Demographics and Behavior of Polar Bears Feeding on Bowhead Whale Carcasses at Barter and Cross Islands, Alaska, 2002-2004

Demographics and Behavior of Polar Bears Feeding on Bowhead Whale Carcasses at Barter and Cross Islands, Alaska, 2002-2004

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Description

In the southern Beaufort Sea region, polar bears feed primarily on ringed seals (Phoca hispida) and to a lesser extent on bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) (Stirling and Archibald 1977, Smith 1980, Stirling 2002). Polar bears also feed on whale carcasses stranded along the Alaskan coastline during fall months (Craig George, unpublished data, Kalxdorff 1997). In 1999, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) began flying aerial surveys along the Beaufort Sea coastline between Cape Halkett and Jago Spit near Barter Island (Figure 1) during the fall open water period (September-October) to determine the distribution and abundance of polar bears in the central Beaufort Sea coastal area. Results indicate that the majority (73%) of polar bears observed in 2000-2004 were located within 12 km of Barter Island, where unused portions of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) were deposited by Kaktovik residents during fall whaling (14th Polar Bear Specialist Group [PBSG] proceedings, in prep.).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 36 pages
  • 216 x 279 x 2mm | 109g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1514725193
  • 9781514725191