The polar bear has been an icon in many Arctic cultures, and has long been thought of as the representative species of the Arctic, as well as the representative species of climate change and its impact.
In addition, polar bears are the apex predator in their environment. Removing them from the ecosystem will cause seals, fish and deer – the polar bears’ prey – to overpopulate so that they will ultimately kill off their own food sources. A lack of polar bears will also be detrimental to Arctic foxes, a scavenging species that does not hunt on its own but eats what the polar bears leave behind. This is called the cascade effect.
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