Sea ice coverage for Hudson Bay on 14 June converged on levels recorded in 2013, when breakup was slightly later than the average of the last two decades.
There is also more ice over Hudson Bay than there was in 2011, which was an early breakup year (charts for other Arctic regions here, originals here).
Andrew Derocher notes (via twitter) that rather than heading to shore, most of the Hudson Bay bears with satellite tracking collars (7/10) are out on the ice (Fig. 1 below). They appear to be hunting along the ice edge, where they are most likely to find seals.
Update 17 June 2015: Sea ice images for the week 18 June 2015 compared to other years added below, for Hudson Bay and the Beaufort Sea.
Posted in Life History, Sea ice habitat
Tagged Arctic, breakup, Derocher, Hudson Bay, Lentfer, polar bear, polar bear movements, Polar Bears International, polarbearscience, ringed seals, satellite collars, sea ice, tracking, western hudson bay
Polar bear habitat in the Southern Beaufort for May 2015 was a contrast between the development of recurring polynyas (patches of open water) and tremendously thick sea ice. So it’s interesting to see where the polar bears tagged by USGS biologists chose to hang out.
The total number of bears being tracked in May – 23 – is down markedly from the 30 bears USGS biologists started with in April.
Most of the collared bears were concentrated in May along the shore lead (crack of open water) that normally develops between the shorefast ice and the pack ice offshore. That’s especially understandable this year, since most of that pack ice is 3-5 m thick (10-16 ft) – see the maps below.
Posted in Sea ice habitat
Tagged Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, habitat, open water, polar bear, polynya, satellite collars, sea ice, shore lead, spring sea ice, thick ice, tracking, USGS