Lords of the Arctic – Day 3

The third day of our Lords of the Arctic program, we went back on wheels.

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In merely two days, more bears had arrived in the area.

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And they were popping up all over the place!

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Some had fun rubbing on snow

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Others took charge by growling at…a tire

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A young female awoke from her slumber

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She rose up

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And shook the snow off her coat.

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Several yards away, a tagged mama-bear was nursing her two cubs

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She later took off

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Leaving her cubs wondering…

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Another mother and her cub dug frantically underneath a blanket of snow

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They discovered kelps. Hungry she munched on.

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She and her two cubs looked lean and malnutritioned.

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There were also a close encounter with an arctic fox

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And another sighting of ptarmigan in camouflage

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This concludes my 2007 Lords of the Arctic write-up.

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All the polar bear posts can be found here.

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While doing research, I caught up on the latest polar bear situations in the Hudson Bay. They were far from optimistic.

In this December 20th 2016, New York Times article: “This year was particularly bad. The freeze came late; the extent of Arctic sea ice was less this November than in any previous November. Some parts of Hudson Bay, whose western stretches were once home to 1,200 polar bears, were still ice-free at the end of November.”

Another article from the WWF dated December 7th 2016, also recounts an unusual warmer weather in the Arctic: “The temperature was 35 degrees warmer than any of the times before. A friend asked if it was just ‘weather,’ but it was that much warmer for over four weeks and not just a couple days. I got by the whole week without an Arctic coat, most of the time in just a long-sleeved t-shirt and a vest. There was no ice to be seen on the bay, and the ice charts showed no ice anywhere in the whole of Hudson Bay.

Polar bears are marine mammals. Excellent swimmer they may be, they rely on sea ice as a platform to hunt for food, rest, and breed. The rapid decline in sea ice is putting a strain on their ability to survive.

Good news is that these bears are starting to adapt, by moving further north, and/or changing their diet. But whether this is enough to keep the species alive, only time can tell.

Note: There are more than a dozen polar bear tour packages for Churchill, Canada. I chose the learning vacation offered by CNSC (Churchill Northern Studies Center), because it is a non-profit research and education facility with a vision to understand and sustain the North. And as a participant we have the opportunity to assist the researchers in observing the behaviors of this magnificent animal.

Thank you everyone for following me through this journey. I enjoyed reading your comments and interacting with all of you. Together let’s make our planet a sustainable place for all of its living inhabitants!

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43 thoughts on “Lords of the Arctic – Day 3

  1. I hate seeing animals which are not thriving; so sad. The weather in South Africa is crazy too, and the effects of the lack of rain are shocking. I can’t decide whether these changes are cyclical, or the result of our actions, or perhaps even a combination of both.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Candy, I felt the same way and I think it is a combination of both. But whatever that is, it might be too late when we finally figure that out. So I guess that for now the best thing we could do is to live consciously, then if/when it happens, we will have no regret.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is killing me! Such an awesome adventure you went on! I know it’s expensive. Are there any recommendations you have to cut down on costs? My fear is that when we can afford this kind of trip the polar bears may not be around or extremely rare to sight. What future travel plans do you have? We have ideas but we are in some weird “we gotta save” mode which is making us not travel at the moment and my wanderlust is killing me. Have some off the beaten path NYC tours to go on Feb. which are cool but not as satisfying.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jebusandandrea, I think with the US dollar strong at the moment, it is not as expensive as it seems. $3,385 CAD is only about $2585 USD and since the airfares are in Canadian dollar as well, i am pretty sure you will be able to get a good deal. I highly recommend the learning vacation at the CNSC, it is the cheapest of nearly all the packages and you get to learn about the bears via lecture by a bear expert and did I mention that it can also be tax deductible depending on which country you reside. I think/hope that the bears will be there when you are ready to see them. The environments may be changed for ever but they are trying very hard to survive. I don’t have anything coming up for another month, so I will probably take the time finishing the Japan series that I started last year and do a post here and there about Seattle 😉 Off the beaten path NYC tours sound fun! Have a blast! I am looking forward to reading all about it off your blog.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Now you are making me seriously consider visiting these fine bears. Since we are on a self imposed traveling break – we should either plan big trip or we’ll go on a few little ones when we’re ready.

        My earliest posts were done very differently. Just a bunch of pics posted w no story. I’ve been wanting to redo those posts. The pics got lost all jumbled together in the early days.

        Look forward to your posts!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Snow Melts. Yes these are powerful animals, I am amazed at looking at those paws. Thank goodness we are not on the high platform of a moving vehicle. As long as nobody stick their hands out of the window, trying to bait them, we are safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! What amazing experience! It’s a shame these beautiful creatures are slowly losing their habitat. I hope to see them in nature one day. Given that their situation isn’t likely going to change, I hope they learn to adapt to their changing surroundings. Thank you for sharing your experience and your incredible shots! Great pictures! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. While experiencing a 40C summer, this is so different to what I am used to seeing. I don’t know what the answer is, maybe, history, the ice age came and went, to be replaced by another era. We are having our hottest summer days since records started in 1850.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautiful impressions, once again. This is seriously sad, we have been watching many films about this habitat lately and it doesn’t lok good at all. We are currently in Norway, my home country. It’s the warmest winter in 65 years, it’s hard to cope with.
    Thank you for a wonderful post. Love your blog and your approach to life! ❤ 🙂
    Best regards,
    Dina

    Like

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