Posted onNovember 16, 2023|Comments Off on Polar bear sea ice habitat update at 15 November & problem bears in Western Hudson Bay
Abundant polar bear habitat this fall across the Arctic so far, with only Hudson Bay sea ice formation a bit behind schedule. However, Churchill has not seen the anticipated spike in problem bear reports, given the vocal pronouncement by polar bear specialists that it should be experiencing more and more problems with bears when they spent more than 4 months ashore in summer and fall.
News of the most egregious attack by a bear I could find world wide this fall is shown in the video below, filmed 14 November 2023: apparently, the offending bear had spent several days displaying this offending behaviour.
Posted onOctober 8, 2021|Comments Off on Churchill problem polar bear reports finally completed and posted online
Although since 2015 at least the Polar Bear Alert Program in Churchill Manitoba usually issued and published its problem bear reports weekly during the ice-free season, this year has been an odd exception. Two reports in early July, then nothing. Yesterday, there was a dump of reports that had been compiled on 1 September and 7 October, according to their metadata.
There are still a few weeks missing, including the two most recent weeks but at least now we have a more complete picture of what’s been going on with problem bears in The Polar Bear Capital of the World that can be compared to previous years. Such reports in various forms go back to the late 1960s, although only those from recent years have been publicly available (Kearney 1989; Towns et al. 2009).
Also, note that a mother with a litter of triplets spotted along the coast of Wapusk National Park (just east and south of Churchill) in good condition, 15 September 2020 (see photo below). Biologist Nick Lunn falsely claimed in 2018 that no triplet litters had been born in Western Hudson Bay since 1996 – a correction made later claimed Lunn meant there hasn’t been any triplet litters seen in the fall, which was also not true in 2017 or in 2020:
Compare weekly stats above for this year to a few previous years at the second week in September:
Posted onOctober 14, 2019|Comments Off on Polar bear activity picks up in Churchill as W Hudson Bay freeze-up time approaches
This is week 15 for most polar bears onshore near Churchill in Western Hudson Bay, which means they have been onshore for almost 4 months. Still, photos being circulated are still showing bears in excellent condition and we are just waiting to see if freeze-up this year is as early as it has been for the last two years.
Posted onJuly 30, 2018|Comments Off on 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 breakup of ice in the northwest.
Most of the ice was gone from the NW of Hudson Bay for the week of 23 July 2018 and the graph below shows that this is a new pattern that began in 1997, with only 2009 being an outlier:
Posted onSeptember 13, 2017|Comments Off on Problem polar bears in Churchill at this date show 2017 less than 2016 and 2015
Comparing Churchill problem bear statisticsover a few years provides some critical perspective: this year, the bears are causing much fewer problems.
This 2nd week in September is no exception, being the 9th week ashore in all cases: 2017 (4-10 September, where I think “total number of polar bear occurrence reports to date” should be 64, not 53, see week 7 reporthere), 2016 (5-11 September), 2015 (7-13 September), where there were about 1/2 the number of bears in “jail” this year compared to the last two years (i. e., 6 vs. 11 and 12) and slightly more than 1/2 the number of occurrence reports in 2017 than in 2016 and 2015 (64 vs. 107 and 99):
Comments Off on Problem polar bears in Churchill at this date show 2017 less than 2016 and 2015
30 polar bears handled to date this year; 11 bears in the holding facility this week (6 released, including a sow and two cubs). As mentioned in the new Polar Bear Town reality TV show, Churchill officials have been more vigilant and pro-active since the two polar bear attacks in 2013 than they were previously, capturing any bears than come close to the town.
See previous post herefor map and background. Last week’s report here.
Comments Off on Churchill problem polar bear report for 13-18 October 2015