Site: Polar Bear Science

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Polar Bear Science: Chukchi Sea polar bears number almost 3000 according to new survey results: update

The Chukchi Sea finally has a polar bear population estimate! According to survey results from 2016 only recently made public, about 2937 bears (1522-5944) currently inhabit the region, making this the largest subpopulation in the Arctic. This is exciting news — …

2018-11-16 16:45   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Nunavut government has a draft plan to deal with unsafe numbers of polar bears

In the news today: “Nunavut Draft Plan Says There Are Actually Too Many Polar Bears In Territory” (CTV News via The Canadian Press, Bob Weber, 12 November 2018). From the Canadian Press story: “There are too many polar bears in …

2018-11-12 23:48   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: W Hudson Bay freeze-up earlier than average for 2nd year in a row, polar bear hunt resumes

This is the second year in a row that freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay ice has come earlier than average. Movement of tagged bears and reports by folks on the ground in WH show some polar bears are starting to …

2018-11-11 01:19   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bears waiting for ice on Russian coast of Chukchi Sea threaten village residents

Ryrkaypiy on the Chukotka coast of Russia is similar to Churchill, Manitoba: both human settlements are of similar size and are close to where polar bears wait for sea ice to form in the fall and where some pregnant females …

2018-11-07 20:06   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Fall polar bear habitat update: 3 mkm2 Arctic sea ice increase in the last two weeks

What a difference two weeks make! When the seasonal minimum Arctic sea ice extent occurs in September, polar bear doom-mongers always forget to tell you that within two months, sea ice will return to virtually all regions where polar bears …

2018-11-06 22:05   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Fabulous polar bear science book for kids now available in Dutch

Given my strong Dutch heritage through my maternal grandfather (via Middelharnis), I am especially proud to announce that the Dutch translation of my popular science book, Polar Bear Facts and Myths (suitable for children aged seven and up), is now …

2018-11-05 08:30   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Churchill’s polar bear problems took time and money to resolve

Churchill, Manitoba is proud of it’s management of problem polar bears and rightly so. But it took time and money to implement the solutions that allowed Churchill to function as it does today, and that should be a lesson for …

2018-11-01 19:09   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Arctic sea ice habitat for polar bears is like a big pond that dries up partially in summer

What’s a good analogy for sea ice as essential polar bear habitat? Biologist Andrew Derocher claims that the soil in a forest is appropriate, because without the soil you can’t have the forest ecosystem. However, that’s a specious comparison because …

2018-10-31 05:35   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New ice on Hudson Bay a week earlier than 2017: another early freeze-up ahead?

Last year, an early freeze-up of Western Hudson Bay sea ice almost ruined the Polar Bear Week campaign devised by Polar Bears International to drum up donation dollars and public sympathy for polar bear conservation. Many bears were on the …

2018-10-24 03:00   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Scientific study finds polar bears excel at diving, contradicting previous expert opinion

A recent study by Norwegian biologist Karen Lone and colleagues, who tagged 57 polar bear females with sensors around Svalbard, discovered that polar bears can dive to a maximum depth of 13.9m and can swim long distances across open water …

2018-10-15 07:10   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New paper provides no evidence that polar bears ate whale carcasses to survive Eemian interglacial

Contrary to what the misleading press release implies, an entirely speculative new paper by polar bear specialists Kristin Laidre and Ian Stirling (among others) presents zero evidence that polar bear consumed whale carcasses during the last warm Interglacial (Eemian, ca. …

2018-10-10 16:13   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Now at least 10 years with sea ice at 2050-like levels yet polar bears are still abundant

We’ve hit the seasonal Arctic sea ice minimum for this year, called this morning by US NSIDC for 19th and 23rd of Septmeber: 4.59 mkm2, the same extent as 2008 and 2010. This is not a “ho-hum” year for polar …

2018-09-27 16:27   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Inuit hunters frustrated by polar bear conservation rules that put their lives at risk

‘The rules are taking over Inuit tradition and the bears are taking over Inuit. We’re just watching in the distance, afraid of these bears because they’re free to do whatever they want.’ says Brian Aglukark, after two fatal polar bear …

2018-09-24 16:43   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bears that killed Foxe Basin hunter in August were in good condition, say officials

Just in from NunatsiaqNews (6 September 2018): The polar bears that killed Foxe Basin resident Darryl Kaunak were in good condition, as were the bears who approached the group of hunters after the fact. And the bear that mauled Arviat …

2018-09-06 19:09   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: The politics of starving polar bears: my op-ed in the National Post last week

In case you missed it: The real story behind the famous starving polar-bear video reveals more manipulation (29 August 2018). It was tragedy porn meant to provoke a visceral response — the gut-wrenching video of an emaciated polar bear struggling …

2018-09-05 08:38   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Chukchi Sea polar bears number almost 3000 according to new survey results

The Chukchi Sea finally has a polar bear population estimate! According to survey results from 2016 only recently made public, about 2937 bears (1522-5944) currently inhabit the region, making this the largest subpopulation in the Arctic. This is exciting news — …

2018-09-04 02:58   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: White Lie: Polar bear starvation is virtually never caused by sea ice loss

Starvation due to natural causes is the leading cause of death for polar bears and loss of body condition (getting thinner) is therefore the first symptom of impending death for virtually all polar bears that die naturally. However, polar bear …

2018-08-29 14:45   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Breaking news: One hunter killed, two injured in polar bear attack in Foxe Basin

A man from Naujaat, Nunavut (formerly Repulse Bay) has been killed by a polar bear and her cub, and his two hunting companions injured. The party was found today by a search and rescue team on White Island, southeast of …

2018-08-29 02:52   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Facts contradict predictions that Chukchi Sea polar bears should be in trouble

Last fall, there were persistent alarms raised about low levels of sea ice in the Chukchi Sea that were echoed this spring. But these low ice levels are not really a serious concern for these polar bears: a 2018 assessment …

2018-08-28 03:25   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Before National Geographic apologized for hyping the starving polar bear video they exploited it to promote a message of doom

Back in early February this year, National Geographic used their “this is what climate change looks like” video to promote a newly-published polar bear study and endorse conservation activist Steven Amstrup’s debunked and abandoned prediction of polar bear catastrophe due …

2018-08-25 19:57   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Sea ice silly season: Wadhams spouts fake facts about polar bears of northern Greenland

As the seasonal minimum for Arctic sea ice approaches, the media get carried away by hyperbole. Tha’t been true since 2007. This year, other outlets will need to work hard to beat yesterday’s bit of nonsense from The Independent trying …

2018-08-22 16:57   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Busy week for Churchill Polar Bear Alert Program in week 6, more problems than 2017

The Churchill Polar Bear Alert program has been busy in week 6 (Aug.13-19), with 67 occurrences to date: slower than last year but not quite as brisk as 2016. Some bears have already been released from the holding cells of …

2018-08-21 05:20   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Brace yourself: more starving polar bear news stories in the pipeline from Svalbard

A few polar bears have become stranded on small islands north of Svalbard since the local sea ice retreated — of which the bear that mauled a cruise ship guard last month was but one — and if return of …

2018-08-15 17:37   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Brian Ladoon, saviour of Canadian Eskimo Dogs, has died in Churchill

Early on Sunday 5 August 2018, Brian Ladoon died at the age of 65 in Churchill, Manitoba — and so far, the media have said nothing. Brian dedicated his life to the preservation of the Canadian Eskimo Dog — which …

2018-08-09 17:31   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Polar bears do not outnumber people in Svalbard and the backlash against ecotourism over a justified defensive kill

It is often said that there are more polar bears than people in Svalbard, Norway (see BBC, “Polar bear shot dead after attacking cruise ship guard” 29 July 2018). But that isn’t true now and probably hasn’t been for a …

2018-08-02 18:16   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Churchill problem polar bear report for week 3, July 23-29 2018

Polar bears that have come off the sea ice of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba in Western Hudson Bay are apparently in a wide variety of conditions, from very fat to skinny.  So, not all skinny despite the relatively early …

2018-07-31 05:51   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Cruise ship bear guard survives being mauled by polar bear in Svalbard

Less than a month after a fatal polar bear attack near Arviat, Western Hudson Bay, European media reported this morning that one of two German polar bear guards escorting a group of tourists on a shore visit in northern Svalbard …

2018-07-28 23:02   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: The truth behind the Baffin Bay starving polar bear video is worse than we thought

Remember that video of an emaciated Baffin Island polar bear that went viral last December? In an unexpected follow-up (“Starving-Polar-Bear Photographer Recalls What Went Wrong“; National Geographic, August 2018 issue), photographer Cristina Mittermeier makes some astonishing admissions that might just …

2018-07-26 10:42   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Tracking polar bears in the Beaufort Sea May and June updates

At the end of June, there were nine bears remaining from the original 14 that were tagged with glue-on ear transmittors in April 2018 near Kaktovik, Alaska by US Geological Survey biologists. Below is the June 2018 tracking map (high …

2018-07-26 02:15   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Churchill area polar bears off the ice as of third week in July say problem bear reports

Second week of Polar Bear Alert Activity reports (16-22 July) for 2018 and already two bears are in jail, making it the busiest 3rd week in July since 2015: Last week (9-15 July) there were a few bears around but …

2018-07-24 03:29   Click to comment


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