A review paper, purporting to list the “effects of climate warming on polar bears” (Stirling and Derocher 2012:2697), has this to say about the state of research in western Hudson Bay:
“The most comprehensive long-term research on polar bear demography, body condition, subpopulation size, abundance, and reproductive success has been conducted on the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation.”
This means that compared to all of the 19 subpopulations of polar bears (see fig. 1), the very best information we have is for Western Hudson Bay (WHB) bears (fig. 2).
But are western Hudson Bay polar bears biologically typical of all polar bears? In this post, I’ll begin to examine that question.