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 […]

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 […]

Estimating the energetic contribution of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) summer diets to the total energy budget

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are faced with potential drastic changes to their ice habitat in the near future. Climate models predict that the ice-covered period during which bears use the sea ice to hunt seals is getting shorter, and that the ice-free season will become extended. Bears will not have enough ice time to accumulate […]

Determinants of Home Range Size for Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

The mean home range size of female polar bears (Ursus maritimus; 125 100 km2 ± 11 800; n = 93) is substantially larger than the predicted value (514 km2) for a terrestrial carnivore of similar weight. To understand this difference, we correlated home range size and sea ice characteristics. Home range size was related to […]

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 […]