mom-cubs

Polar Bear Blog – Polar Bear Update

Well, the jet stream dipped pretty far south again this year so this seems to bode well for Hudson Bay and Davis Strait Bears.  Mothers with cubs were reported emerging from the dens in the first week of Watchee Lodge's operations in Wapusk National Park.  There seems to be a fair amount of movement and it looks like cub season may be a week ahead of schedule... much like freezeup was this fall. Last 'bear season', we encountered a lot of mothers and cubs and most looked pretty healthy, so there is a fair bit of … Continue Reading ››
Kaktovik Cub

Polar Bear Blog – Gobama! The Importance of ANWR

Since President Obama announced expanded protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and a Protected Marine Area in Alaska, there has been a fair bit of discussion about how this affect polar bears, if at all.  I would say that those 'crowing' about this decision are absolutely right to do so. This is a very important move for Alaska's polar bears. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is extremely important for the Southern Beaufort polar bear population, especially the pregnant females - obviously critical animals for any population. The vast majority of terrestrial dens occur within … Continue Reading ››
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 ››

Polar Bear Blog and Churchill Manitoba Travel Guide