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August 2012
Forest Fires Sweep Denning Area
Olympic-Style Success
Guest Post: Under a Midnight Sun
Arctic Species of the Month


If you haven't seen a copy of our Annual Report yet, we've posted it online: 

2012 Annual Report

It's our report to you

on what we've accomplished together--with heartfelt thanks for your support from the very bottom of our paws.


With ten years as the world's leading polar bear conservation organization under our belts, we invite you to celebrate with us polar bear-style! Churchill Friends Trip 3

Join us on a three-day, two-night trip

to the northern community of Churchill to watch and photograph polar bears

as they wait for freeze-up on

Western Hudson Bay.


Click here for additional information.

Franklin College
Maddi Headshot

Franklin College sophomore

Maddi Stevens brings good cheer

into the office every day . . .


Now in her second summer volunteering with PBI, Maddi contributes her talents to projects including the PBI IMAX curriculum on polar bears, an app that will launch this fall, and a special project celebrating our 10th Anniversary.


We couldn't be more proud

of Maddi's accomplishments!



Spoiler Alert: Each copy is signed! Two books

We're celebrating the end of summer with a hot sale (38% off) on books by eminent polar bear scientists

Ian Stirling and Andrew Derocher.


Visit our gift shop for your copy.


Lowepro on white

Lowepro, a longtime silver sponsor of PBI, is internationally known for its professional-grade camera bags, backpacks, shoulder bags, and other protective cases. The company takes stewardship to heart through bags made from recycled materials--modeling a path for other companies to follow.

Can Polar Bears Adapt to Life on Land?

 Could polar bears adapt

to living on land? Biologist Evan Richardson addresses this frequently asked question. 

Flickr Photo

 Every summer, arctic sea ice retreats, forcing some polar bear populations ashore. These ice-free seasons are lasting longer and longer, and differences in the hunting abilities of individual bears has started to show, with some bears starving and others continuing to do well.


This bear in good condition was photographed by Chris Hawkes near Churchill this summer. 


For more polar bear photos, or to post your own, visit our Flickr group.

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Forest Fires Sweep Denning Area


There's no arguing that the expansive fires sparked by unusually warm and dry conditions have created massive destruction to the American West this summer. 

Hudson Bay Wildfires

NOAA has reported that July 2012 was the hottest month in the contiguous U.S. since record keeping began in 1895, and much of North America remains in a deep drought. 


But the devastation has reached a rather unexpected ecosystem, too.


Unusually hot, dry conditions in Manitoba, Canada, have sparked forest fires in a prime polar bear denning area along Western Hudson Bay, a rare occurrence in permafrost areas. Hotter temperatures are thawing the permafrost, and drier conditions allow fires to kill the trees. 


In July, several fires swept through a wildlife management area near Churchill with known polar bear maternal den sites     |more
Olympic-style Success



They're biking to work. Composting kitchen scraps. Eating less meat. And seeing their actions become habits and a movement grow!


Eleven teams led by Arctic Ambassador Centers and polar bear conservationists 

across North America have wrapped up a spirited competition to reduce their carbon footprints by taking part in the pilot phase of an online and mobile action campaign developed by PBI partner myActions.org.


The challenge was for each participant to create 21 conservation actions in 21 days, with an end-goal of turning daily actions into habits and sustainable behavior the norm. 


The top two teams, each led by PBI Leadership Camp graduates, were neck and neck for creating the most actions throughout most of the campaign.


But Nature Walk, led by Clara Stahlmann Roeder of Como Zoo, came from behind in the final moments to win by a nose, with an astonishing 962 actions. Urban Change, led by Jenni Urban of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, created an equally impressive 944.


Over 100 campaign members completed the challenge during the three-week pilot, with some members creating as many as 254 actions and over 200 participants
creating an amazing 5,403 actions! The campaign
over $2,000 for PBI from a supporting foundation.


Visit the myActions.org website to learn more and get ready to be part of the action when the next PBI campaign launches this fall.


A special shout-out to Leadership Camp alumnus Michael Young of myActions for the concept for the site.

Guest Post: Under a Midnight Sun 


By Kt Miller

KT Miller


My eyes began to droop and the world softened as they surrendered to rest. I stood from my chair and gathered my things.


"Where are you going?" Norbert Rosing asked. "You're not going to bed are you?"


"I'm tired," I responded, confused by the inflection in his voice.


"No, no, no. You don't want to do that. You have to stay up. We're all going to stay up." He motioned to the handful of people left on the top deck of the Ocean Nova.


"At two o'clock the boat is going to head towards the ice. After that, it's only three hours until we reach the waterfalls. We're going to stay up all night."     |more

Arctic Species of the Month:

Pacific Loon

Photographer Daniel J. Cox followed this pacific loon family from egg to fledged chick in Churchill this summer while capturing images for the PBI Arctic Documentary Project.


The most abundant loon in North America, Pacific loons spend winters fishing in the Pacific Ocean, but return to freshwater lakes on the arctic tundra to breed. You can listen to their yodels, hoots, and wails on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website. 


Fun fact: Pacific loons fish together in groups, herding small fish inside a circle by swimming under and around them. Japanese fishermen take advantage of this by catching the larger fish that swim in to prey on the smaller ones.


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We thank you for your continued support.


Conservation through research, education,

and stewardship 



Western Hudson Bay Wildfires, Pacific Loon, 

Maddi Stevens, Churchill Trip,

by Daniel J. Cox NaturalExposures.com;

Kt Miller, courtesy of Kt Miller;

Flickr Photo by Chris Hawkes


2012 Polar Bears International. All Rights Reserved.


Marks and text appearing in this newsletter including, but not limited to,  

Polar Bears International name, logo, and programs are trademarks,

registered trademarks, or service marks of Polar Bears International.

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