Disappearing sea ice enticing more killer whales to Arctic
The Canadian Coast guard's medium icebreaker Henry Larsen is seen in Allen Bay during Operation Nanook in this 2010 file photo. (Sean Kilpatrick /THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Monday, January 30, 2012 12:38PM EST
WINNIPEG - Researchers say melting Arctic sea ice is enticing more killer whales to Nunavut where they feast on the region's mammals.
Researchers from the University of Manitoba interviewed Inuit hunters from 11 Nunavut communities about their observations on the habits of killer whales.
Their findings are published in the online journal Aquatic Biosystems.
Lead author Steven Ferguson says Inuit are seeing more killer whales preying on belugas, seals and narwhals.
He says if the sea ice continues to melt, it will leave such mammals more vulnerable to one of the sea's top predators.
Ferguson says that could cause problems for the Inuit since they will be competing against killer whales for food.