Polar bear in a bush with no snow

Photo: Kieran McIver / Polar Bears International

Polar Bear Season Has Arrived!

Alysa McCall, Director of Conservation Outreach and Staff Scientist



19 Oct 2022

This Week in Churchill

As we kick off this year’s polar bear season in Churchill, Canada, yellow willow leaves and auburn-tinted lichens blanket the tundra—and a fresh dusting of snow fell over the weekend. 

It’s been great to reconnect with friends in the community as we set up the Polar Bear Cams and prep for our fall research and outreach—laying the groundwork for another exciting polar bear migration season.

Out on the tundra, our staff has seen snowy owls, a gyrfalcon, and a few sleepy bears resting on rocky shorelines and in kelp beds. Bear activity will pick up as temperatures drop and the bears gather in anticipation of freeze-up on Hudson Bay.

If you’re planning to visit Churchill in person this year, Polar Bears International House, our public interpretive center, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through November 20th. We hope you’ll stop by to learn about the bears and meet our team.

Snowy owl on the Churchill tundra

Photo: Kt Miller / Polar Bears International

You can also join us virtually, as we bring the polar bears to you! Here’s what we’ve planned for the week ahead:

  • The Polar Bear Cams are live, giving you a front-row view of the annual gathering of bears. As the season progresses, watch for moms and cubs, sparring males, and lone bears walking across the snowy tundra.

  • Our first live chat of the season will take place on Tuesday, October 18th at 12 p.m. Central. Join us for Passing the Bear Baton to celebrate the launch of this year’s cams. Watch the free chat here and come with questions!

  • We’ve also scheduled a free Tundra Connections webcast, Blubber Hunting Ice Bears, on Thursday, October 20th, at 1:00 pm Central. Sign up here for a reminder and watch here at the appropriate time.

  • And finally, we're counting down the days to Polar Bear Week from October 30th-November 5th this year. Join us in celebrating the bears and support our efforts by taking the Detect and Protect Polar Bears fundraising challenge.

Aerial view of Churchill and Hudson Bay

Photo: Neil Ever Osborne

Field Highlight

Polar Bears International continues to support the efforts of Churchill, Manitoba to become a Bear Safe Community—with lessons learned that can be shared across the North. This is important in a warming Arctic, where more polar bears are spending more time onshore, increasing the need for coexistence efforts.

Recent initiatives include supplying Churchill with additional bear-safe waste containers to reduce food attractants. We’re also working with the town to examine more bear-safe and sustainable waste-management options for the entire community, and continuing to refine the use of early detection “bear-dar” radar systems—with a goal of warning communities of an approaching bear, giving them time to respond in a nonlethal manner.