Site: Polar Bear Science

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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

Polar Bear Science: US FWS proposes changes to Endangered Species Act, polar bear champions panic

Headline run by The Independent last Friday (20 July 2018): ‘A death sentence for polar bears’: Trump administration seeks changes to endangered species protections: Conservation groups are already vowing to sue the Donald Trump administration if the revisions go into …

2018-07-23 06:05   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: New information on the fatal polar bear attack at Arviat, Western Hudson Bay

Additional information is available regarding the fatal mauling of a young Arviat father two weeks ago that may answer the question of why the bear left the Hudson Bay sea ice well before it was necessary. Was it lack of …

2018-07-19 23:35   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Sea ice is critical habitat for polar bears from late fall through late spring only

Sea ice is said to be “an essential habitat for polar bears” but that’s an overly simplistic advocacy meme as ridiculous as the “no sea ice, no polar bears” message with which the public is constantly bombarded. Polar bears require …

2018-07-14 20:35   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Just look at what the ‘global heat wave’ is doing to polar bear sea ice habitat!

According to the Guardian (9 July 2018), there is a “global heat wave” going on right now. In Siberia, the heat is supposedly “completely unprecedented” and will surely (we are told) impact Arctic sea ice — the habitat of the iconic …

2018-07-10 16:27   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: First fatal polar bear attack in W. Hudson Bay since 1999 occurred yesterday in Arviat [corrected]

A brave young father from Arviat on the northwest coast of Hudson Bay was killed yesterday evening by a polar bear while trying to protect his children. Aaron Gibbons, 31, was the nephew of Gordy Kidlapik, who follows this blog …

2018-07-04 23:38   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Spring feeding for polar bears is over – sea ice levels are now largely irrelevant

Polar bears in virtually all regions will now have finished their intensive spring feeding, which means sea ice levels are no longer an issue. A few additional seals won’t make much difference to a bear’s condition at this point, except …

2018-07-04 06:34   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Hudson Bay sea ice update: more ice in the east than usual but less in the west

There’s almost more blue in the Canadian Ice Service “departure from normal” charts for this week than red, which means more sea ice than usual, especially in the eastern half of the bay and northern Labrador. Eventually, the melting ice …

2018-06-27 22:32   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Hansen’s 1988 climate change testimony was the answer to Stirling’s polar bear problem

Last week’s media coverage made me realize that James Hansen’s testimony to a US Senate committee in 1988 provided well-timed answer to a vexatious problem facing polar bear biologist Ian Stirling. Thirty years ago, Stirling was struggling to understand why …

2018-06-26 02:06   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Hudson Bay ice update: more thick first year ice habitat for polar bears in 2018 than 2004

Despite pronouncements from one polar bear specialist that “ice in Hudson Bay is in rapid retreat” a look back in time shows that there is more thick first year ice over the Bay this year for the week of the …

2018-06-21 08:55   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Wear white on the solstice to celebrate polar bear success in a warming world

Wednesday 21 June is the longest day of the year: wear something white tomorrow to acknowledge and celebrate the success of polar bears despite such low summer sea ice since 2007 that 2/3 of them were predicted to disappear. White …

2018-06-20 15:36   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Svalbard polar bear data 2016 through 2018 shows no impact of low ice years

Last week, the Norwegian Polar Institute updated their online data collected for the Svalbard area to include 2017 and 2018 — fall sea ice data and spring polar bear data. Older data for comparison go back to 1993 for polar …

2018-06-15 20:00   Click to comment

Polar Bear Science: Environment Canada maps of polar bear population and status assessments 2018

Just out (6 June 2018) — new population assessment and status maps of the 19 polar bear subpopulations according to Environment Canada. Contrary to the map presented at the Range State meeting in February 2018 (pdf here), these maps show …

2018-06-12 05:30   Click to comment


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