Big bears, such as grizzlies and polars, offer some of the most intense predator hunts on the planet. Add the “pizzly” to that list, too.
It’s a new hybrid, a cross between grizzlies and polars. Scientists point to loss of habitat as the drive behind the pizzly.
From The Independent:
Climate change is pushing Arctic mammals to mate with cousin species, in a trend that could be pushing the polar bear and other iconic animals towards extinction, biologists said on Wednesday.
“Rapidly melting Arctic sea ice imperils species through interbreeding as well as through habitat
loss,” they said in a commentary appearing in the British science journal Nature.
“As more isolated populations and species come into contact, they will mate, hybrids will form, and rare species are likely to go extinct.”
In 2006, they said, scientists were startled to discover a “pizzly,” or a hybrid of a grizzly bear and a polar bear, and in 2010, another bear shot dead by a hunter also was found to have mixed DNA.
Here is a photo of that pizzly killed in 2006, from National Geographic:
What will the pizzly bear spell for arctic environments? Only time will tell. This new hybrid may travel south toward climates more suited to grizzlies. It may also remain in northern latitudes suited for polar bears.
One thing is certain. Hunters will play a role in managing the pizzly. If the hybrid is a threat to the survival of both polars and grizzlies, it will be hunters who turn the tide.
If you go after pizzlies, the right kind of socks can make all the difference. You’ll need them to be warm, dry and comfortable. That’s just what these socks can offer.