Polar Bear Family

Polar Bear Blog – Last Call

April and May are a busy time for polar bears. Not only is it peak seal hunting conditions but its also time for bears to, well, get busy. By age four or five, females are sexually mature and ready to mate. As they go into estrous, they appear to leave a scent trail in their footsteps allowing male polar bears to track them. Preferably, the female ‘allows’ the male to court her and they mate over several days, often find a ‘secluded’ spot for their tryst. However, there is considerable competition for mates among the males … Continue Reading ››
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Polar Bear Blog – The Blob

So, the world of weather and bears just keeps getting more complicated.  While El Nino and La Nina have not really messed with the bears since the 1990s, we have a new weather phenomena poking its nose into the arctic. The 'North Pacific Mode' seems to be responsible for a 'warm blob' of water in the Pacific.  This mode drives cold, wet air to eastern North America and keeps the west (and Yukon and Alaska) fairly warm and dry.  This blob is not quite as influential as an El Nino but it … Continue Reading ››
Pretty close!

Polar Bear Blog – Swimming Bears and Sea Ice

Okay, so its no Rimouski but a polar bear did show up at Hibernia drilling platform, just east of St. John's, Newfoundland.  The bear was first spotted by the supply vessel, Atlantic Merlin, with varying reports of either one or possibly two bears (mother and yearling).  These support vessels are sometimes tasked with towing icebergs away from the platform in spring. This is the southern extent of the Davis Strait bears' range, and depending how you look at it, either not too far or pretty far from the sea ice.  The ice edge is around average … Continue Reading ››
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Polar Bear Blog – Cub Season

Well, another cub season is just about wrapped up along Hudson Bay and this one seems to show positive results.  During my week at Watchee Lodge, the guides were saying that all of the family groups that they have worked with this year are twin cubs as opposed to past years where it is a bit of a mixed bag.  However, tracks of a mother with single cub passed through but a family of triplets were also tracked.  Several bears broke out of their den and headed straight out on the ice before any of … Continue Reading ››
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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 Blog and Churchill Manitoba Travel Guide

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