Few bears on the ice off Western Hudson Bay at 14 August but will be onshore soon

Reposted from Dr. Crockford’s Polar Bear Science

Posted on August 15, 2020 |

Polar bear biologist Andrew Derocher published a tracking map of his collared polar bear females that shows one bear (out of 11) still on the rapidly diminishing ice north of Churchill in Western Hudson Bay – and where there is a collared female, there is almost certainly other bears doing the exact same thing:

Derocher 2020 WHB tracking map 14 Aug_1 bear still on the ice

Without evidence to support such a claim, Derocher (below) assumes this collared female is probably hunting seals. In fact, last year he admitted that most bears on Hudson Bay from at least July onward are unlikely to be successfully hunting seals:

Derocher 2020 Aug 14_1 bear still on the ice at 14 Aug odd behaviour

The ice is almost invisible on the chart above and it’s still pretty hard to see on the CIS map below for the following day (15 August):

Sea ice Canada 2020 August 15

After more than a week (from 3 August) without any bear activity, over the last few days the wildlife cameras scanning the shoreline of Wakusp National Park east of Churchill operated by Explore.org spotted a mother with two cubs (on Wednesday 12 August) and a single bear (Friday 14 August) apparently just off the ice:

Polar bear Cape West Wakusp NP 1_12 Aug 2020
Polar bear Cape East Wakusp NP 3_14 Aug 2020

Below is the Arctic-wide view of sea ice at the same date (14 August 2020):

masie_all_zoom_4km 2020 August 14

See my discussion last week on what it means that these polar bears are not onshore already (with references), even with so little ice left on the bay; also, to follow-up on my last post, there is still no sign of a report from the Polar Bear Alert Program regarding problem bears in Churchill.

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August 16, 2020 10:21 am

Freezing season will start the next days.

August 16, 2020 10:43 am

Let the polar bears die so the seals can live.
Nature is worse than a horror movie.
I do not like any animal that would eat me for dinner.
What is this fascination with polar bears?
Leave them alone and do something productive.

Gregory Woods
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 16, 2020 11:44 am

What do seals live on?

Roger Knights
Reply to  Gregory Woods
August 16, 2020 1:18 pm

Cod is one notable item in their diet.

Steve Case
Reply to  Richard Greene
August 16, 2020 12:00 pm

Richard Greene August 16, 2020 at 10:43 am
Leave them alone and do something productive.

Exactly! How much more do we NEED to know about polar bears? Especially when much of what we are told they know turns out to be bullshit.

Reply to  Richard Greene
August 17, 2020 9:04 am

What is this fascination with polar bears?

They’re an easy target-image for exploitation by the scaremongers.

Ron Long
August 16, 2020 11:04 am

I think the 2G’s should go up to Hudsons Bay and count the bears. I’m thinking it would be easy if you cover yourself with the contents of a can of sardines, they will come to you and you don’t have to search for them. Win/Win.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 16, 2020 11:40 am

And as a prank, tranquilize and capture the biggest meanest male and sneak it into Al’s Montecito mansion while Al is slumbering. Boy will be be surprised when he’s awakened.

Reply to  Scissor
August 16, 2020 12:53 pm

Once upon a time, I and a friend caught a massive snapping turtle, bringing it back to my house.

After my Father and the neighborhood kids had seen the beast, I took it up to my Brother’s room and let it go.
Only, my Father had noticed the turtle was missing and queried me. Well, interrogated might be a better description. He then sent me back to fetch the turtle out of my Brother’s room.

My Brother was soundly asleep when I closed the door on him and the turtle. Before I returned, the turtle had discovered the dark under his bed. Yes, you find missing large turtles by sticking your face under the bed.
The turtle’s hissing coupled with my trying to catch and drag the behemoth back out from under the bed, without losing fingers, woke my Brother. He was impressed by the turtle and unphased that I was trying to extricate said monster. He even helped me by lifting the bed so I could drag the turtle out by it’s rear legs.

I wouldn’t expect Al to be even fractionally unphased by a live polar bear in his demesne or helpful in the least.
More like Al would be downright rude instead.

So, leave a few large snapping turtles to keep Al entertained as well.

My turtle’s fate? Well, we released that one in a canal near Washington’s crossing. It might still be there…

Steve Case
Reply to  ATheoK
August 16, 2020 5:49 pm

ATheoK August 16, 2020 at 12:53 pm

Good story.

There’s a book – “Help! Mom! there are liberals under my bed”

Bruce Cobb
August 16, 2020 11:11 am

Poly bear caption:
“Hey, you, get off of my ice!

Carl Friis-Hansen
August 16, 2020 11:15 am

Polar bears have collectively decided to invade Churchill, where they prefer the food from Northern Store and thereafter going to Tundra Inn for bear-beer, with whale oil roasted penguin for snacks. /Slight sarcasm

Windy Wilson
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
August 16, 2020 12:34 pm

I see your sarcasm and raise you a PBS special on the bears of Churchill. They seem to pass through the region at least every year since people decided Churchill was a good place to live. There are laws in that town that prohibit locking a parked car in case someone needs to duck into it to avoid a bear. For some reason I’ve forgotten, that is like a major interchange on the polar bear migration, and they arrive there interested in a fresh meal, some polar bear nookie and a nap.

Bruce Cobb
August 16, 2020 11:36 am

Q: What do you get if you put collars on a bunch of Greenies?
A: Collared Greens.

Pat from kerbob
August 16, 2020 3:54 pm

Off topic
But can anyone suggest a good book not written by an alarmist whackadoodle that juxtaposes climate changes with events through human history.

So many history book cover significant event while briefly mentioning famines or other upheavals as though it’s all completely unrelated while in reality so much of history occurred because of changes in climate

Reply to  Pat from kerbob
August 16, 2020 4:17 pm

A Cultural History of Climate by Wolfgang Behringer

He believes in climate change but not the apocalyptic part. Humans have done far better during the warm periods.

August 16, 2020 9:52 pm
Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  stewartpid
August 17, 2020 1:59 am

So, from this beautiful self punishment fable, we learn that polar bears ought to dye their fur brown, like their relatives further south.

Reply to  griff
August 17, 2020 3:02 am

That isn’t what you own link shows 🙂

Patrick MJD
Reply to  griff
August 17, 2020 5:12 am

Griff, can you remind us all what are your scientific skills regarding the Arctic and polar bears?

Stewart Pid
Reply to  griff
August 17, 2020 5:53 am

Hudson Bay melts out every summer Griff and so being ice free is not a sign of your beloved GLO-BULL warming.

There is still a tiny patch of ~5/10s ice to the northeast of Churchill on the Canadian Ice Services map but it will be gone soon.

Eric H
Reply to  griff
August 17, 2020 8:41 am

Ahh Griff….you show your lack of data awareness every post. Did you post the first image you could find or did you actually manipulate the LAYERS shown? I actually clicked on that tab and read what layers were available…

Amazingly you can add in satellite sea ice measurements…

Here is the map with those added:


August 17, 2020 6:27 pm

I am sure it’s just me, and I am missing something major. I read the linked article from last week about the satellites not being able to detect ice cover less than 50% for whatever reason. And I read about how the polar bear experts say the bears have to head for land when the ice cover is less than 50%. What I thought of was the drunk looking for his car keys under the street lamp: where did you lose your keys? Over there. Why are you looking here? It’s where the light is.

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