Polar Bears International

Land Ho! First Bear Arrives

7/5/2011 1:53:46 PM

Land Ho! First Bear Arrives

Polar bear on rocky shore
Photo ©Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures.

The first satellite-collared polar bear arrived onshore on July 3rd this year. This is much earlier than normal (whatever normal really is now). The bear landed onshore north of Churchill near the Seal River, which is unusual.

We'll be watching the other bears closely to see what they do, but judging from the ice conditions on Hudson Bay, the rest will be forced ashore by melting ice soon. July 3rd is about three to six weeks early compared to other years that we have data for. Nonetheless, the earliest year was 1999, so all is not lost.

In the Arctic as a whole, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado shows that the area with 15% ice cover or more for July 3, 2011 is neck-and-neck with 2007. For those who don't follow sea ice closely, 2007 was the record low year for sea ice in the Arctic.

Time will tell what will happen but one very skinny adult male polar bear was spotted in Churchill earlier today.

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