Polar Bears in Different Parts of the Arctic

Video Shot in: 2009

Dr. Lily Peacock provides insights into the population dynamics and behavior of polar bears across the Arctic. Based on professional knowledge and scientific data, she estimates that there are between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears divided into 19 subpopulations. These subpopulations exhibit varying levels of interconnectivity and are managed and researched accordingly. Alaska is home to two subpopulations, those in the Southern Beaufort Sea and others in the Chukchi Sea, while Canada has 13 subpopulations, including the South Baffin, Kane Basin, and Davis Strait. Dr. Peacock highlights the distinction between seasonal ice populations–some bears spend several months on land during the ice-free period. Other populations have ice cover year-round, such as those in the Canadian archipelago. She mentions ongoing research focusing on understanding the changes occurring in the polar bears’ behavior, specifically regarding their choice to stay on the ice or come ashore in the fall.