With the Hudson Bay ice finally locked onto shore, Churchill’s polar bear population will be moving out to hunt seals. Here are some end of the season photo’s to send them off. These images by local photographer Katie de Meulles are tremendous and really capture the essence of this unusually late polar bear season. Enjoy!
With so much happening in Churchill we are posting more amazing photos that Natural Habitat Adventures guides have submitted from some pretty spectacular trips! Aggressive polar bear sparring seems to be the theme thus far as the 2015 polar bear season settles in. Aurora borealis has also been more visible in the northern sky in vivid reds and greens. A recent Tundra Lodge group viewed shimmering ribbons across the ink black sky deep in the CWMA. Last week my son and I experienced the northern lights with a few Natural Habitat groups by the inukshuk behind the town complex. My son’s eyes lit up with wonder as he viewed them over the placid and glimmering Hudson Bay. Priceless memories for sure.
The tundra lodge has enjoyed abundant bear population from the start of the season. Sparring in and out of the willows surrounding the lodge has kept travelers in awe throughout the day. This will be hard to sustain though some new exciting phenomena out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA) will surely arise. Every year a new and interesting behavior emerges from the polar bear population in Churchill. A cycle of other species seems to revolve from year to year as well. This season numerous snowy owls have been sighted all over the area. Last season red foxes were all over the tundra and the previous year the Arctic fox population was prolific.Every year is a new adventure!
April is sea-ice melt month in traditionally ice-covered Arctic waters and regions in the north. Since satellite measurements began in 1979, this past April was recorded as the second-lowest level. Data shows that multi-year thicker ice also is declining. Second and third-year ice declined by 30% and 10% respectively. Data was compiled by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, CO.
Sea-ice coverage has become the harbinger of the global warming issue and often portrayed as evidence that the situation in the Arctic is foreshadowing the coming serious repercussions of carbon emissions and human-caused pollution. The polar bear population in the Hudson Bay region will see direct affects from continued sea-ice melting and earlier thawing. Conservation groups such as World Wildlife Fund and Polar Bears International are working tirelessly to create awareness and action movements to recognize and implement ways to curb carbon emissions and control global warming.