This is a quick follow up on my last post (here) on Kaktovik polar bears of the Southern Beaufort Sea subpopulation.
Kaktovik is the bright pink dot on the ice map below (October 3, 2013: click to enlarge), from the Canadian Ice Service – if the ice doesn’t get to the polar bears waiting on shore this weekend, it will be within swimming distance.
Note that this map doesn’t show the shorefast ice that is already forming along the beaches, bridging the gap between land and the offshore ice.
Shorefast ice provides the fall’s first ice platform for polar bears to hunt seals. It doesn’t need to be extensive for the bears to get out there — researchers working in Western Hudson Bay found that an ice concentration of only 10% marked the point when polar bears left the shore.