Polar bears are the Arctic’s land-based predators. They have a wide range of preys. While the primary prey is limited to seals the secondary prey is varied. The polar bear’s varied diet is primarily due to the bear’s opportunistic nature because it loves to eat just about any animal—medium to large sized mammals as well as birds.
Polar Bear Predator Prey Relationship with Seals
Polar bears seem to show very strong relationship with seals. Favorite among the seals is the ringed seal but they also consume bearded seals. Seals provide them blubber and fats which the bear ultimately requires for living in the freezing habitat. The entire population of polar bears requires as much as one million seals in just a period of one year. This shows the powerful predator-prey relationship of polar bear with seals. Harp seals and hooded seals are also consumed but not preferred.
Polar Bear Predator Prey Relationship with Walruses
Walruses are huge mammals and an adult walrus may weigh as much as 2,000 kilograms. Polar bears do have predator-prey relationship with walruses but the link doesn’t appear to be as strong as that in seals. Adult walruses are so large that even the largest polar bear would prefer to hunt young walrus. Besides, they live in large colonies making it quite difficult for the bear to spot one in thousand.
Polar Bear Predator Prey Relationship with Birds
Read More: Do Polar Bears Eat Birds?
Lately birds have never been the significant prey for polar bears except in the past few decades. This is probably due to the rise in global average temperature of the earth’s surface. The sea ice melts earlier each year—forcing bears to rely an alternate prey. Summers become longer than winter. As it turns out polar bears have started eating birds. The predator prey relationship between polar bears and birds is the most recent one according to scientists.