Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea

  title={Observations of mortality associated with extended open-water swimming by polar bears in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea},
  author={Charles Monnett and Jeffrey S. Gleason},
  journal={Polar Biology},
During aerial surveys in September 1987–2003, a total of 315 live polar bears were observed with 12 (3.8%) animals in open water, defined for purposes of this analysis as marine waters >2 km north of the Alaska Beaufort Sea coastline or associated barrier islands. No polar bear carcasses were observed. During aerial surveys in early September, 2004, 55 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) were seen, 51 were alive and of those 10 (19.9%) were in open water. In addition, four polar bear carcasses were… 
Long-distance swimming by polar bears (Ursus maritimus) of the southern Beaufort Sea during years of extensive open water
It is shown that adult female polar bears and their cubs are capable of swimming long distances during periods when extensive areas of open water are present, however, long-distance swimming appears to have higher energetic demands than moving over sea ice.
Aquatic behaviour of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in an increasingly ice-free Arctic
The considerable swimming and diving capacities of polar bears might provide them with tools to exploit aquatic environments previously not utilized, likely to be increasingly important to the species’ survival in an Arctic with little or no persistent sea ice.
Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice.
The effects of sea ice loss on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea may apply to polar bear populations in other portions of the polar basin that have similar sea ice dynamics and have experienced similar, or more severe, sea ice declines.
Summer refugia of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in the southern Beaufort Sea
Overall, bears made high use of ice over shallow waters, and bears that remained near terrestrial areas used sea ice (presumably to hunt from) when it was available, and Energetic expenditure is anticipated to increase as bears are required to travel further on a seasonal basis.
Unusual predation attempts of polar bears on ringed seals in the southern beaufort sea: Possible significance of changing spring ice conditions
In April and May 2003 through 2006, unusually rough and rafted sea ice extended for several tens of kilometres offshore in the southeastern Beaufort Sea from about Atkinson Point to the Alaska
Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme sea ice retreat
The observation indicates that long distance swimming in Arctic waters, and travel over deep water pack ice, may result in high energetic costs and compromise reproductive fitness.
Traditional Knowledge about Polar Bears ( Ursus maritimus ) in Northwestern Alaska
Polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) are an iconic Arctic species, but residents of Arctic coastal communities are among the few who have opportunities to observe their behavior for extended periods of
Polar bear population dynamics in the southern Beaufort Sea during a period of sea ice decline.
Investigation of the population dynamics of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea from 2001 to 2010 suggests that factors other than sea ice can influence survival, and refined understanding of the ecological mechanisms underlying polar bear population dynamics is necessary.
Effects of sea ice extent and food availability on spatial and temporal distribution of polar bears during the fall open-water period in the Southern Beaufort Sea
The results suggest that long-term reductions in sea-ice could result in an increasing proportion of the Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear population coming on land during the fall open-water period and an increase in the amount of time individual bears spend on land.
Polar Bear Distribution and Habitat Association Reflect Long-term Changes in Fall Sea Ice Conditions in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea
The polar bear ( Ursus maritimus ) is considered an indicator species of ecosystem health because of its longevity, life-history requirements, reliance on sea ice (i.e., sea ice obligate), and


Habitat preferences of polar bears in the western Canadian Arctic in late winter and spring
ABSTRACT Between late March and May, from 1971 through 1979, we surveyed 74,332 km2 of sea-ice habitatin the eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf in the western Canadian Arctic. We defined seven
Terrestrial Foraging by Polar Bears during the Ice-Free Period in Western Hudson Bay
Food habits of polar bears on land during the ice-free period in western Hudson Bay were examined and the energetic importance of terrestrial foraging was not able to be determined, but the intake may reduce the rate of weight loss of bear on land, particularly in years when berries are abundant.
Attraction of polar bears Ursus maritimus to offshore drilling sites in the eastern Beaufort Sea
Abstract Wildlife observations recorded at several offshore hydrocarbon exploration sites in the Beaufort Sea were examined to evaluate the hypothesis that polar bears Ursus maritimus are attracted
Polar Bears in a Warming Climate1
It is unlikely that polar bears will survive as a species if the sea ice disappears completely as has been predicted by some, but the effects of climate change are likely to show large geographic, temporal and even individual differences and be highly variable, making it difficult to develop adequate monitoring and research programs.
Polar Bears and Seals in the Eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf: A Synthesis of Population Trends and Ecological Relationships over Three Decades
In the eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf, research on polar bear populations and their ecological interrelationships with seals and sea ice conditions began in the fall of 1970. Analysis of
Polar bears live in high-latitude environments characterized by cyclic variation in form and extent of sea ice. From 1991 to 1995, we used radio telemetry and monthly satellite images to compare
Variability of Cetacean Distribution and Habitat Selection in the Alaskan Arctic, Autumn 1982-91
Ten years (1982-91) of autumn sighting data from aerial surveys offshore northern Alaska were analyzed to investigate variability in cetacean distribution and habitat selection. Habitat selection
CHAPTER 7 – Polar Bear
Movements and distribution of polar bears in the Beaufort Sea
Net geographic movements from the beginning to the end of each month were smaller for females with cubs of the year than for solitary females, and larger in November than in April, May, or July.
Possible Impacts of Climatic Warming on Polar Bears
If climatic warming occurs, the first impacts on polar bears ( Ursus maritimus ) will be felt at the southern limits of their distribution, such as in James and Hudson bays, where the whole