Polar bear population in canada’s western hudson bay has seen a 27% decrease over the past five years, with adult female bears and cubs being particularly affected. this decline has been observed by the canadian government, which recently released a report outlining their findings. the report also cautions against making a direct link between the decline and the loss of sea ice, pointing out that four of the past five years have seen good ice conditions.
Polar bear population began to decrease in 2016, when 842 bears were counted in the area. by 2021, this number had dropped to 618. the decline is taking place in manitoba province, in the town of churchill, which is known as the “polar bear capital of the world”. this town is a popular destination for tourists who come to observe the bears’ migration back to the sea ice each autumn.
Canadian government report suggests that climate change may be a factor in the polar bear population decline, as the arctic is now warming faster than the rest of the world and the sea ice on which bears depend for seal hunting forms later and melts sooner each year. changes in the local seal population could also be a contributing factor, as well as the bears’ migration to neighbouring regions. by 2050, conservation scientists say the length of the season during which there is no ice could push bears to the point of starvation.