All posts by Kels

Polar Bear Blog – Adaptation Day

Still no break in the weather and even the bears have settled down, with a couple singles and one family - a mother with one cub - nestled along the Churchill coast.  A lot of the ice on the roads is melting now, giving the feeling that the season has started lurching backwards - kind of like the United States! (ahem, just kidding... sort of). But given the current weather and political conditions, its probably a good time to talk about how bears have adapted to a changing climate over the last decade or so.  First of all, … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Groundhog Day

This bear season is shaping up to be a bit of a tricky one…  When we arrived on November 1st, it felt as thought the season was about a week late.  One week later and it feels like its two weeks late, judging by the forecast with an average 8-10C above normal for the next week, we could be three weeks late.  Its almost like we’re stuck on October 21st or something.  And October 21st isn’t really prime bear season. With gray and drizzle, the bears keep moving.  A couple new family groups have moved … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Bit of a Late Start

Its a late start this year, for both the ice and the blog.  It looks like it might be a late finish too.  The El Nino that was predicted last year may finally have hit.  Almost no shore ice can be seen along the Churchill coast line, a few of the small bays showed signs of freezeup but today’s spike in temperatures, a high of +1C, has melted a good chunk of that ice.  There is ice moving, along with the occasional bear riding the floes, in the Churchill River but for now it remains … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – As El Nino Goes

This winter has been interesting to see how media and online sources are talking about not just El Nino but the Arctic Oscillation as well.  For me, this is pretty neat.  When I started driving Tundra Buggy in 1999, no one really had any idea what an El Nino was or what effect it would really have, Arctic Oscillation was actually something only talked about by 'climate change deniers' ha.  The 1999 era was taken as proof that global warming was here and the polar bears were doomed. So, its nice to see that climate is … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – It Ain’t Over Till Its Over But Its Over

Well, the ice is still pretty erratic along Cape Churchill but pretty much all the bears are out on the ice hunting seals.  The jail was emptied out around the 24th-26th I believe and even when more south winds arrived, most of the bears just floated away with the ice.  It has been a strange ice formation year but, especially for an El Nino year, things could have been much worse. As for Xena, she eventually left with her cubs, the night of the 26th.  The folks in charge determined that her collar was properly fitted … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Radio Collar Update

We spent the day talking to a variety of management stakeholders in the Churchill area and here's where we stand with Xena's collar.  It sounds like Environment Canada (Canadian Wildlife Service) appears to be the only agency that is authorized to collar bears in the Churchill area.  All of this activity takes place within Wapusk National Park in September.  Polar Bears International then utilizes these collars as a means of fundraising for their organization and other research projects. So, here's the tricky part...  Parks Canada issued the permit to collar this bear, however, they cannot handle … Continue Reading ››