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Citizen Scientists

 

Snow on the nose
How fat is that polar bear? With each click of a camera, visitors who travel to Churchill for the polar bear migration are helping PBI scientists document the size and condition of the bears that gather there. The photos will also help scientists track the number of family groups and the age and sex of the bears seen.

 

It's all part of our Citizen Science Project, an effort to obtain a visual record of a large sampling of bears as they gather near Churchill each fall to wait for the sea ice to return. The photos will provide scientists with a long-term data set on how this threatened population is changing over time.

Counting Polar Bears

 

Multiple Bears DG
Three days, roughly 285 bears. As part of the long-term monitoring of the Western Hudson Bay polar bear migration, we're working with Manitoba Conservation on annual aerial surveys of the bears gathered along the Hudson Bay shore.

 

The Western Hudson Bay Coastal Survey

counts bears and surveys their condition just before freeze-up (and again in summer when the ice melts) to help scientists assess the health and condition of the population. Cub production and survival rates are a key part of the study.

 

"This year's preliminary results showed a total of 24 family groups: 18 females with spring cubs and six females with yearling cubs," says Krista Wright, PBI's executive director. "Comparisons of those numbers over time will help scientists determine long-trends and the population's overall well-being."

 

The method could be used to assess other populations in the future as melting summer sea ice drives the bears ashore. 

Guest Post:
A Polar Bear Thanksgiving
By Cassandra Debets
Canadian Polar Bear
Last week, I gathered around the table with my Churchill family-the crew that is the glue holding Polar Bears International's conservation efforts together up here in Churchill during the annual fall polar bear migration. 
 
It was Canadian Thanksgiving and, being the only Canadian, I made dinner and was given the chance to reflect on what I am thankful for. After thinking about it, the first thing that came to mind was my opportunity to be part of the PBI team this year. | More 
Arctic Species of the Month
 
It's polar bear migration season and November 4-10 was Polar Bear Week--so what better time to feature our favorite arctic animal? Polar bears are what we're all about, after all.
Resting on mother
Our website FAQ is a good place to start for basic facts on these amazing animals, from numbers (20,000 to 25,000) to size (adult males are generally 775 to 1,200 pounds) to the low-down on cubs (just one pound at birth, blind, and lightly furred).

 

Fun fact: The polar bear's fur is not actually white--each shaft is clear and pigment-free. Polar bears appear white because the hollow shafts reflect sunlight.

Video of the Month
Churchill 2013: LIVE Wild Polar Bear Cams
Each season, PBI's polar bear cam transports you to Churchill, Manitoba, for the annual migration back to the sea ice. Presented in partnership with explore.org,
Frontiers North's Tundra Buggy Adventure, and Parks Canada, there's no bad seat in the house when you're taking in the drama of the season through these live feeds!
In This Issue
 
Citizen Scientists
Counting Polar Bears
A Polar Bear Thanksgiving
Arctic Species of the Month
Featured Video
The Giving Season
 
Most nonprofits bring in the bulk of their tax-deductible contributions in the last two months of the year--and PBI is no different. We hope you'll help us finish the
calendar year strong!
eBay Giving Works
Prefer to donate via PayPal? This is now an option for you through
And don't forget to bookmark PBI as one of your favorites!
Holiday Help
 Recycled Aluminum Paw
The PBI elves have assembled an assortment of sustainable gifts to suit just about anyone on your list--from cappuccino mugs to Canadian-crafted jewelry to books and artwork.
Check out our Holiday Corner for everyone on your list. 

Not finding exactly what you're after? Don't stop at the Holiday Corner! Check out our other items that adhere to our sustainability policy.
Featured Sponsor
Natural Exposures
Daniel J. Cox

Can't wait for the next edition

of PBI's electronic newsletter

each month--if only for the

stunning polar bear photos?

 

Thanks to Daniel J. Cox and

Natural Exposures, we're able to share with you the best of the best of polar bear photos. It's hard not

to devote yourself to the

conservation of these curious critters after browsing through Dan's stunning photos.

 

Dan also contributes to the photodocumentation of the changes in stature and numbers polar bears are undergoing as the arctic sea ice melts through PBI's Arctic Documentary Project--the proof isn't in the pudding, it's in the pictures! Check out the outfit here.

Featured Scientist
Cassandra Debets
MES Candidate
York University, Toronto

 Cassandra Debets

A commute on a Tundra Buggy, enlisting the help of tourists with

our Citizen Science Project, and keeping careful records of the condition, age, and sex classes

of all polar bears seen.

Grad student Cassandra Debets handles it all--cheerfully and

skillfully--as part of her fall

research on the tundra.

We love her passion and

commitment and are happy

to have her as part of our team.

Teaching Tool 
HP Academy II
Don't miss out!
We've opened registration for our free online mini-course, Arctic Connections: Exploring Ecosystems
Around the World, on the HP Catalyst Academy website. Through the self-guided course, you can earn 
STEMx badges and bring climate change and the Arctic into your classroom or program.
 
 
Give a Gift
 
Give as a GIFT or in HONOR or MEMORY of someone special. Or, add us to your monthly budget with an
ENDURING PLEDGE. All donations are tax-deductible in the US and Canada and help us attain our goal
of conserving polar bears.
 
 
You can also join us on your favorite community sites
and share PBI with your friends and family.
 
Like us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter  View our profile on LinkedIn  Instagram Icon  View our videos on YouTube  View our photos on flickr  Find us on Google+  Find us on Pinterest  Tumbler Logo  Visit our blog

We thank you for your continued support.

Conservation through research,
education, anaction.

Photo Credits:
Gathering of Polar Bears, Richard P. Beck;
Sleeping Bear, Bear Cub with a Snowy Nose, Daniel Cox,
Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com;
Counting Polar Bears, Dan Guravich;
Canadian Polar Bear, 123RoyalFree.com

2013 Polar Bears International. All Rights Reserved.

 

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