Two polar bear play on the snowy tundra

© Valerie and Dick Beck/Polar Bears International

11/8/2020 8:25:32 PM

Polar Bear Season: Week 4

By Kieran McIver, Churchill Operations Manager

This year's Polar Bear Week was unlike any other—the Hudson Bay polar bears graced us with quite a show and people around the world took action on their behalf. We saw multiple moms with cubs in tow, loads of lively sparring, and bears starting to test the sea ice that is fast accumulating along the shore.

I've enjoyed observing the bears navigate the shoreline ice—their connection to and dependence on this frozen platform and the marine ecosystem is unshakably clear. It's my great hope that more sea ice forms soon so the bears can return to where they truly belong.

We're grateful to everyone who joined our outreach and efforts during Polar Bear Week, and we want to give a special shout out to voters. I may be Canadian, but the world was watching the recent elections in the United States. Climate change—the greatest threat to polar bears—is credited with attracting greater voter participation this year. Thank you to all for supporting candidates who will act on climate for polar bears, people, and wildlife across the globe.

Here's a look at what's in store this week:

  • A new and improved version of Polar Bear Cam bingo is ready and waiting for you! Come get lost in the polar bear's world with the live polar bear cams.
  • We have two awesome Tundra Connections webcasts with Discovery Education this week: Curious Creatures: Polar Bears on the Tundra, on Tuesday, November 10th at 12:00 pm CT and The Phenomena of Polar Bear Migration: A Live Virtual Field Trip to Churchill, Manitoba on Thursday, November 12th at 11:00 am CT. To join, register and then watch here at the appropriate time.
  • We also have one live chat on the schedule. Tune in for Cool Creature Cams, on Wednesday, November 11th at1:00 pm CT. You can watch here.
  • In case you missed it, our Bear Tracker will look a little different this year due to the pandemic and cancelled research. Learn more about these changes and what you can expect on the tracker.

I hope you enjoy another week with us on the tundra, and I’ll be in touch next Monday with a look at our final week of fall programming.

FIELD HIGHLIGHT

While bear spray is widely used across Western North America for those living in and moving through brown and black bear country, it is far less common in polar bear country.

Recent research examined the effectiveness of bear spray on polar bears and tested its performance in severe cold and windy conditions. In all cases, bear spray proved to be a successful deterrent.

This research is part of Polar Bears International's ongoing efforts to reduce conflict between polar bears and people, with a goal of keeping both safe. Learn more about the findings.

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