Great Bear Foundation
is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Missoula, Montana, dedicated to the conservation of the eight species of bears and their habitat around the world.
November 20th, 2010
While the media focuses on “starving polar bears”, the real threat at the moment is more focused on reproduction—polar bears are “delayed implanters” and pregnancy depends on the female putting on enough body weight before December to sustain pregnancy. If bears do not have enough body weight, they cannot reproduce, and those cubs that are born face lower survival rates. Thanks to the long-term databases built by GBF President, Chuck Jonkel, Dr. Ian Stirling, and other dedicated biologists, we know that in years with a short sea ice season, fewer cubs are born and survive. While we must be careful not to confuse weather and climate, trends over the past decades show a shortening sea ice season in Hudson and James Bays, among other regions, directly impacting polar bear populations. See CBC covers the unseasonably warm temperatures in Hudson Bay this year.