are clad in white fur, Ivory Gulls are feathered entirely in white, adapted to the whiteness of their world. Long winged and graceful in flight, Ivory Gulls breed on the northernmost islands of the Canadian Arctic and other High Arctic sites. [Ivory Gull calls]. They spend the winter near the pack-ice. The gulls feed on small fish and other marine life, but also scavenge carcasses, including those left by Polar Bears [Polar Bear snorts]. As a Polar Bear consumes the choice parts of a seal [Polar Bear snorts], Ivory Gulls wait at the edge of the action, intent on sharing the leftovers [Ivory Gull calls].

Global warming has brought increasing change to the world of ice-dependent species such as the Ivory Gull and Polar Bear. Even though the gull’s known breeding colonies in Canada are protected, scientists still consider the Ivory Gull endangered. This white gull, like the white bear, represents an entire ecosystem at risk, as the extent and the thickness of sea ice is decreasing.

There’s more on our website at BirdNote.org. I’m Mary McCann.

###

Sounds of the Ivory Gull provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by Stewart D. MacDonald.
Polar Bear sounds courtesy of B.J. Kirschhoffer.
BirdNote’s theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2015 Tune In to Nature.org          November 2011/2015     Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#          SotB-IVGU-01-2011-11-29   

[Here’s one link where listeners can find out what they can do to help save polar bears: http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/finder/polarbear/polarbear.html]

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