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:
This time it was Steven Amstrup of Polar Bears International (PBI), via a radio interview on Saturday December 28 “A Scientist’s New Job: Keeping The Polar Bears’ Plight Public.”
Amstrup – co-author of the models that predict the extinction of polar bears by the end of this century – had this to say about the polar bear situation in Hudson Bay:
“This year, the ice was frozen longer, so he says the bears seem to be in pretty good shape.
“But over the last two or three years, my impression has been, ‘Man, there’s a lot of skinny bears out here.’ “
On average, the sea ice in the Hudson Bay is frozen about a month less per year than it was 30 years ago. Amstrup says bears don’t eat much on land, so they lose about 2 pounds of body fat every day they’re off the ice.
“They’re 60 pounds lighter now than they might have been at this time of year 30 years ago,” he says.” [my bold]
For the last two or three years Amstrup has been seeing “a lot of skinny bears” but hasn’t taken a single photograph that he’s offered for publication or posted at PBI? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it – where are the photos of all the starving bears these guys keep talking about?
Here is a picture of a polar bear that was spending the summer on the shore of Western Hudson Bay 30 years ago, taken in July [bears were on the shore in July this year as well]. Continue reading