Polar bears are at the top of the arctic marine food chain. Owing to the high lipid content of their diet, polar bears appear particularly prone to bioaccumulate organochlorines. Polar bears from East Greenland and Svalbard have higher contaminant levels than polar bears elsewhere in the Arctic. Levels of PCBs in these areas might negatively affect reproduction and survival. So far more than 130 polar bear samples have been collected since 1999. These samples are being analysed for organochlorines and pathological effects.
Tissues of polar bear
Hvidovre Hospital, Denmark Kgl. Veterinær og Landbohøjskole, Denmark Carleton University, Canadian Wildlife Service, Canada National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Canada Norgen Tekniske og Naturvidenskabelige Universitet, Trondheim, Norway
IUCN, International Polar Bear Specialist Group
Inuit hunters are collecting the polar bears samples during their traditional hunt. In addition an interview investigation has been carried out among the hunters in East Greenland to reveal information on the polar bear health, distribution and migration patterns.