Recent observations of intraspecific predation and cannibalism among polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea

Intraspecific killing has been reported among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), brown bears (U. arctos), and black bears (U. americanus). Although cannibalism is one motivation for such killings, the ecological factors mediating such events are poorly understood. Between 24 January and 10 April 2004, we confirmed three instances of intraspecific predation and cannibalism in the Beaufort […]

Comparing movement patterns of satellite-tagged male and female polar bears

Satellite radiotelemetry has provided great insights into the movements and behaviors of polar bears (Ursus maritimus). The diameter of the neck of adult male polar bears exceeds that of their head, however, and radio collars slip off. This has limited collection of movement information to that from radio-collared females. To overcome this difficulty and gather […]

Short-term behavioural response of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to snowmobile disturbance

In this study the distance, at which polar bears detected and actively responded to approaching snowmobiles was measured and the behavioural response was recorded. The study was performed on Svalbard, an arctic island where human traffic has increased substantially in recent years. Fieldwork was conduced in April and/or May during the years 2003–2005. Polar bears […]

Polar Bear Maternal Den Habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) give birth during mid-winter in dens of ice and snow. Denning polar bears subjected to human disturbances may abandon dens before their altricial young can survive the rigors of the Arctic winter. Because the Arctic coastal plain of Alaska is an area of high petroleum potential and contains existing and planned […]

Climate change threatens polar bear populations: a stochastic demographic analysis

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) depends on sea ice for feeding, breeding, and movement. Significant reductions in Arctic sea ice are forecast to continue because of climate warming. We evaluated the impacts of climate change on polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea by means of a demographic analysis, combining deterministic, stochastic, environment-dependent matrix population […]

Behavioral Decisions for Managing Social Distance and Aggression in Captive Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in most zoos attracts high levels of public attention and can play an important role in conservation education. Polar bears in the wild are typically solitary; bears in captivity often house socially. This study reported behavioral evidence on how bears manage this situation and whether proximity leads to aggression. The […]

Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Life History and Population Dynamics in a Changing Climate


Age at sexual maturity of males and timing of the mating season of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) in Greenland

Age at sexual maturity among male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and timing of the mating season were studied by microscopic and macroscopic analysis of the reproductive organs from 165 male and 92 female Greenland polar bears. Males became sexually mature in the spring following their fifth birthday. Testes sampled during the spring reached 95% of […]

Spatial and temporal patterns of problem polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba

Human–bear interactions near the town of Churchill, Manitoba occur annually because the Western Hudson Bay polar bear population spends 4–5 months on-land each year when the sea ice melts completely. Significant changes have occurred in the Hudson Bay ecosystem and in the bear population as a result of climate warming; however, how these changes may […]

The mating system of polar bears: a genetic approach

Parentage analysis data for 583 individuals genotyped at 27 microsatellite loci were used to study the mating system of polar bears (Ursus maritimus Phipps, 1774) in the Barents Sea area. We discriminated statistically between full and half-siblings identified through only one common parent. We document for the first time multiple paternity in polar bears. We […]