Foxe Basin polar bear population healthy
Aerial survey results show population size about the same as it was in 1990
A study has found that the polar bear population in the Foxe Basin region of Nunavut is stable and the bears are in good health.
The territorial government did an aerial survey of the bear population in 2009 and 2010. The survey results show the population is about the same size as it was in 1990 – about 2,580 bears.
The government used factors such as the bears’ body condition and litter sizes to determine their health.
The government said the aerial survey results didn’t find evidence to suggest that climate change has had a negative impact on the bears in the region.
This study was done a bit differently than usual because of Inuit concerns around the traditional capture and release method of tracking bears. For this survey, the government used planes to count them from the air. Inuit community members also helped in the survey as observers.
The government said aerial surveys can give reliable population estimates and they can also be useful for tracking population sizes in seasonally ice-free areas, which include Foxe Basin.