Bear and bear tracks on sea ice

Polar Bear Tracker

Learn about how polar bears navigate the sea ice and track their movements.

Photo: Kt Miller

Role of the Unit

Students will learn about polar bear tracking devices and the role they play in polar bear research and conservation. In this unit, students can explore real-time polar bear movements on the sea ice and develop a deeper understanding for the types of questions research can help us answer.

Photo: Jenny Wong

Lesson Plan

Polar Bear Tracker Lesson. Students will enter the world of a polar bear researcher and learn about the movements of polar bears on Hudson Bay sea ice, using seasonal data collected from tracking devices.

Other Resources


  • Polar Bear Tracker: The polar bears of Hudson Bay live in a seasonal ice area, where the ice melts completely in summer and freezes again in fall. Follow the bears on our tracker as they hunt seals when the bay is frozen or are forced ashore during the ice-free seasons.

    • Compare the different movements of bears in the seasonal sea ice ecoregion during freeze up and when the bears are on land again during the summer months.

    • The latest study shows that the decline in the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population was driven by a decrease in adult female polar bears, young bears, and cubs—groups that scientists have long predicted would feel the brunt of increased fasting from longer ice-free seasons.

  • Flip: View our educational topics using the joincode: polarbearsint.

Become Inspired:

  • Tundra Connections Webcasts: Watch our webcasts! See polar bears and meet our scientists and experts.

  • Live Cams: Take a tour through the polar bear’s world with our live Arctic cams.