Good news: Gulf of Boothia and M’Clintock Channel polar bear survey results

Reposted from Polar Bear Science

Posted on November 17, 2020

Final reports for two Canadian subpopulations reveal the number of polar bears in M’Clintock Channel has more than doubled since 2000 while Gulf of Boothia as remained about the same despite moderate declines in summer sea ice cover. All of the survey results were published online yesterday (16 November 2020) and I was alerted to the posting this morning via email by a Nunavut employee.

M’Clintock Channel
2014-2016 via genetic biopsy darting

Dyck, Lukacs, and Ware (2020) summary:

  • Mean abundance estimate 716 (range 545 – 955) for 2014-2016.
    compared to 284 (range 225-343) for 1998-2000 (Taylor et al. 2006), so population size more than doubled between study periods.
  • Numbers of males and females increased between study periods due to reduced hunting and ‘improved habitat quality.’
  • Population has recovered from previous overharvest (1970s-1990s).

M’Clintock Channel ‘Key Points’ summary here and summary pdf is here. Detailed summary here and full report pdf is here.

Sea ice decline: Note that according to the IUCN 2015 polar bear assessment report (Regehr et al. 2016 Figure 2), summer sea ice decline for M’Clintock Channel has been similar to Foxe Basin (below). See a discussion (with references) of sea ice decline vs. documented harm to polar bears here.

Gulf of Boothia

2015-2017 via genetic biopsy darting

Dyck, Regehr, and Ware (2020) summary:

  • Mean abundance estimate 1525 (range 1231-1819) for 2015–2017 compared to 1592 (range 1231-1953) in 1998-2000 (Taylor et al. 2009), so about the same.
  • Mean litter sizes showed no trend between study periods.
  • Mean cub-of-the-year litter sizes were 1.61 (range 1.51 – 1.70), which is about as high as any population reported and similar to Western Hudson Bay in 2016 and Kane Basin in 2014 (Crockford 2020).
  • Mean yearling litter sizes were 1.53 (1.41 – 1.64).
  • Body condition (i.e., fatness) in the spring increased between the study periods.
  • Survival rate for adult females was higher than adult males (0.95 vs. 0.85).
  • Abundance of adult females increased from 0.57 to 0.61 between the study periods.
  • Population survival indicators suggest a ‘good potential for growth’.

Detailed Gulf of Boothi summary here and full report pdf is here.

Sea ice decline: Note that according to the IUCN 2015 polar bear assessment report calculations (Regehr et al. 2016 Figure 2), summer sea ice decline for Gulf of Boothia has been similar to the Southern Beaufort:

References

Crockford, S.J. 2020. State of the Polar Bear Report 2019. Global Warming Policy Foundation Report 39, London. Pdf here.

Dyck, M., Lukacs, P., and Ware, J.V. 2020. Re-estimating the abundance of a recovering polar bear subpopulation by genetic mark-recapture in M’Clintock Channel, Nunavut, Canada. Final Report, Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment, Iglulik. 29 July 2020. Pdf here.

Dyck, M., Regehr, E.V. and Ware, J.V. 2020. Assessment of Abundance for the Gulf of Boothia Polar Bear Subpopulation Using Genetic Mark-Recapture. Final Report, Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment, Iglulik. 12 June 2020. Pdf here.

Regehr, E.V., Laidre, K.L, Akçakaya, H.R., Amstrup, S.C., Atwood, T.C., Lunn, N.J., Obbard, M., Stern, H., Thiemann, G.W., & Wiig, Ø. 2016. Conservation status of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in relation to projected sea-ice declines. Biology Letters 12: 20160556. http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/12/12/20160556 Supplementary data here.

Taylor, M.K., J.L. Laake, P.D. McLoughlin, H.D. Cluff, and F. Messier. 2006a. Demography and population viability of polar bears in the Gulf of Boothia, Nunavut. Government of Nunavut, Department of Environment, Final Wildlife Report #8, Iqaluit. Pdf here.

Taylor, M.K., Laake, J.L., McLoughlin, P.D., Cluff, H.D., Messier, F. 2006b. Demographic parameters and harvest-explicit population viability analysis for polar bears in M’Clintock Channel, Nunavut. Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 1667–1673.

Taylor, M.K., Laake, J.L., McLoughlin, P.D., Cluff, H.D., and Messier, F. 2009. Demography and population viability of polar bears in the Gulf of Boothia, Nunavut. Marine Mammal Science 25:778-796.

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Sunny
November 18, 2020 6:19 am

Wait a damn minute, Does this mean Al Gore and Greta is wrong AGAIN 😐

Have they been right about anything??

Björn Eriksson
Reply to  Sunny
November 18, 2020 9:30 am

In my teens I was a leftist. I also discovered that leftism was almost a mental illness, it meant I had to reject objective reality and lie in hope that my lies would transform reality into my utopia. That made me uncomfortable and I abandoned my leftist stance and now like to think of myself as an independent realist.
Greta lies in the hope her lies will bring us to a better place. I cant really fault her for that, she means well but she is wrong. Only truth can show us the path to a brighter future.

Big Al
Reply to  Björn Eriksson
November 18, 2020 10:42 am

Bjorn, In USA most city’s add vitamin Fluoride to drinking water to avoid transformation you experienced. See Agenda 21 NWO ….Welcome aboard Red Pill Express.

MarkW
Reply to  Big Al
November 18, 2020 1:28 pm

Where do you buy your tin foil hats? Or do you make them yourself?

Reply to  MarkW
November 18, 2020 7:23 pm

ClarkW
BigOleAl does NOT wear a “tin foil hat.”
That is a bicycle helmet he wears at all times.
And it is lined with aluminum foil, not tin foil.
Aluminum foil resists extraterrestrial dust and 5G electromagnetic waves. Only fools and old fogies still use tin foil. I actually use titanium foil inside my bicycle helmet, which reflects probes from hovering UFOs. No space alien is going to probe me.

James Snook
Reply to  Björn Eriksson
November 18, 2020 10:58 am

Winston Churchill:
“Anyone that’s not a Liberal by twenty has no heart. Anyone that is not a Conservative by forty has no brain”

Reply to  James Snook
November 18, 2020 7:25 pm

Winston Churchhill was half drunk all the time.
Said a lot of interesting things.

Phil
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 19, 2020 6:28 am

Not true. There were times when he was completely drunk! having said that, I only wish that the politicians in charge of Britain at the moment would hit the bottle like he did – they might, just possibly, absorb some of his abundant wit and wisdom.

Reply to  Björn Eriksson
November 18, 2020 7:17 pm

Bjorn
Greta Thunberg won my climate science blog’s highest honor last year:
Climate Buffoon of the Year 2019.
I’m sure her parents are making millions off her, unfortunately, more than 15 minutes of “fame”.

PC_Bob
Reply to  Sunny
November 18, 2020 11:43 am

Well, not yet, but they ARE still trying.

griff
November 18, 2020 6:26 am

What about the entire Russian arctic coastline, Beuafort Sea, Barents Sea? where there has been a distinct lack of ice all year and in some cases there still is?

Cherrypicking and misrepresentation again!

Ian Magness
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 6:37 am

Please enlighten us Griff. What are the past and present polar bear population figures for those areas?

Climate believer
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 6:41 am

“Cherrypicking and misrepresentation again!”

My god, you’re incorrigible.

Reply to  Climate believer
November 18, 2020 6:51 am

No it’s the :

Guardian’s
Resident
Ideological
Fact
Falsifier.

MarkW
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 7:32 am

I notice that griff the liar doesn’t offer a shred of evidence that the bear populations in any of those areas has dropped.

commieBob
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 7:32 am

I admire your tenacity.

I’m guessing that Susan’s ability to use the Russian data is much more limited than for the Canadian data. That’s not to say there is no Russian data. I don’t know how it is these days but the Russians have always had a big science presence in the arctic.

Unless you can show that it’s easy and cheap to access the Russian data, you shouldn’t accuse Susan of cherry picking. Those papers don’t translate themselves you know.

Steve Case
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 7:44 am

griff November 18, 2020 at 6:26 am
What about over there? It’s just beneath the surface.
It’s right around the corner, you’ll see. Look A squirrel!

Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 8:07 am

For this time of year, ice is very well, as usual 😀

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 8:10 am

Ay Up Griff
Didn’t you claim that wind power supplied 37% of UK electricity in 2019 in a post I read somewhere? I had a check this morning and in fact the figure was 22%. See here for real numbers not Griff Data

https://windeurope.org/wp-content/uploads/files/about-wind/statistics/WindEurope-Annual-Statistics-2019.pdf

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 9:30 am

Let’s all chip in and buy griff a ticket to go count the poley bears along the Russia northern coastline. It will be a cheap ticket because it only needs to be one-way.

fred250
Reply to  Ron Long
November 18, 2020 1:12 pm

He has to tag each one he sees..

No sedative dart gun allowed.

fred250
Reply to  Ron Long
November 18, 2020 1:12 pm

(SNIPPED) SUNMOD

fred
Reply to  fred250
November 18, 2020 7:57 pm

Well the PBs certainly seem to like rotting garbage ! 😉

Reply to  Ron Long
November 18, 2020 7:30 pm

The only way for an accurate polar bear count is to spray paint a number on both sides of each bear. After all the bears are numbered, you can count them with polar bear satellites. Or just leave them alone. The spray painting job pays $500 an hour, and they are always hiring, Mr. Grifter. heh heh.

Joel Snider
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 11:40 am

What does it say about a guy who presents the same disinformation every single day, no matter how many times he’s corrected, and then tries to turn it around and accuse others of his own methods?

philincalifornia
Reply to  Joel Snider
November 18, 2020 1:30 pm

It says that the person in question has a mental illness. I’ve seen this before, and by people who have had the actual diagnosis and posted it (on other sites, one where I was a moderator). Let me just say that you don’t need to get far at all into the alphabet to find it.

The tragedy is that it never stops.

Joel Snider
Reply to  philincalifornia
November 18, 2020 1:59 pm

It could also mean, they are in their perfectly right mind and are just simply, dishonest, self-serving scumbags.

Reply to  Joel Snider
November 18, 2020 10:43 pm

SPYDER:
PRESIDENT ELECT OF THE UNITED STATES ?

Joel Snider
Reply to  Richard Greene
November 19, 2020 3:55 pm

Not yet, he isn’t.

fred250
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 12:20 pm

“Cherrypicking and misrepresentation again!”

But that’s what YOU always do, griff.

MASIE has Eastern Siberia…FULL, Beaufort Sea…FULL

comment image

There is ONE HECK OF A LOT of sea ice up there griff.

FAR MORE than for most of the last 10,000 years,

and FAR MORE than predictions by many clueless AGW scammers

Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 1:37 pm

griff says: “Cherrypicking and misrepresentation again!”

Well griff, how about your cherrypicking which ignores the failure of predictions about the Arctic being ice free? Climate alarmist scientists said that was to happen by 2013 or 2014 or 2015 or 2016 or 2018.
https://cei.org/blog/wrong-again-50-years-failed-eco-pocalyptic-predictions

Editor
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 1:57 pm

griff asks a legitimate question in this case, since the article in question is about a small polar bear region, while the issue of actual concern is the total polar bear population. But griff goes on to call it a cherry-pick and misinformation. As sceptics, we are used to seeing cherry-picks and misinformation, and one of our strengths is being able to call them out when they occur on either side of an argument.

So, is this article a cherry-pick or misinformation?

I checked in the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s How many Polar Bears are there? and the WWF reports that the area in question does indeed have a rising population. I think that rules out misinformation.

The article is clearly about a specific area and makes no claim that it represents the overall situation. So it isn’t a cherry-pick. But readers must remain aware that the article is about just a particular area.

PS. I came across an interesting pair of paragraphs in the above WWF report. I think it shows just how difficult it is to be sure about anything:

These polar bears are also showing other signs of climate change-related stress. Because the ice is breaking up earlier there are declines in the survival rates of both young and old bears. The bears are also thinner.

However, local communities living among the polar bears note the opposite and report increasing numbers across Hudson Bay. This highlights the need for more monitoring and joint efforts to better understand what’s happening with these bears.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  griff
November 18, 2020 7:10 pm

Griff
You are 0-forever when it comes to positive polar bear numbers

Sorry but I have to say you seem a little retarded?

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Pat from kerbob
November 18, 2020 7:12 pm

Sorry, it’s 2020

I meant to say, neurologically delayed

Javier
November 18, 2020 7:02 am

Why an increase in polar bears is good news? Certainly not for the seals and their babies.

Reply to  Javier
November 18, 2020 8:12 am

Why an increse is good ?
Polar bears didn’t interest me until the green agenda and WWF started the campaign of polar bear extinction, following their baseless ideology, climatechange kiIIs polarbears.

Rocketscientist
Reply to  Javier
November 18, 2020 9:35 am

If polar bear populations are increasing one might also assume that their food sources are increasing or becoming more plentiful as well. Absent some breeding abnormality, prey population increases surely must precede predator population increases.

Peter W
Reply to  Javier
November 18, 2020 9:58 am

The darn things are dangerous to us humans, too. Anyone for a polar bear hunt?

Reply to  Javier
November 18, 2020 7:34 pm

Javelin
Exactly right
Kill the polar bears
Save the seals !

Carl Friis-Hansen
November 18, 2020 7:04 am

“Numbers of males and females increased between study periods due to reduced hunting and ‘improved habitat quality.’”

Doesn’t it all boils down to mainly a hunting issue?

I have eaten elk-burger and speculate where I can buy a polar-bear-burger.
Maybe Mr Gore has tasted bear-burgers, I should ask him.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 18, 2020 10:20 am

Polar bear hunting hasn’t fallen all that much. Over the last 60 years, polar bear hunting averaged 1000 per year. Even today, the average is 800 a year.

https://wildphoto.com/polar-bears/polar-bear-hunting/overall-hunting/

A C Osborn
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 18, 2020 1:02 pm

This is the critical part that is missed by the media and the so called Cliamte Scientists.
The Polar Bear population has grown even though they are still being hunted.

rah
Reply to  Bill Toland
November 18, 2020 9:04 pm

The thing is a polar bear hunt is about a canned as a hunt can be. Think about it. I am not against hunting at all but from what I have been told and seen the standard polar bear hunt is about the least sporting hunt one can do.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
November 18, 2020 1:42 pm

When I was last in Helsinki, there was a very popular restaurant that had bear on the menu. I neither ordered it nor asked if it was “white meat” ha ha. I think I had venison but really remember how great were the cloudberries:

https://www.britannica.com/plant/cloudberry

November 18, 2020 7:19 am

Hmmmmmm, this story bears watching…..barely. Griffter should travel there with his camera and bring back evidence.

Yooper
Reply to  T.C. Clark
November 19, 2020 8:37 am
pochas94
November 18, 2020 7:25 am

What about the seal population? Nature is red of tooth and claw. And rifle, we’re all predators.

Ron Long
Reply to  pochas94
November 18, 2020 9:32 am

Excellent, pochas94, sounds like you’re in favor of the shark and against the tuna. Go for it!

pochas94
Reply to  Ron Long
November 18, 2020 9:50 am

I’m a naturalist. I’m neutral.

Bruce Cobb
November 18, 2020 9:26 am

It’s amazing. Whenever an article mentioning Arctic ice or Polar Bears occurs on WUWT, it’s like an alarm goes off in Griffland alerting him to it, so that he can come here spouting his hand-wavy, fact-free, warmunist propaganda. Like clockwork.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 18, 2020 9:58 am

Not even propaganda, just gossip lacking in content, not more, not less.

M.W.Plia
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 18, 2020 10:14 am

I can only share Griff’s concern.
It’s not just the polar bears…what’s going to happen to Santa?

Redge
Reply to  M.W.Plia
November 18, 2020 11:07 am

Santa has been eaten by the extra polar bears

n.n
Reply to  M.W.Plia
November 18, 2020 12:35 pm

Santa is facing a class-action lawsuit because grandma got run over Christmas Eve. Authorities suspect that Rudolph was smoking cannabis when he failed to guide his sleigh that night.

Fraizer
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 18, 2020 12:41 pm

So how long before the Grifster starts stating that lack of sea ice is making polar bears over-breed and is going to endanger ring seals and humans and it’s just going to be bad and oh my it’s going to get worse and it’s already worse than we thought?

fred250
Reply to  Fraizer
November 18, 2020 1:19 pm

griff doesn’t give a stuff about other sea life that needs Arctic sea ice at a reduced level (even though still far above the Holocene norm.)

He/she/it thinks the 100% sea ice all the time is what is best for sea life.

The drop in sea ice slightly toward the pre-LIA levels has opened up the food supply for the nearly extinct Bowhead Whale, and they are returning to the waters around Svalbard.

https://partner.sciencenorway.no/arctic-ocean-forskningno-fram-centre/the-ice-retreats–whale-food-returns/1401824

The Blue Mussel is also making a return, having been absent for a few thousand years, apart from a brief stint during the MWP.

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0959683617715701?journalCode=hola

but griff wants these iced out….

What an irksome and ignorant little twerp he/she/it is.

Coeur de Lion
November 18, 2020 11:23 am

Is Griff taking my bet – more than four Wadhams in mid September 2021? £100. He’d have won in 2020.

fred250
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
November 18, 2020 1:23 pm

Where did the term “Wadhams” come from?

I assume it means 1 million km².

philincalifornia
Reply to  fred250
November 18, 2020 1:50 pm

Try not to laugh.

If you search a little about the deaths of the other researchers it gets even stranger, and funnier,

https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php?topic=1333.0

fred250
Reply to  philincalifornia
November 18, 2020 2:58 pm

That’s really SAD and PATHETIC , isn’t it.

Anyway, why would realist want to “do away” with someone who provided SO MUCH mirth and ammunition (literal, not physical) to use as MOCKERY of the AGW scam

Seeing Jim Hunt involved.. makes it even more SAD and PATHETIC.

n.n
November 18, 2020 12:32 pm

The polar bears are back. Hide your seals and walruses. Stand up to systemic brutality. Donate to WWF (World Walrus Foundation).

rah
November 18, 2020 5:15 pm

Here we go again! It’s worse than we thought!!!

“Greenland’s Most Threatened Glaciers Are in Even More Danger Than We Thought”
https://www.msn.com/en-us/weather/topstories/greenland-s-most-threatened-glaciers-are-in-even-more-danger-than-we-thought/ar-BB1b63rm?ocid=msedgntp

The pure BS is coming out of the press in staggering proportions. I can’t help but believe that this is all coordinated with current political/social events.

tty
Reply to  rah
November 20, 2020 10:50 am

The most terrifying thing in that link is that one tenth of an inch is now 8.1 mm.

Help! The inch is exploding.

tty
November 20, 2020 10:43 am

As a matter of fact the ice conditions in this area have changed very little since the 19th century.

The Gulf of Boothia becomes ice-free or very nearly so every summer, like it did in the 19th century.

The southern part of the McClintock channel, south of King William Island, also becomes ice-free every summer, now and in the 19th century.

The northern part, north of King William Island, only rarely becomes reasonably ice-free, in exceptional summers, both now and then.

The Franklin expedition learned this the hard way, they sailed down Peel Sound in 1846, an exceptionally good year, and then got stuck for at least two and probably four years off King William Island.

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