Biologists escalate conflict over Inuit management of polar bear populations

Reposted from Polar Bear Science

Posted on December 20, 2018 | Comments Off on Biologists escalate conflict over Inuit management of polar bear populations

Yesterday, two polar bear specialists and an inept freelance journalist poured gasoline on the already-volatile issue of polar bear management in Nunavut.

Quote of the day: “I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.” [Andrew Derocher, University of Alberta]

You have to read it to believe how bad the Yale Environment 360 article by Gloria Dickie (19 December 2018) really is: “As polar bear attacks increase in the Arctic, a search for solutions.” The title suggests a balanced treatment of the issue but the reality is far from that: gross inaccuracies in the descriptions of the two fatal attacks that took place this summer that can only be explained by sloppy research and what struck me as unbelievably nasty and racist commentary by polar bear specialist Andrew Derocher. But decide for yourself.

Quotes:

In July, a subadult male polar bear attacked and killed a man who was berry picking with his children on Sentry Island, six miles outside the Inuit community of Arviat, Nunavut. Arviat, 150 miles north of Churchill on the edge of Hudson Bay, sits along the same polar bear migration route as Churchill. Then, at the end of August, a mother polar bear in Nunavut’s Foxe Basin attacked and killed an Inuit hunter, and injured two others, after they got between her and her cubs — the first known fatal attack by a mother polar bear.

In response, Inuit communities in Nunavut have called on the government to allow a higher legal polar bear harvest quota, arguing bear populations have increased to dangerous levels and should be reduced through hunting. Scientists counter that polar bear populations are declining, not increasing. The bears are simply spending more time on land in the absence of sea ice. Any increase in hunting, they say, could speed along the bear’s climate-caused demise.

Except, regarding the Arviat attack in July, Aaron Gibbons and his family were collecting bird eggs, not picking berries, and reports from those who saw the dead bear say it was a lean adult male (at least 9 feet long), not a subadult animal.

And the description of the August attack makes it sound like the Inuk hunters brought the attack on themselves by behaving inappropriately (by getting between a mother and cubs). But all  of the accounts given by the two survivors of that attack tell a quite different story, including the fact that only one cub was present. They say they were having early morning tea outside their tents when the mother bear approached the camp and was undeterred by a warning shot. A report published a few days after the rescue suggests there was some confusion in the earlier reports and that in all, 4 bears (not 5) were killed: the female and her one cub plus two others attracted to the carnage over the following few days.

Because the 360 author does not say where she got her version of the attacks, it sounds very much like she did not talk to anyone involved in the incidents but got inaccurate information third hand. In attacks such as these, details matter. Oddly, her details fit the pattern described in a paper by James Wilder and colleagues summarizing polar bear attacks (Wilder et al. 2017): that attacks from polar bears come primarily from subadult males and that females with cubs attack only when their cubs are threatened.

The fact that such generalities do not fit the details of the two attacks that happened this summer should be a matter of grave concern. Instead, the details of what actually happened seem to have been misrepresented to fit the narrative of what usually happens.

As I’ve noted before, both fatal polar bear attacks occurred outside of communities (away from areas where human attractants could have been an issue) and both happened early in the onshore period before the bears had spent much time on land. The bear involved in the July attack on Aaron Gibbons was described as thin (but not skinny) and all of the bears involved in the August attack were described as being in good condition.

Sea ice in Foxe Basin, where the August attack occurred, had been high all summer: in fact, the hunters had been trapped by ice in a location they had not expected to go ashore and their rescue was delayed because an icebreaker had to be brought in to reach the camp. In other words, lack of sea ice was not an issue.

As for Derocher, he is quoted as saying:

“The harvest is not sustainable here [in Western Hudson Bay],” he says. “I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.”

Wow. It’s difficult to imagine a more insensitive, derogatory remark about the native people of Canada’s north.

I do not expect this is going to go over well with the Nunavut community. While the proximity of Christmas may prevent an immediate response, the insult will be noted.

References

Wilder, J.M., Vongraven, D., Atwood, T., Hansen, B., Jessen, A., Kochnev, A., York, G., Vallender, R., Hedman, D. and Gibbons, M. 2017. Polar bear attacks on humans: implications of a changing climate. Wildlife Society Bulletin 41:537-547. DOI: 10.1002/wsb.783 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wsb.783/full

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Kamikazedave
December 22, 2018 2:11 pm

Very interested in hearing Dr. Susan Crockford’s take on this issue.

Reply to  Kamikazedave
December 22, 2018 2:27 pm

I am fairly sure Polar Bear Science is Dr Crockkford’s site.

Hugs
Reply to  Tom Halla
December 23, 2018 10:36 am

So this was her take on the issue.

SMC
December 22, 2018 2:13 pm

Don’t go overboard on the hyperbolic descriptors. There is enough of that from the leftists and MSM.

December 22, 2018 2:13 pm

“I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.”
to the contrary, bear population is increasing, and that might not be the case with the Inuk population.
Perhaps Derocher should have said :
“I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last Inuit in Canada will be killed by a polar bear”

eck
Reply to  vukcevic
December 22, 2018 6:46 pm

+10

Greg
Reply to  vukcevic
December 22, 2018 11:10 pm

thanks vuk’, exactly what I was going post. You beat me to it.

“Scientists counter that polar bear populations are declining, not increasing.”

Which “scientists” based on what DATA ?

Gerry, England
Reply to  Greg
December 23, 2018 2:11 am

I think there is a mistake there. They actually mean ‘alarmists’ not scientists.

paul courtney
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 5:53 am

vuk: Problem is, Derocher must say things (everything) with deep concern and blame the human for the (preferably catastrophic) problem. Were he to speak of the last human being killed by bears, he could still try to blame the human but he couldn’t hide his glee.

Louis Joseph Hooffstetter
Reply to  vukcevic
December 23, 2018 10:25 pm
markl
December 22, 2018 2:16 pm

Another case of ignoring the truth. Since the announcement of their impending demise by Gore the Polar bear population has continued to increase according to physical counts. Five times by memory. If anyone would know the growth it would be the natives. This is nothing more than propaganda designed to mushroom the people. The consequences to humans of allowing the Polar bears to continue reproducing unchecked are obvious. Besides, who are we, or anyone, to dictate how indigenous people live?

MarkW
Reply to  markl
December 22, 2018 3:35 pm

If the models say that polar bear numbers are declining, then they are declining.
Anyone who says otherwise is a science denier.
/sarc

Javert Chip
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 5:40 pm

…or, perhaps a bear (or bare) denier.

Derg
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 5:47 pm

My models say their models are accurate 50% of the time 😉

John Endicott
Reply to  Derg
December 24, 2018 5:20 am

Empirical data suggests your models are way too generous there Derg.

Latitude
December 22, 2018 2:16 pm

“Canada is home to about 16,000 polar bears, which is approximately two-thirds of the world’s total estimated population of 26,000 (95% Cl: 22,000-31,000) individuals. The global population is divided into 19 subpopulations, of which 13 are managed or co-managed by Canada. Over 90% of the polar bears in Canada occur in two of Canada’s northernmost territories: Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. ”

16,000 x 90% = 14,400/2 = 7200 Nunavut

https://www.polarbearscanada.ca/en/polar-bears-canada/canadas-polar-bear-subpopulations

Reply to  Latitude
December 22, 2018 2:33 pm

How many full-time polar bear managers and co-managers does Canada employ?

commieBob
Reply to  Curious George
December 22, 2018 3:32 pm

The joke used to be:

Q – How many people are there in the average Eskimo family?

A – 6.53 comprised of father, mother, 3.53 children, plus one anthropologist.

Based on the above, I estimate about 3000 various wildlife managers, scientists, and technicians. Somehow that doesn’t seem like enough though.

Lee L
Reply to  Curious George
December 22, 2018 3:52 pm

How many bear managrs and co-managers?

Curious George…. some facts you need to know before asking that question.

1. The polar bear habitat is in the north. That means Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut ( and plus some Manitoba).

2. Some shocking numbers”
Area of North America: 25 million km2. Canada, USA, Mexico…
Population of North America: 575 million.

About (Polar bear country ) the NORTH in Canada:
Yukon Territory:
Area : .5 millon km2
Population 36,000 . ( Yes that’s right)

Northwest Territories:
Area : 1.2 million km2.
Population 42,000

Nunavut:
Area- 1.9 million km2.
Population- 36,000

So..
Maybe I am out by 10 percent or so, but
Area where bears wander under Canadian management”
Area of Yukon plus NWT plus Nunavut in millions km2 = .5+1.2+1.9 = 3.7 million km2.
Population living in this area..Yukon pluw NWT plut Nunavut = 36,000 + 42,000 + 36,000

So there are 114,000 people spread over 3.7 million km2. How many of these would be wildlife managers? And .. how do you come up with bear counts?

Texas alone is roughly 20 percent of that 3.7 and has 28 million people.

So.. asking about how many managers in a part of the world where almost NOBODY LIVES is meant to be asked in the context of these kinds of numbers.

Javert Chip
Reply to  Lee L
December 22, 2018 5:52 pm

Lee L

Not sure I’d agree that you’ve clarified “How many bear managrs and co-managers?”.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Lee L
December 22, 2018 9:27 pm

There are a lot of polar bears in Ontario and Quebec. Consider: when they travel south for the winter past Churchill, where do the spend that winter?

HotScot
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 1:54 am

Crispin in Waterloo

Florida?

OK, I give in.

🙂

Reply to  Lee L
December 23, 2018 1:01 pm

The habitat of polar bear managers is Ottawa and Toronto. I don’t believe that managers enter a bear territory (if at all) without bearing much better arms than any Inuit.

Larry in Texas
December 22, 2018 2:58 pm

The hunters in the August incident were forced by Arctic ice to land at a spot they didn’t want to be? And had to wait for an icebreaker to clear the ice out?

So much for the theory of an ice-free Arctic Ocean in the summer.

MarkW
Reply to  Larry in Texas
December 22, 2018 3:37 pm

Summer sea ice has been up substantially in the last 5 or 6 years.

Editor
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 7:48 pm

MarkW (replying to Larry in Texas)

Summer sea ice has been up substantially in the last 5 or 6 years.

Not exactly true. Mid-September Arctic sea ice (lowest sea ice extents/sea ice area) have NOT declined since 2007, (now 11 years of the 38 year sea ice record), and the most recent Oct-Nov-Dec sea ice extents is greater than all but 2 years of the past 13 years. Yes, the 1982-1983 Arctic sea ice maximums 35 years ago were higher.

But sea ice is not declining “recently” – It has been steady recently, as would be expected if we were in the low part of a 65-75 year cycle.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  RACookPE1978
December 22, 2018 9:31 pm

RACook

Agreed. The ten year trend of the sea ice minimum is zero.

tty
Reply to  Larry in Texas
December 22, 2018 4:18 pm

This was an unusually difficult ice season in Nunavut. Only 2 out of about 40 vessels got through the Nortwwest Passage. Every single cruise ship had to turn back.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Larry in Texas
December 22, 2018 8:19 pm

The locations are: 1. Hudson Bay, and 2. Foxe Basin

The Arctic Ocean is not involved in this story.

Mark Luhman
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 22, 2018 8:56 pm

Hudson Bay not part of the Arctic Ocean, Here is what Bing maps says Ocean/sea sources:
Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean”

Editor
Reply to  Mark Luhman
December 22, 2018 11:07 pm

Mark Luhman

Hudson Bay not part of the Arctic Ocean, Here is what Bing maps says Ocean/sea sources:
Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean”

Regardless of how Bing maps defines it, the sea ice floating on top of Hudson Bay IS regardless as a regional sea ice entry, added daily into the Arctic sea ice daily totals.

(Hudson Bay is a rough circle centered on latitude 60 north. I do accept that some people may feel strongly that this places Hudson Bay below the Arctic Circle itself, and so isn’t “the arctic”. And indeed, the sea ice in the Sea of Okhotsk, Bering Sea, and Hudson Bay do melt out at different rates and have peak sea ice extents at different days-of-year than does that sea ice north of Siberia, Greenland, Canada and Alaska.)

tty
Reply to  John F. Hultquist
December 23, 2018 1:54 am

The Foxe Basin is plenty arctic. In some years (like 2018) the sea-ice never melts completely there.

steve case
December 22, 2018 3:10 pm

Derocher famously disinvited Mitchell Taylor, a Canada polar bear specialist to a meeting of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG), because he didn’t kowtow to Durocher’s global warming politics.

Wikipedia – Not the best source in the world says:
According to Taylor, Dr. Andrew Derocher, who was then the chairman of the polarbear specialist group (PBSG), explained that Taylor’s rejection had nothing to do with his polar bear expertise: “it was the position you’ve taken on global warming that brought opposition”. Dr. Taylor was allegedly told that his views running “counter to human-induced climate change are extremely unhelpful”

Censorship is really quite an ugly thing.

MarkW
Reply to  steve case
December 22, 2018 3:39 pm

His opinion on a totally unrelated subject was sufficient to get one of the foremost experts on polar bears disinvited to a conference on polar bears.

This stopped being about science and is now about egos and power.

Ozonebust
Reply to  MarkW
December 22, 2018 5:05 pm

MarkW
It was never about science. Political will disguised as science with intense marketing communications through willing partners globally in blanket form sealed the education. It is still gaining momentum.

It will be a long time before it collapses .
Regards

steve case
Reply to  Ozonebust
December 23, 2018 6:25 am

Ozonebust … at 5:05 pm

It will be a long time before it collapses .
Regards

I used to think the Good Ship “Global Warming” has already sunk and all the noise was just the crew making screaming before they joined the ship in the abyss. Over the years there’s been several enunciations from prominent skeptics that there are cracks forming around the edges. Well maybe, but they’ve sealed up and are forgotten.

The Yellow Jackets are such a “Crack in the armor”. They can’t keep it up. They probably have jobs, family, church and other concerns that they have to tend to. The left on the other hand has mobs of unemployed misfits who don’t care about all that and are willing to hit the bricks whenever George Soros, & Tom Styer throws in some cash and Nancy and the News media beat the drum.

matthew dalby
December 22, 2018 3:21 pm

Any reasonable university would sack Derocher for what amounts to blatant racism. If he had made a similar slur against, for example, African Americans or Hispanic people there would be a massive outcry. My guess is Derocher will keep his job because he is part of the alarmist clique, despite the facts showing he is generally wrong about polar bears and the Inuit are generally right.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  matthew dalby
December 22, 2018 11:12 pm

Derocher is a dangerous man. I would suggest that he stay out of the Arctic and let the Inuit carry on as they have been doing for thousands of years. The Inuit respect polar bears and don’t hunt them to extinction. At this point in time there are actually too many bears. The Inuit have always lived in conjunction with the polar bear. It is part of their heritage. Derocher with his climate nonsense is intefering with a whole culture. The hubris of the man!!!!!!!!!!!!! Al Gore’s Church of climatology wreaks its’ havoc in many ways.

eyesonu
December 22, 2018 3:22 pm

“They say they were having early morning tea outside their tents when the mother bear approached the camp and was undeterred by a warning shot.”

A warning shot was fired. Didn’t work. Just how long does it take a “hunter” to follow up with a kill shot? Even “Barney Fife” keeps a round in his shirt pocket. How distracting can drinking tea be?

Windsong
Reply to  eyesonu
December 22, 2018 6:44 pm

The linked CBC report about the fatal August attack on the hunters states one hunter fired the warning shot. Then when his companion was attacked, he fired a second shot that hit, but did not kill the bear. An attempted third shot was unsuccessful because the rifle jammed. He then retrieved a second rifle and was able to kill the bear, and then the cub.

The hindsight for this incident, like why both rifles weren’t loaded and aimed at the bear from the start, is a long list. Or, what type and caliber of rifles (i.e. dangerous game capable)? It is interesting to see that Denmark’s military on Greenland carry a mix of old (WWI-era bolt action rifles) and new (Glock 10mm pistols) for bear protection.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sirius_Dog_Sled_Patrol

commieBob
December 22, 2018 3:43 pm

… the first known fatal attack by a mother polar bear.

Wikipedia records eleven known fatal attacks by polar bears. link As well, I’ve heard stories of others that don’t seem to appear in the wiki list.

It’s almost certain that mother polar bears have killed other humans more than once.

commieBob
Reply to  commieBob
December 22, 2018 7:04 pm

Notwithstanding the above, Hank Killian, who was working with Ian Stirling at the time, explained to me that most polar bear encounters were with younger animals who had no experience with humans. Bears who had encountered humans were unlikely to want a repeat of the experience.

Female polar bears reach sexual maturity at four to five years. link That, in light of the above, does reduce the probability of them seeking out an encounter with humans.

Accidental encounters are always possible. I met a man who had fallen through the snow into a den and lost a large chunk of his thigh as a result. I was also told about a man who lost his head when he tried to land on an ice floe where there was a polar bear.

Taking all things into consideration, I still think it is still unlikely that there has been only one killing by a mother polar bear. The Wikipedia list doesn’t record any polar bear fatalities before 1968 and it is 100% certain that there were many fatalities before that time.

p.s. It is astounding how many polar bear fatalities happened in zoos when idiots entered their enclosures.

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Einstein

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  commieBob
December 22, 2018 9:38 pm

My sister says she would NEVER go picking berries in the Western Arctic without a large dog to give ample warning.

Her current dog weighs 110 lbs. It can buy some time.

eyesonu
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 5:19 am

Crispin,

A dog is invaluable in almost every scenario for your safety. Pair that with a .44 mag loaded w/ 240-300 grain Hornady XTP and I would not fear anyplace on earth.

By the way, the .44 would be needed primarily to back up and protect the dog. The combo even works well against the worst predator of all, man.

tty
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 6:05 am

On the other hand a dog can be very dangerous in bear country. Nearly all serious (Brown) Bear incidents in Sweden start with a dog/bear confrontation. The dog finds it can’t handle the bear and runs to his master for protection followed by a by this time very angry bear.

There is an old joke in Sweden that bears only ever attack people with rifles. It is actually that they only attack people with hunting dogs.

eyesonu
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 6:32 am

At least you will not be caught asleep or by surprise or with your pants down. Consideration must also be that the Swedes may have enough sense to carry a firearm when in bear country.

I’ll stick with the dog! And much more so with snakes and predatory humans! Surprises are for birthdays, not my life!

tty
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 9:33 am

“Consideration must also be that the Swedes may have enough sense to carry a firearm when in bear country.”

They don’t. Hauling around a gun (if you have a license) is way more dangerous than the bears.

Paul Blase
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 10:01 am

“Hauling around a gun (if you have a license) is way more dangerous than the bears.”

Hardly. Guns are quite safe, unless you disregard basic safety precautions. Of course that generally goes for bears too, but bears actually do have a mind of their own!

eyesonu
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 10:22 am

“Hauling around a gun (if you have a license) is way more dangerous than the bears.”

A gun is a valuable tool.

If you can’t handle a hammer you may smash your finger.
If you can’t handle a knife, don’t touch one
If you can’t handle a chainsaw, don’t touch one.
If you can’t drive, stay away from cars.
If you can’t safely boil water let someone else cook for you.

commieBob
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 12:31 pm

Polar bears are miles different than brown bears. Polar bears will hunt people.

The use of dogs to provide warning is standard operating practice in polar bear country.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 12:51 pm

CommieBob

Spot on. I was going to reply to that. The purpose of the dog is to warn you there is a bear around.

Polar bears hunt people just like anything else that moves. I can well believe that dogs provoke confrontations with bears and run to their masters. However, by the time that happens the master should be well on the way to a vehicle with an ignition key in hand.

Polar bears are extremely dangerous and it is disingenuous for people (anyone) to pretend they are cuddly and in need of protection from anything other than hunters.

Wandering around to pick blueberries is a lovely pastime (if you can stand the mozzies) but it is madness to do so without a stout dog on hand. To a polar bear, a human without a dog is a sitting duck – but tastes better (“Salty, like leopard,” said Idi Amin).

tty
Reply to  commieBob
December 23, 2018 5:58 am

I know of at least three cases in Svalbard not mentioned by Wikipedia.

Peta of Newark
December 22, 2018 4:21 pm

Here is an almost perfect example of Magical thinking..

The fact that such generalities do not fit the details of the two attacks that happened this summer should be a matter of grave concern. Instead, the details of what actually happened seem to have been misrepresented to fit the narrative of what usually happens.

It is NOT a funny or trivial thing
Followed up with this:

think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter

Unsubstantiated wild assertion
Then this:

insensitive, derogatory remark ab…..

All classic hallmarks of magical thinking.
Classic hallmarks of someone who is drunk – yes?
Is that not exactly how drunks think, talk and behave?

And the State of Being Drunk is NOT a state of happiness and merriment – it is a state of deep chemically induced depression.
I am NOT suggesting or saying Derocher was drunk when he came out with this but he’ was behaving mentally like he was.
Why….
Something he ate? Something he didn’t eat and should have done?
Something he would have liked to eat, something he instinctively knows he wants to eat but can’t or couldn’t because it has come into short supply?
hello Mr Ehrlich, anything you’d like to add here.. Nah. thought not.

That thing…….
The Polar Bear.
Hence why has become so deranged.
Deranged people can be dangerous – we all know NOT to get into arguments with drunks don’t we?

Many more out there like him is there…………….

ATheoK
Reply to  Peta of Newark
December 22, 2018 5:16 pm

Excellent summation, Peta of Newark.

tty
December 22, 2018 4:24 pm

Anybody with the slightest experience of the Arctic immediately realizes that the story about berry-picking must be wrong. There aren’t that many berries worth picking up there (mostly cloudberries) and they are definitely not ripe in July.

ATheoK
Reply to  tty
December 22, 2018 5:21 pm

And tty introduces logic and rational thought. Which is plainly absent in Derocher’s rant and Gloria Dickie’s specious article.

Good on you, tty! Great thinking!

Then again, Derocher might think bird eggs are some kind of nasty berry avoided by vegans and other irrationals?
/sarc

tty
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 2:03 am

However there is a distinct risk of running into polar bears when picking cloudberries in the Arctic. Polar bears are apparently quite fond of them. I remember reading a study that claimed that recent high juvenile survival in Polar Bears in Alaska was connected with several good cloudberry seasons there.

ATheoK
Reply to  tty
December 23, 2018 7:44 am

“study that claimed that recent high juvenile survival in Polar Bears in Alaska”

Words that apparently amplify brief observations into a belief system. All those words really indicate is that bears, including polar bears are opportunistic feeders and easily adapt to changes.
It reminds me of researchers who mark off an arbitrary small square, then identify animal and plant life in that square and subsequently claim their small square represent hemispheric conditions. Shades of Camille Parmesan’s Edith’s checkerspot butterfly paper.

Now if they could prove all polar bears that seasonally fed on and benefited from cloudberries more than cloudberry deficient polar bears over millennia…

tty
Reply to  ATheoK
December 23, 2018 9:40 am

“researchers who mark off an arbitrary small square, then identify animal and plant life in that square”

I’ve often done that. It is simply a method to make sampling less arbitrary. If you do a survey just “by eye” it will almost inevitably be biased. And normally you sample a fairly large number of squares to even out random small-scale variation.

john
Reply to  ATheoK
December 23, 2018 1:25 pm

I heard of one genius who tapped a few trees in one location to examine the rings and was able to extrapolate the climatic conditions for the whole globe.
Some people thought he was a liar, though.

ATheoK
December 22, 2018 5:14 pm

“As for Derocher, he is quoted as saying:

“The harvest is not sustainable here [in Western Hudson Bay],” he says. “I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.”

Wow. It’s difficult to imagine a more insensitive, derogatory remark about the native people of Canada’s north.”

A emotional erratic and wildly incorrect rant intended to insult the Inuit and those who support Inuit life.

Another fine example of Derocher off the rails; definitively not science.

So when is this “last polar bear” going to be shot by the Inuit? 5,000 C.E.? Or will that alleged act happen around 10,000 C.E.?
Alarmist delusions overwhelming reality.

Mike Rosati
December 22, 2018 5:27 pm

Pedestrian opinion – Forbid all environmental scientist do-gooder analysists from entering. Let the polar bears and Inyuks work it out by themselves.
The End.

John of Cloverdale, Western Australia
December 22, 2018 5:35 pm

‘Male’ and ‘female’ polar bears. Glad to know gender politics doesn’t apply to those nice cuddly polar bears.
Meanwhile a nice hot Christmas time in Perth, so maybe a few trips to the beach to watch the rising sea levels (sorry tide). Merry Christmas to all.

HotScot
Reply to  John of Cloverdale, Western Australia
December 23, 2018 2:07 am

John of Cloverdale, Western Australia

Just watch out for those male and female sharks. 🙂

Bruce Friesen
December 22, 2018 5:42 pm

I find it instructive that the author could write a lengthy piece replete with quotes from several alarminst scientists, but “(Efforts to contact local government officials and indigenous leaders in Nunavut for comment were unsuccessful.) What? A one sentence brush off for half the conversation? What efforts? Who? Not good enough.

HotScot
Reply to  Bruce Friesen
December 23, 2018 2:09 am

Bruce Friesen

Good point. Local government officials are only too willing to flap their lips for a bit of air time.

Louis Hunt
Reply to  Bruce Friesen
December 24, 2018 11:35 am

Bruce, nothing is stopping you from providing the other “half” of the conversation if you think it is so easy to do…

John Robertson
December 22, 2018 6:02 pm

Derocher has been like this for years,I keep wondering if he is being groomed to be the scapegoat when the voters up here finally lose it on the lying bureaucrats.
A government expert,the fellow is quite amazing.
Sort of like the NorthWest Territories caribou expert who counts them from Vancouver. The North is full of such experts.
They know “everything” about their subject, but they have little or none actual experience.
But they are here to help us.

Richard
December 22, 2018 6:06 pm

It is sad that unbiased, truly curious, investigative journalists may be extinct. When was the last recorded sighting again?

John F. Hultquist
December 22, 2018 8:21 pm

Thanks Susan.
And thanks for getting this on WUWT.

be of good cheer
Merry Christmas

Astrocyte
December 22, 2018 8:27 pm

Bear are nasty beasts… No wonder that in Quebekistan, the land where revolver carry license are pretty impossible to obtain if you’re not a cop, they still allow trappers to carry one. One of my friend came face to face with a bear at the corner of his camp and he had only a .22 on hand, and one thing that make bears goes crazy is being faced by surprise. You need to know where to shoot to kill a bear with a .22 !!!

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Astrocyte
December 22, 2018 9:49 pm

There is a great rogue bear story in the book Ten Lost Years by Pierre Burton. It takes place outside Sioux Lookout and involved a local Cree Hunter with one eye, one arm, three 22 shorts (for birds to eat) and one (1) 22 long rifle cartridge. The 22 rifle had a broken wooden stock held together with wire.

Challenged on the possibility of killing a large bear with one 22 long rifle, he replied that if shot in the base of the neck point blank it worked.

And it did. True story.

Astrocyte
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 2:48 am

My friend told me, while showing me a bear skull, that the trick is to aim about 2 to 3 inch (as I remember) rear of the eyes where the skull is the tinnest. If you shoot at the eye, a .22 will not penetrate but ricochet and the bear will be furious, then game over.

Louis Joseph Hooffstetter
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 10:45 pm

And I’m guessing that’s how the Cree hunter lost an eye and an arm?

Reply to  Astrocyte
December 23, 2018 10:32 am

You would be damn near as well off with a stick. You would probably only make the bear mad.

Robert of Texas
December 22, 2018 8:44 pm

Put the environmentalists in a situation where they can either shoot an attacking bear or die and become bear food and see what they choose…

Personally this is a no-brainer. If I am hiking or camping and a large predator attacks me, I will shoot it. No qualms, no hesitation, no guilt. I won’t try to put myself in harms-way, but if it comes knocking I will fight back. It’s amazing how many people raised in cities have no sense of reality on exactly how red-in-tooth-and-claw mother nature is.

The bear has a right to be there – and so does a man.

MarkW
Reply to  Robert of Texas
December 23, 2018 6:41 am

They’ve raised on Bambi.

December 22, 2018 10:00 pm

Some years ago when I was involved in mining exploration in Northern B.C. and the Yukon I met some geologists.
They could get a permit to carry a hand gun, for protection against bears. Mainly grizzlies.
They preferred a 357 Magnum.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Bob Hoye
December 22, 2018 11:05 pm

Bob H.,
38 Special will work in the 357 so there are some advantages, over the 44 for practice.
Not that I want to visit with a grizzly. I did meet a large cinnamon black bear once. I had a camera.
There are more recent large-bore magnum cartridges.
“Some years ago” may be before the newer offerings.

December 23, 2018 12:10 am

This has nothing to do with polar bear populations. This is an artifact of increased news coverage. The Information Age, nothing more, nothing less. 50 years ago, with far less polar bears, we would have heard nothing.

“Berry picking with his children…” with polar bears around. Problems arose, who knew? Take your kids out to pick some berries, but do not forget about the polar bears.

More of them, less of them, even one, I am not going out there with my kids under any circumstances, much less without a lethal weapon. Darwin Awards…

Coeur de Lion
December 23, 2018 12:25 am

“Their spears are made of the narwhal horn
And they are the last of the men”
Kipling

M Courtney
December 23, 2018 1:04 am

There has long been an attraction to Green ideas for the racist far-right. It’s because of the affinity between the concepts of Malthusianism and Lebensraum.

I just had a debate over at Bishop Hill with a guy called Phil Clarke. He had started a thread criticising WUWT for not fully agreeing with him. By the end it was clear that Stormfront Phil just wanted rich, white folk to have the right to kill blacks.

His arguments were “Green” too.

MarkW
Reply to  M Courtney
December 23, 2018 6:45 am

Despite the fact that every true leftist grows up believing the right is racist, the most racist people I have ever met, have all been leftists.
Fascism is a form of socialism.
Most of those believe in a form of Mathusianism, that I have met, have once again been leftists.

Gamecock
December 23, 2018 5:45 am

“I think there’s a reasonable chance that the last polar bear in Canada will be shot by an Inuk hunter.”

And what if it is? Are the Inuit not sovereign? This article seems to be justification for colonialism.

J.H.
December 23, 2018 6:03 am

I dunno about “the last polar bear being shot by an Inuit”, but I’m fairly certain that the last “Climate pseudoscientist will be shot by angry citizen….

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  J.H.
December 23, 2018 12:55 pm

If it was the last pseudo-scientist, and thereafter they were forever extinct, where’s the loss?

john
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
December 23, 2018 1:34 pm

And ironically, they’re going somewhere very warm 😉

John Endicott
Reply to  john
December 24, 2018 5:25 am

either that or, like Dante’s 9th, its somewhere very cold.

Paul Linsay
December 23, 2018 7:31 am

After reading this, it’s reassuring to know that the bears in Maine are much more civilized than the bears in Nunavat.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blueberries_for_Sal

E.S.
December 23, 2018 2:42 pm

There seems to be some different stories here. Nunatsiaq News reports that both parties were unarmed when attack occurred and says nothing about cubs being involved.
“Relatives say the man put himself between his children and the bear, but was mauled and later died from his injuries. He was unarmed at the time of the attack.
Relatives say the man put himself between his children and the bear, but was mauled and later died from his injuries. He was unarmed at the time of the attack.
Nunavut RCMP responded to the incident, at which point another individual on the island killed the animal, police said in a news release on July 4. There were 380 sightings recorded in Arviat in 2017.”
https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674nunavut_man_dies_in_polar_bear_attack/
“Nunavut has seen its second fatal polar bear attack this year, after a hunter was killed outside Naujaat late last week.
Community members say the man was unarmed and without any communication device when he was attacked south of Naujaat last week. It’s believed the victim survived the initial attack but died of his injuries a day later. 2018 marks the territory’s deadliest year for bear attacks in Nunavut’s history.”
https://nunatsiaq.com/stories/article/65674nunavut_hunter_killed_in_summers_second_fatal_polar_bear_attack/

Dan
December 23, 2018 6:06 pm

If you know anything about sea ice in the arctic, then you know that Hudson Bay is not one of the places that ever suffers from a lack of sea ice. The places where sea ice has been below the 40 year norms is in the Bering Sea and north of Norway, Sweden and Finland. Canada has never had any lack of sea ice. And the polar bear population is doing great there. If anything, polar bears might starve due to overpopulation and competition for food sources. Thinning the population might be a good idea if the population gets too large.

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