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 resolution image is here): Original caption: “Movements of 9 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month […]
A newly-published paper by Martyn Obbard and colleagues in the journal Arctic Science claims a 17% decline in abundance of polar bears in the Southern Hudson Bay region after years of reduced sea ice and declining body condition (Obbard et al. 2018). The decline in numbers was not statistically significant but an additional statistical analysis […]
A quiet year for problems in the polar bear capital of the world (Churchill, Manitoba) so far – despite this year tying for the second-lowest minimum since 1979 – and the ice is growing fast. In fact, Arctic ice growth in the second half of September was rapid and there is now more ice than […]
The first-ever population estimate for polar bears in the Kara Sea is an astonishing 3,200 bears (range 2,700-3,500). Russian researchers report the results in a new paper (Matishov et al. 2014, in English).
Polar bear counts were made during late winter/early spring (approximately January to April) from ice-breakers between 1997 and 2013. Females with cubs (whether one or two) were noted. The counts were extrapolated to give a total for the entire region (as is usual for all such surveys).
The question is, will the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) consider this new polar bear count to be reliable or complete enough to include in their next IUCN assessment?
The Kara Sea is a largely enclosed, shallow sea that is ice-free in summer and essentially covered with first year ice during winter/spring. Map courtesy Wikipedia.
This is how the authors described their study:
“Among 19 subpopulations of the…
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A cross-Arctic comparison shows that the US has been the most aggressive in designating polar bears and their main prey species as ‘threatened with extinction’ due to the predicted effects of human-caused (“anthropogenic”) global warming (AGW), even though the US has the least amount of sea ice habit of all circumpolar nations.
I’ve made a chart listing the conservation status of these species across all Arctic nations (Canada, Russia, Norway, Denmark (for Greenland) and the USA), as well as the one international body that considers the conservation status of all species (International Union for Conservation of Nature, IUCN).
Oddly, the IUCN considers the polar bear vulnerable due to future threats from predicted sea ice losses but not ringed seals or bearded seals. This situation highlights the capricious nature of the use of “future threats” (almost exclusively based on predictions of AGW) as a valid criteria for evaluating the…
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Here is the December 2014 follow-up to my post on the July 2013 track map for female polar bears being followed by satellite in the Beaufort Sea by the US Geological Survey (USGS) – “Ten out of ten polar bears being tracked this summer in the Beaufort Sea are on the ice.”
There are only 10 bears being followed now, which means a few more collars have failed, or the bears have moved out of the area or died.
Original caption: “Movements of 10 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of December, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All ten of these bears have…
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I have finally secured a copy of the 2013 Western Hudson Bay mark-recapture study produced by Environment Canada.
The pertinent figure is below: as you can see, there was no declining trend in Western Hudson Bay polar bears between 2000 and 2011. Click to enlarge.
I have relatives visiting so I don’t have time to do an in-depth summary but the report’s opening “Summary” is copied below and a pdf provided. More later when I have had time to look at it more closely. Background on the issue here.
Summary from the report, click to enlarge:
Lunn, N.J., Regehr, E.V., Servanty, S., Converse, S., Richardson, E. and Stirling, I. 2013. Demography and population assessment of polar bears in Western Hudson Bay, Canada. Environment Canada Research Report. 26 November 2013. PDF HERE