Tracking polar bears in the Beaufort Sea – August 2014 map

Here is the August 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.”

See that post for methods and other background on this topic, and some track maps from 2012 (also available at the USGS website here).

The USGS track map for August 2014 is copied below (Fig. 1).

Compare this to July’s map (Fig. 4). The 20 bears from May (down to 13 in June) are now down to 11. All seven of the bears outfitted with glue-on satellite transmitters in April [either males or subadult animals] have either moved out of the area or their tags have fallen off or stopped transmitting. This means that all of the bears shown on the maps below are females.

At the end of August, nearing the minimum extent of ice for this year, seven bears were on the ice and only four were on land.

Figure 1. Movements of 11 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of August, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All eleven of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with AMSR2 remotely-sensed ice coverage for 31 August, 2014. AMSR2 data are made available by the University of Bremen (http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/). The land cover is made available by Natural Earth (http://www.naturalearthdata.com/). Click on the above image to enlarge. Original image here. http://alaska.usgs.gov/science/biology/polar_bears/images/bear-movements-August-2014.jpg [the light pink icon appears to be directly under the dark purple or dark pink icon, on the shore of Alaska near Prudhoe Bay]

Figure 1. Movements of 11 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of August, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All eleven of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with AMSR2 remotely-sensed ice coverage for 31 August, 2014.” Click to enlarge; original image here. [Note that the light pink icon appears to be directly under the dark purple or dark pink icon, near Prudhoe Bay]

Figure 1. From original caption: “Movements of 13 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of July, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All thirteen of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with MODIS imagery from 29 July, 2014.”  Note that some of the white areas on the right (along Alaska coast) are clouds, not sea ice; also, one bear is now in Canadian territory and one is in the Chukchi Sea (see Fig 3 below). Click to enlarge, original image here.

Figure 2. From original caption: “Movements of 13 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of July, 2014. Polar bears were tagged in 2014 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. All thirteen of these bears have satellite collar transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with MODIS imagery from 29 July, 2014.” Note that some of the white areas on the right (along Alaska coast) are clouds, not sea ice (see Fig. 2 below); also, one bear is now in Canadian territory and one is in the Chukchi Sea (see Fig 3 below). Click to enlarge, original image here.

Keep abreast of what’s happening with sea ice (aka polar bear habitat) in the Beaufort Sea with this new resource: “Beaufort Sea Ice Reference Page.” There you will find maps and graphs from all of the world’s ice archives, automatically updated daily (or as often as the originals are updated), including data on ice extent and thickness. Check it out.

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