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Martyn E. Obbard

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The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) polar bear subpopulation occurs at the southern extent of the species’ range. Although capture-recapture studies indicate that abundance remained stable between 1986 and 2005, declines in body condition and survival were documented during the period, possibly foreshadowing a future decrease in abundance. To obtain a current estimate of abundance, we conducted a comprehensive line transect aerial survey of SH during 2011–2012. We stratified the study site by anticipated densities and flew coastal contour transects and systematically spaced inland transects in Ontario and on Akimiski Island and large offshore islands in 2011. Data were collected with double observer and distance sampling...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Research Series
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No abstract available.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Conservation plans for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) typically cannot prescribe management actions to address their primary threat: sea ice loss associated with climate warming. However, there may be other stressors that compound the negative effects of sea ice loss which can be mitigated. For example, Arctic tourism has increased concurrent with polar bears increasingly using terrestrial habitats, which creates the potential for increased human-bear interactions. Little is known about the types, frequency, or potential impacts of recreation. We conducted a Delphi survey among experts who live and work in polar bear habitats, followed by an internet-based survey to which 47 managers, tour operators, community members,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biological Conservation
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The meaning of health for wildlife and perspectives on how to assess and measure health, are not well characterized. For wildlife at risk, such as some polar bear (Ursus maritimus) subpopulations, establishing comprehensive monitoring programs that include health status is an emerging need. Environmental changes, especially loss of sea ice habitat, have raised concern about polar bear health. Effective and consistent monitoring of polar bear health requires an unambiguous definition of health. We used the Delphi method of soliciting and interpreting expert knowledge to propose a working definition of polar bear health and to identify current concerns regarding health, challenges in measuring health, and important...
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The Southern Hudson Bay (SH) population of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) resides in a seasonal sea ice environment and is the most southerly population in the species’ range. Therefore, SH polar bears may be among the first to show negative effects associated with climate warming and consequent loss of sea ice. Polar bears in the neighboring Western Hudson Bay (WH) population have declined significantly in body condition since the mid-1980s, and a recent study indicated that the size of the WH population declined by about 22% between 1987 and 2004. Similarly, SH bears have shown a significant decline in body condition since the mid-1980s, and an assessment of the current status of the SH population was therefore...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Administrative Report
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