VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Despite Arctic marine mammals being icons of climate change, little is known about their populations across the Arctic. In a first ever global review of Arctic marine mammals, published last week in Conservation Biology, an international team of scientists provides a circumpolar range assessment. They studied population status and trends for 11 species, including polar bears, ice seals, narwhals,…
By Emily Shenk National Geographic Imagine you’ve drawn a line across a jigsaw puzzle, and you’re following that line from beginning to end. Suddenly the puzzle breaks apart and the pieces move in different directions. How do you follow the line to your destination? In the case of polar bears, the destination is a potential…
Nicknamed “the devil bear” for its fierce disposition, wolverines are tenacious predators. Photographing the animal was a mixture of luck and perseverance for photographer Peter Mather, who spent a month trying to capture an image of one in the Canadian Yukon.
Seals swim in a cold blue abyss. White paws paddle through the icy water, giving chase. Finally, morsels of frozen, skinned seal float into view as the hunter gnaws down on her meal.
It’s the first-ever glimpse of life on Arctic sea ice through the eyes of a polar bear.
In the Arctic Circle, grizzlies roam throughout the Ni’iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) Territorial Park in the Canadian Yukon. This 2,500-square-mile ecological reserve is home to a significant population of grizzly bears, as well as chum salmon, gray wolves, bald eagles, moose, and caribou.
Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo catches twin cubs opening their eyes—the first such video ever recorded.
Paul Nicklen, a wildlife photographer for National Geographic, witnesses a male polar bear attempting to mate with a female in Svalbard, Norway.
By Emily Shenk A recent study found that the condition of polar bears in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea has remained stable despite sea ice loss, while the condition of another population in the Beaufort Sea has declined. The researchers studied the overall health and reproductive rates of polar bears in the Chukchi Sea, located…
Alaskan communities are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build community awareness around sustainable polar bear harvesting practices.
By Emily Shenk National Geographic A skier crosses the Arctic Ocean, where the extent of summer sea ice has declined by about 30 percent during the last three decades. Photo by Dan Westergren A study published in the International Journal of Climatology in May adds to the growing research linking melting sea ice in the Arctic…
Icon of the Arctic, the polar bear thrives in the remote Arctic landscape of ice and snow. World-renowned polar bear scientist Ian Stirling offers his thoughts on the state of polar bears in the wild, the threats they face today, and insights from his recent book, Polar Bears: A Natural History of a Threatened Species.
Delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 16th Conference of Parties held in Bangkok in March rejected a proposal to ban international trade in polar bears and their parts. The decision caused a stir because polar bears face a precarious future. While some non-governmental organizations were deeply disappointed by the failure to uplist polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I, which would have banned all international trade in the species and their parts, Steven Amstrup—a renowned polar bear scientist—believes that limitations on trade don’t address the real challenge facing the iconic animals.