polar bear

Polar Bear Blog – The Roaring Nineties

The 1990s were a turbulent time for Churchill's polar bears, it is really through this decade that we get a glimpse as to how drastically changing sea ice and weather patterns can affect bear populations. The 1980s are often seen as peak bear years in Churchill.  Ice conditions were favourable, especially in the late 1980s and there was some thought that the population was reaching carrying capacity by the end of that decade - that is, the seal population could not support any more bears in the area. Then, in 1990, disaster struck.  In March of that … Continue Reading ››
Polar bears

Polar Bear Blog – New Ideas for Studying Bears

Over the past year, some pretty amazing ideas have come forward for polar bear research, a lot of these projects seem almost like science fiction actually. Polar Bear DNA Prints - World Wildlife Fund were in Norway and then Churchill last bear season taking samples from polar bear paw prints.  The snow from these prints will then be melted and DNA extracted back at the lab.  While this is a very 'young' research tool and likely provides limited results for now, it is pretty intriguing idea to study bears … Continue Reading ››
Polar Bear - Churchill Hudson Bay

Polar Bear Blog – Year in Review Pt II

In the last blog, I talked about how this year was mostly good for Churchill's bears but pretty bad for some individual bears that swam ashore early.  Today, we'll look at the rest of the world's bears... Alaska Two polar bear populations inhabit Alaska - the Southern Beaufort and the Chukchi Sea populations.  Although they are both living on the same highly variable sea ice, they seem to be reacting quite differently to changing conditions.  The Chukchi Sea population is reported in good condition with a high birth and cub survival rate.  In 2013, researchers found a … Continue Reading ››
Mother with Two Cubs

Polar Bear Blog – Year in Review

2015 is almost here so probably time for the Polar Bear Year in Review...  First off, we will cover Churchill and western Hudson Bay... Overall, it has been a decent year for Churchill's polar bears.  The breakup was a bit tricky with breakup radiating out from Churchill instead of really following the traditional drift south.  This meant that some bears ended up on shore very early while others rode the ice for a couple more weeks.  The difference in condition really showed this 'bear season', some bears looked great and others reminded me of the 'climate … Continue Reading ››
Copyright Simon Gee - CanUK Images

Polar Bear Blog – Churchill’s Polar Bears Are Okay

Well, I have been writing posts about Churchill's bears being 'okay' for a three or four years now and consequently have been labelled a 'denier' by some and misinformed by others but it turns out that, at least for now, Environment Canada agrees with me.  At recent Nunavut Wildlife Management Board meetings, Environment Canada stated that while the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population declined between 1984 and 2004, it has remained relatively stable for the last decade.  The currently accepted population estimate is 1030 bears. While Churchill's opinion and local … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog and Churchill Manitoba Travel Guide