Posted onApril 23, 2023|Comments Off on Netflix polar bear star dies in Svalbard days after being tranquilized; her orphaned cub is shot
Early in the morning on Good Friday (7 April), a mature polar bear sow with a cub at heal was chased with snowmobiles away from a recreation area used by locals on the west coast but drowned after she escaped into the water. Her cub, likely a yearling male, attacked authorities trying to retrieve her body and was shot.
Posted onApril 22, 2023|Comments Off on Earth Day sea ice habitat during critical spring season for Arctic seals, polar bears, and walrus
This is the most important time of year for Arctic marine mammals that spend time above the ice: birthing, breeding, and feeding. And there is plenty of the right kind of ice available for those activities this year, as there was two years ago at the same time.
Posted onApril 19, 2023|Comments Off on ‘Less ice means more conflicts with polar bears’ narrative not supported by scientific evidence
In another failed prediction, a new study on the number of polar bears killed in self-defense in Svalbard, Norway did not find the expected correlation with lack of sea ice or more tourists (Vongraven et al. 2023). Contrary to expectations, fewer bears were actually killed in self-defence as sea ice declined between 1987 and 2019.
Money Quote from the abstract:
“…ice cover had no significant impact on the odds for a [polar bear] kill.”
“Poor ice conditions for polar bears at Svalbard this year. Low ice will make tough hunting conditions this coming spring. Time to plan for more human-bear conflicts unless conditions change.” [13 Feb 2023 tweet, my bold]
Posted onApril 15, 2023|Comments Off on Russian walrus and polar bears continue to thrive US researchers tell the Washington Post
Interviews with US researchers for a piece in the Washington Post earlier today contain revelations that walrus and polar bear populations in the Russian Far East continue to thrive, despite insisting that polar bears face a dire future without human interference.
This article on collateral damage of Russia’s war with Ukraine comes with this stunning sub-headline:
The invasion [of Ukraine] is first and foremost a human tragedy, but it is also dire for wildlife, stalling scientific work on polar bears and other wildlife threatened with extinction.
The article prominently features a researcher working on Chukchi sea polar bears, which are currently thriving but still tagged with a status of “threatened” based entirely on computer models that predict a dire outcome 30 years from now. The writer also interviewed a scientist working on Pacific walrus, which likely number more than 200,000 animals and are not considered “threatened,” a point oddly not mentioned by the author or the researcher interviewed (Crockford 2023; MacCracken et al. 2017; Fischbach et al. 2022; USFWS 2017a,b).