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Season of Plenty 
 

We have good news! The Hudson Bay began to freeze in mid-November, a couple of weeks earlier than in recent years. This lengthens the seal-hunting season for the Western Hudson Bay polar bears--one of the world's most endangered populations.

 

 

Sea ice stretched out about six miles from shore by the third week of November, and the migration of the bears from land to the ice was well underway by that point. Some fortunate visitors in Tundra Buggies witnessed polar bears feasting on seal kills just offshore.

 

"Sea ice is a notoriously dynamic environment and getting increasingly more so as the climate warms," said Dr. Andrew Derocher. "This was a slightly better year for the Western Hudson Bay population than those of the recent past, with a somewhat later break-up and an earlier freeze-up."

 

One interesting change in the population is an apparent increase in the variation between the health and condition of individual bears and when they return to the ice. More
Polar Bear Range States

 

Our chief scientist, Dr. Steven C. Amstrup, joined delegates from the five polar bear nations--Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the U.S.--in Moscow last week for a meeting focused on polar bear conservation.

 

Range State 2013

 

"We defined priorities, with a key focus on the need to address climate change to save the polar bear's habitat," said Amstrup. "We also focused on the increase in industrial activity in the Arctic and threats from poaching and illegal trade. These are complex and difficult issues, but the consensus was encouraging--especially with regard to implementing a Circumpolar Action Plan."  | More
Guest Blog Post:
Western Hudson Bay
Coastal Survey
By Mike Lockhart

 

Synchronized Twins

During the first week of November, I took part in an annual helicopter survey of the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population conducted by Manitoba Conservation and PBI.

 

Before ice-up, waiting polar bears stack up along the Hudson Bay shore, anxiously awaiting freeze-up and facilitating aerial counts. The relative accessibility of these bears, combined with detailed knowledge resulting from long-term studies by Environment Canada, provide an unparalleled opportunity to test whether a simple survey could provide a valid index of important population trends. More

Arctic Species of the Month: Harp Seal

 

Harp Seal-DJC

While ringed (and sometimes bearded) seals are the mainstays of the polar bear's diet, the harp seal is also on the menu in some parts of the Arctic. These seals follow a migratory pattern, heading north to arctic feeding grounds in summer and south to the subarctic in September.

 

A recent study shows that polar bears in the Eastern Greenland population have shifted their diet to consume more harp seals over the past 30 years--a change that comes with drawbacks as they contain more contaminants than ringed and bearded seals.

 

Fun fact: Harp seal pups are born without a fat layer. Instead they rely on their white fur to absorb sunlight and keep them warm.

In This Issue
 
Season of Plenty
Polar Bear Range States Meeting
Guest Blog
Arctic Species of the Month

PBI has caught the eye of NBC Nightly News, which recently featured polar bears, our chief scientist, and the polar bear migration in a video series.

 
Reaching more than 3.5 million people, NBC amplified our exposure in the U.S. and carried our message North to South, and coast to coast.
 
The coverage made it clear to more people than ever that polar bears need your help more than ever. Please consider donating to our cause--and helping us achieve our mission of conserving polar bears through research, education, and action!
Holiday Adoptions

 Holiday Adoption
Have you seen our special holiday adoption? Leave a lasting impression with a beautiful giclee King of the Arctic print along with a reusable bag and organic cotton polar bear in this symbolic adoption package.

Looking for a paperless option? Check back at the end of the week for our new electronic adoption!

To ensure US delivery by the 25th, please place your order by noon on Friday, December 20, using USPS Priority Mail. No guarantees outside of the US after Friday, December 13th!
Volunteer Spotlight
Field Ambassadors
CA Wreath
This month's tip of the toque goes to the indefatigable Field Ambassadors who help educate visitors to Churchill about polar bears, climate change, and how each of us can help. Joining us this year were:

 

JoAnne Simerson, San Diego Zoo

Sara Halverson, At Large

Kara Delanty, Milwaukee County Zoo

Sarah Oistad, At Large

 

We're also sending a big hurrah to the many PBI Ambassadors engaged in outreach and action in their home communities, from those in our Arctic Ambassador Center network to partners, sponsors, and volunteers. A holiday wreath you all!

Featured Sponsor
Banrock Station

 

This month we'd like to extend a great big welcome to our newest sponsor, Banrock Station! The Australian wine- grower has been a champion of conservation projects worldwide since 1994 and supports several of PBI's population studies.

 

Welcome to the PBI family!

Teaching Tool

TC Logo-Use this one

Our fall Tundra Connections season has ended, but we've archived the webcasts on YouTube. They're great for classroom use, with target audiences that range from 4th grade to university level.
 
 
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:
Bear on Ice, Twin Bears, Harp Seals, Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com;

Range States Meeting, Joel Koczwarski/Joel K Photography;

Polar Bear in Banner, Kt Miller;


2013 Polar Bears International. All Rights Reserved.

 

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