© Kt Miller/Polar Bears International
11/21/2019 5:36:00 PM
Heading Back onto the Sea Ice
By Emily Ringer, Marketing and Communications Manager
Another polar bear season has ended, with many of Churchill’s bears scattered across the band of ice forming along the shores of Hudson Bay.
While there is enough ice for these bears to begin hunting, sea ice conditions in this region are still in flux. Earlier this week, fickle winds and warmer weather temporarily stalled freeze-up and blew ice away from shore. We hope to see the frigid cold return soon so sea ice can continue to spread across the bay, broadening the polar bear's seal-hunting grounds.
With more and more bears venturing on to the ice, eager to break their long fast, our Polar Bear Cams have ended for the season. We’re now airing highlights until our live coverage returns next fall.
Here is a peek at the progress of freeze-up as of Tuesday, Nov 19. And as you can see, the shores near Churchill are swelling with ice, but the majority of Hudson Bay is still open water. Satellite imagery courtesy of Universität Bremen.
As we approach the season of gratefulness and giving, we look back on a remarkable bear season in which we:
- Held the grand opening for our new Polar Bears International House in Churchill, welcoming more than 2,000 visitors to our interpretive displays on polar bears, sea ice, and climate warming
- Presented our Ice Bear Lifetime Achievement Award to scientist Ian Stirling, who began studying polar bears in 1970s, when very little was known about them
- Aired and archived nine Tundra Connections webcasts and streamed seven live chats
- Celebrated Polar Bear Week, with strong participation from our network of Arctic Ambassador Center zoos and aquariums, plus conservation partners and sponsors
- Took part in media interviews with Mashable, The Weather Network, Refinery29, and more
- Streamed four different Polar Bear Cams, reaching audiences around the world
- Shared science news, such as this Feast or Fast blog post by Stephanie Penk, which explains the annual feeding cycles of some wild polar bear populations
- Launched a Polar Bear Augmented Reality experience in partnership with AVARA
Thanks so much for joining us on this journey. Your engagement, care, and compassion for polar bears bring us hope for their future.