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November 2012
Polar Bear Season
Fatter is Fitter
Ten Reasons to Love Snowy Owls
Arctic Species of the Month
My Planet, My Part

HOLIDAY ADOPTION

Adoption photo

 

Ring in the holidays with a symbolic polar bear adoption. Each adoption celebrates the beauty of a wintry world and helps support our efforts with wild polar bears. 

GOOD CHEER

Gift Selection

Do your part for polar bears and the planet with our hand-crafted coffee mugs, reusable water bottles, and shopping bags--stylish ways to just say no to plastic and Styrofoam. All are sourced with sustainability in mind. 

ARCTIC ALLIES

Mom and cub on back

From using locally sourced materials to energy-saving techniques, recycled content to local production, the decisions PBI's Arctic Allies make in their daily operations directly reflect their environmental values.

 

Businesses large and small across the planet are committing to reducing their carbon footprints and demonstrating their dedication to a healthier planet. For that, we send them a big paws up!

SCIENTIST PROFILE

DENVER HOLT

 Owl Research Institute

Denver Holt

Questions on snowy owls poured in during our recent Tundra Connections broadcasts with owl specialist

Denver Holt, who wowed viewers with fascinating facts and stories on this charismatic species.

 

Holt travels to the Alaskan tundra each summer to study the great white owls, which are considered a barometer of a healthy tundra eco-system.

 

If you missed the webcasts with him, you can view one here.

VIDEO OF THE MONTH

This month, we're highlighting archived broadcasts from our Tundra Connections series in Churchill, giving you the chance to meet world-renowned scientists and conservationists--along with views of the polar bears and other wildlife on the tundra outside Buggy One. 

PIN OF THE MONTH!
Holiday Pin

We love this graphic from our

Pinterest page--good words to live by

for any season!

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   BBB VerticalBest of america 

Winter's Chill

 

Temperatures have plunged into the neighborhood of

-20 C near Churchill, and freeze-up has come to parts of Hudson Bay, with polar bears beginning to move out across the ice in some areas--a couple of weeks earlier than in recent years. 


We're cautiously optimistic that the newly formed ice will hold for the Western Hudson Bay polar bears, giving them access to seals after months of fasting. This population has been experiencing longer and longer ice-free periods in recent years, shortening their hunting season. 

 

Scientists have long predicted that less time on the sea ice and less time to hunt would affect the survival rates of polar bear cubs. This has apparently started to happen, with almost no yearling cubs spotted from Tundra Buggies this year.

 

To help draw attention to the annual wait for freeze-up along Hudson Bay and the threats polar bears face in one of Earth's most fragile ecosystems, we've launched the first ever Polar Bear Week with our partners explore.org  and Frontiers North Adventures-think Shark Week, but with polar bears! Major media outlets from the Huffington Post to Outside and Mashable are joining us in this effort--and we'd love you to take part too.

Fatter is Fitter 

Churchill Bears

 

Once again, our coverage of the Churchill polar bear migration includes a Polar Bear Cam, blog posts from the field, and social media updates with photos and ice reports.

 

We've also added a new Citizen Science Project to help document the health and condition of the polar bears approaching the Tundra Buggies and to track them over time. Cassandra Debets is helping to set up the pilot phase of this program in cooperation with PBI's chief scientist, Dr. Steven Amstrup, and University of Wyoming researchers through grants from SeaWorld and Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.

 

"So far, we're still testing methods," says Debets, adding that the project has proved engaging to visitors, who are curious to learn about fat index levels in the bears, how to tell male and female bears apart, and how to estimate the age of the bears they see. 

Guest Post: Ten Reasons to
Love Snowy Owls 

By Denver Holt

Snowy Owl

 

I recently traveled from Missoula, Montana, to Churchill, Manitoba, to participate in PBI's Tundra Connections program. It was my first Tundra Buggy tour to see polar bears. I was just as thrilled to see arctic fox, arctic hare, willow ptarmigan, and snow buntings, which are other very cool arctic animals.

 

However, my favorite arctic animal is the snowy owl. It's hard to give one species a higher ranking than another, so I'll just list the ten reasons I think snowy owls are one of the most fascinating.   More 

Arctic Species of the Month:

Arctic Hare

Pure white in winter--with the exception of small black tips on the ends of their ears--arctic hares are so well 

Arctic Hare

camouflaged that they can be hard to see until you're
right on top of them. 

 

These large, well-furred hares browse on tundra flowers and plants, especially arctic willows, using their keen sense of smell to find food under the snow. Their long, sharp claws help them dig through crusted ice to reach the vegetation below. Arctic wolves, gyrfalcons, and peregrine falcons are their main predators, along with snowy owls.

 

Fun fact: The arctic hare's thick black eyelashes protect its eyes from the sun's glare. 

My Planet, My Part

 

Have you added the momentum of your actions and ideas to our new online community gathering place, My Planet, My Part?

 

The page is emerging as a strong hub for making connections with like-minded people around the world. And if you've always wanted to see Churchill's polar bears, the launch includes a contest, with the grand prize a trip to Churchill during next year's polar bear migration, sponsored by our partner, explore.org.

Word Collage  

Here's a sample entry from the contest that sums it all up, a word collage created by one of our Leadership Camp graduates, Karen Meeker Biddinger-Ogden.  

 

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We thank you for your continued support.

 

Conservation through research,

educationand action

 

PHOTO CREDITS

Churchill Bears, Chin on Paw, Snowy Owl, Arctic Hare, 

Mom & Cub Paws Up Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com;

Denver Holt, Brenda K. Rone

 

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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