Cute polar bear cub Playing on sea ice and mom

Photo: Kieran McIver / Polar Bears International

Wrapping Up Polar Bear Season

By Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach and Staff Scientist



14 Nov 2022

This Week in Churchill

This is our last week in Churchill for this year’s polar bear season, and it’s been inspiring to connect with friends old and new. Our guests this year included host Michael Strahan from Good Morning America, who visited last week and produced this segment and another, below. 

As we begin to wind down, winter has finally arrived on the shores of Hudson Bay, bringing snow drifts and frigid temperatures. After two fierce storms with howling winds that rattled our roving broadcast studio, clouds gave way to cold, sunny skies. With the cold has come an increase in bear activity, including daily sparring between adult male bears and moms exploring the tundra with cubs in tow.

As temperatures continue to drop, bands of shorefast ice mixed with young nilas ice have formed along the coast of Hudson Bay—allowing polar bears who have been largely fasting onshore since July and August to return to hunting seals. In a sign that the ice is expected to stick and will continue growing, Churchill’s Polar Bear Alert team emptied their polar bear holding facility on Thursday, releasing bears directly onto the newly formed ice.

Michael Strahan of Good Morning America on Buggy One

Photo: Kieran McIver / Polar Bears International

Michael Strahan of Good Morning America watching Polar Bears International's Chief Scientist Steven Amstrup and staff scientist Alysa McCall host a Tundra Connections webcast onboard Buggy One.

Here’s what we have planned for our final week on the tundra: 

  • We’ll continue to stream the live Polar Bear Cams through November 18th, bringing the migration to you, with the Buggy One Cam possibly running a few days longer. 

  • We’ve also scheduled a special live chat, “Tundra Reflections,” with JoAnne Simerson, an avid Arctic traveler and longtime volunteer. The chat will air on November 15th at 12 pm Central Time. Sign up for a calendar reminder and watch it here.

  • You’ll also want to watch our social channels for coverage from COP27, where our delegation is speaking up for polar bears and the Arctic. And stayed tuned for reports from our research team as they recap this fall’s field season.

President Biden speaking at COP27 in Egypt

Photo: Emily Ringer / Polar Bears International

As wrap up a busy season of research and outreach, we want to thank you for joining us for this year’s polar bear migration and for your commitment to polar bears and the Arctic. Together, we can safeguard this fragile ecosystem for generations to come, ensuring a future for the bears and improving conditions for people, too.

P.S. Missed a Tundra Connections broadcast that you wanted to see? You can watch our archives here.

Polar Bears International House

Field Highlight

While our polar bear conservation work spans the circumpolar Arctic, Polar Bears International House, our interpretive center in the heart of Churchill, allows us to connect with visitors to the polar bear capital who want to learn more about polar bears and polar bear research. The center is open from October 1-November 20 during bear season, from February 1-March 15 during northern lights season, and from July 1-August 31 during beluga whale season. The building also serves as a community hub and has become a meaningful community asset. If you visit Churchill, be sure to stop in and introduce yourself!