2012 Photo Contest, Nature, Singles, 1st prize

Cliff-Climbing Polar Bear Attempting to Eat Seabird Eggs

Photographer

Jenny E. Ross

30 July, 2011

A young male polar bear climbs on a cliff face above the ocean, attempting unsuccessfully to feed on eggs from the nests of Brünnich’s guillemots, in late July.

About

Jenny E. Ross

Her photographs, often accompanied by her essays, have been displayed in many exhibitions and widely published throughout the world, in books, magazines, science journals, and ne...

Background story

A young male polar bear climbs on a cliff face above the ocean at Ostrova Oranskie, in northern Novaya Zemlya, Russia, attempting unsuccessfully to feed on eggs from the nests of Brünnich’s guillemots, in late July. The location falls within the Russkaya Arktika National Park, covering more than 46,000 square kilometers of islands and sea in the Arctic Ocean, one of the largest protected areas in the northern hemisphere.

A polar bear’s primary prey is the seal, the blubber satisfying the bear’s enormous energy needs. Bears hunt seals from sea-ice platforms, and also use ice floes to move from place to place. In summer months, when much sea ice melts, polar bears can become stranded, and have to forage for what food they can. Their dependence on sea-ice platforms for food, traveling, and also for breeding, makes polar bears vulnerable to the effects of climate warming. In 2011, the volume of Arctic sea ice was 66 percent lower than the average documented from 1979 through 2010.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/800 sec
Focal length
300 mm
F-Stop
f/5.6
ISO
800

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