Fourteen bears tagged by the US Geological Survey (USGS) on or near the central Southern Beaufort Sea coast in April 2018 (near Kaktovik) will be tracked online over the coming months.
The break in published USGS tagging data from March 2017 to April 2018 was the first since the project began in December 2009 but no explanation for the hiatus has been provided. It is therefore unclear whether no tagging occurred in spring 2017 or data was simply not published online. The last bears followed were tagged in March 2016.
In contrast to previous years, this spring all fourteen of the bears have glue-on ear transmitters, which means they are either adult males or juvenile bears rather than females (which are fitted with satellite collars):
“In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we are also experimenting with glue-on and ear tag satellite transmitters, which can be deployed on adult male bears and younger, still-growing bears.”