On August 8, Crystal Cruises' ship "Crystal Serenity" will depart Anchorage, Alaska for a month-long cruise through the legendary Northwest Passage. Price per person: $120,095. Understandably, not everyone is thrilled with the idea of a 68,870 gross ton, 820-long, diesel-powered luxury liner cruising the fragile Arctic. [more inside]
Linda Gormezano, a researcher with the American Museum of Natural History, studies polar bear ecology by collecting and analyzing polar bear feces. "One thing I didn’t mention is I don’t find the scat, my dog Quinoa finds it." via.
Boring day job? Watch a grizzly bear hunt for salmon at Brooks Falls or the Lower Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. [more inside]
You don't want to be dressed as something white in the darkness when there's a bunch of guys with guns looking for polar bears. All Things Considered has an interview with Zac Unger about his book, Never Look a Polar Bear in the Eye, and an excerpt from the book.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its 2011 Arctic Report Card. Persistent warming has caused dramatic changes in the Arctic Ocean and the ecosystem it supports. Ocean changes include reduced sea ice and freshening of the upper ocean, and impacts such as increased biological productivity at the base of the food chain and loss of habit for walrus and polar bears. [more inside]
NPR fact-check of environmental protest group Plane Stupid's latest commercial featuring polar bears falling from the sky. [Warning: graphic.] This is not the only commercial that has people upset. Enter PeTA's "Grace" which several NBC affiliates predictably refused to air during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Polar Bear/Grizzly Hybrid: The Ursid Hybrid cross has been attested since a hunter (with a Polar Bear license, and yes, they can be had) shot one in 2006 on Banks Island in Canada's Northwest Territories. Climate change may also play a role, causing an increasing overlap in range and mating season. Polar Bears do show a surprising resilience despite the overwhelming, increasing threats to their survival. Hunting policy itself may play a role, reducing the number of males and driving the females to mate out of season and range. The Native Inuit hunters who are permitted to hunt Polar Bears for subsistence (enabling the sport hunt, which may or may not benefit the Native economy, leading many Natives to support sport hunting) have come into sharp conflict with outside environmentalists. Welcome to the new Far North.
“I can’t express how extremely disappointed I am that the United States Fish and Wildlife Service has chosen to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act," Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski said in a statement issued today. [more inside]
Kennan Ward Nature-Wildlife Photography -- “Being a nature-wildlife photographer is a demanding job … but all the hardship is forgotten when I make eye-to-eye contact with a wild animal, or experience the moment when a window in the clouds opens up, highlighting a landscape … I feel honored to be able to bring the inspiring beauty of nature to others.” [more inside]
A new campaign plans to relocate polar bears to Antarctica to protect them from the effects of climate change. Based on the rates of ice melt in the North, scientists say most polar bears will be gone by 2050. The first bears will be moved on Earth Day, April 22. The relocation will be the initial step in a planned five-year program to migrate 3,000 polar bears from the Northern Arctic to the southern continent of Antarctica. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to rule soon on whether to list polar bears as endangered species; however, it has indicated that relocating polar bears would be much less expensive to taxpayers than listing them under the 1973 act.
The Polar Bears of Spitsbergen is an amazing and gruesome photo gallery posted by a photographer who stumbled across a bear & its cubs at feeding time & spent the next 45 minutes capturing the event. via
Global warming is to blame for the disapearing act of Polar Bears in the arctic. After years of so called "Scientific proof" the Bush administration finally admits they were wrong.
Polar bears of Churchill, Manitoba. Wildlife photographer Ken Bereskin has a nice collection of polar bears frolicking in the snow. This itchy bear is so frustrated, he's using the rippled ice of a frozen lake to scratch himself. If you need a change of temperature, he also has over 500 images of wildlife from Uganda and Kenya, including big cats (a mother cuddling with her cubs, a cheetah chomping down on a gazelle, and a young lioness shredding a skeleton to pieces), great apes, and other wildlife (the lowly hyena eating the cheetah's leftovers, a black-headed heron eating a venomous boomslang snake, and a scary-looking vulture taking it all in from above). He also has a smaller collection of desert wildlife from the dunes of Etoshia National Park in Namibia. (His real job is working for Apple, and he has a Panther blog that hasn't been updated in eons, but evidently that's not as much fun as chasing after hungry carnivorous animals in the sweltering heat, or risking frostbite in the snow).
Svalbard, the Arctic pearl. It appears Svalbard has a tourism industry, a pretty good FAQ, some cold weather, but not that cold, since the Gulf Stream terminates there(scroll down to map). The Polar bears are being studied for PCB accumulation, which strikes me as interesting, considering the location of Svalbard. Granted, it's not out of the way, like Franz Josef Land, but then they don't have Restaurant Nansen, do they?