Category Archives: Bear Season

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 ››

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 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 – 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 ››

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 ››