Sea change


The continuous reduction in sea ice is leading to killer whales spending more time feeding in the Arctic Ocean, potentiall­y leading to an ecological imbalance. A team of researcher­s using underwater acoustic equipment to analyse the migratory patterns of species in the Bering, Chukchi and Beaufort seas discovered that the change in behaviour directly follows the decrease in sea ice, which may be providing the whales with new hunting opportunit­ies. Arctic species such as the endangered bowhead whale, which has been shown to be vulnerable to predation from killer whales, may face a greater threat from these adaptive predators.

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