Svalbard bears, gulls at risk

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    Note published 01.10.10

Polar bears in East Greenland and Svalbard and glaucous gulls in Svalbard are among the Arctic animals showing the most deleterious effects of persistent organic pollutants, according to a new summary report co-authored by an NTNU biologist, Bjørn Munro Jenssen.

The summary, which is part of a comprehensive effort called the Arctic ­Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) was published in the July 2010 issue of Science of the Total Environment. While researchers could not document strong evidence for widespread ecosystem effects from contaminants such as PCBs and DDT, they surmised that the reason for this was a lack of long-term data, not a lack of effects. They also noted that factors other than pollutants, such as climate change, disease and the invasion of new species, will adversely affect each animal’s overall toxic exposure.