Category Archives: Polar Bear News

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 ››

Polar Bear Blog – This is the End.

Well, that's all she wrote for another season, ice is packed in and the bears are gone.  Time to catch up on blogs and sleep!  The south wind arrived a couple days late and was unable to push the ice out, simply opening up a few leads and attracting a few photographers waiting for a potential seal kill that never materialized. From what I can see, I would peg freezeup as November 13th this year, a couple days early but pretty much right on time.  There were a couple more days of bears but mostly they … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Reunited

Last Monday, I was working with a film crew making a travel segment for Brazil television.  Part of the story of Churchill and bears involves polar bear traps and Manitoba Conservation's Polar Bear Alert officers.  Officers are generally annoyed with but semi-tolerate film crews.  Of course, at the same time, Churchill would not have the international attention nor the conservation budget without these doc crews so there is a bit of an 'understanding'.  Those days are probably my least favourite part of the job because we are following officers on the daily routine instead of … Continue Reading ››

Polar Bear Blog – Polar Bear News (And What It Means)

Figured I would do a quick roundup of some of the polar bear headlines this summer and take a shot at figuring them out... Large Waves Recorded in Polar Bear Habitat Sixteen foot waves have been recorded in the Beaufort Sea in a part of the arctic that was previously covered by multi-year ice.  This ice sheet broke apart in 2012 after an arctic cyclone dispersed ice that was already pressure fractured.  Again, this event can be evidence of climate change or of natural cycles. What does this mean for bears?  Well, bears don't really like multi-year ice … Continue Reading ››