A polar bear stands on a dusting of snow

© Madison Stevens/Polar Bears International

10/19/2020 4:28:46 PM

It's Polar Bear Season!

By Kieran McIver, Churchill Operations Manager

In my home of Churchill, Manitoba, winds whipping across Hudson Bay carry signs of winter and sea ice. The first snowfall has already dusted the tundra, and polar bears are beginning to gather along the shore–waiting for their salty hunting grounds to freeze. 

Other wildlife is also showing signs of this seasonal shift. Resident snow geese and Canadian geese have flown south, and Arctic hares have molted into a brilliantly bright white. I’ve seen hares regularly around town this fall–and even a lone muskrat scurrying across a shallow icy pond. 

With travel restrictions and a global pandemic, polar bear viewing in the town of Churchill will be very different this year. Fortunately–no matter where in the world you live–we are still planning a full schedule of virtual outreach, bringing polar bear scientists and experts, and most importantly the bears, into your home! Here's a look at the week ahead: 

  • Our Polar Bear Cams will be live this week, bringing the polar bear gathering into your home! Watch for moms and cubs cuddling, males sparring, and lone bears lumbering across a snowy tundra.
  • Our first Tundra Connections webcast, Polar Bears Live from the Tundra, is scheduled for Tuesday, October 20th, 10:00 am Central. And tune in for our second webcast, Tracking Polar Bears Paths with STEM - Using Math and Science to Investigate the Life of a Polar Bear, on Thursday, October 22nd, 2:00 pm Central. To join, register and then watch here at the appropriate time.
  • We’ve also scheduled a live chat, Polar Bear Season Kick-off, on Wednesday, October 21st, 1:00 pm Central. You can watch it here.  
  • Polar Bear Week is November 1st through 7th this year—join in and plan out your engagement!   

I’ll be in touch next Monday with a look at the week ahead!

Field Highlight

Across the Arctic, populations of polar bears and people often overlap. As sea ice declines and bears spend more time on land, that overlap is expanding and the likelihood of human-bear conflict is increasing. 

Churchill, Manitoba is on its way to becoming the first polar bear safe community––building a suite of practices and policies that will protect people in town, and their polar bear neighbors, from harm. 

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