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Global warming affects population of arctic animals

In many communities around the nation, concerns over pet population have animated citizens, policymakers and animal rescue shelter owners. But dogs and cats aren't the only members of the animal kingdom drawing interest.

On Wednesday, the United Nations and several other groups released a report with some promising news for animal rights activists concerned about climate change: the population of arctic animals has increased by about 16 percent since 1970, the Associated Press reports.

According to their review, restrictions on hunting have been the main factor in cultivating an environment in which the birds, mammals and fish that live around the poles can thrive.

But these animals aren't out of hot water yet, as some species haven't fared as well as others.

Water-dwelling animals increased in population by 46 percent, though the number of North American caribou is down by about one-third.

"What we're seeing is that there's winners and losers with rapid changes in the Artic," Mike Grill, the study's co-author, told the news source.

In the coming years, scientists will closely monitor the population of animals that depend on sea ice, like polar bears and whales, as global warming may threaten their environment.
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