Davis Strait Polar Bear Project

This single-year Habitat Stewardship Program project titled “Understanding the movement and behaviours of the sub-population of the Davis Strait Polar Bear” is based on obtaining knowledge from Indigenous groups and adapting it to Polar Bear/human interaction here on the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland, specifically from Deadman’s Bay to Indian Bay, within the Atlantic region. The Project will also study the potential effects of global warming on sea ice, that contributes to the behavioural patterns of Polar Bears, who utilize this sea ice to find food, especially seals. The threats that are addressed in this Project include urban development regarding human interaction with Polar Bears and climate change with a focus on the effects it has on sea ice.

Main activities include:
– Conservation Planning through discussions with Indigenous groups to obtain and use their knowledge regarding human/Polar Bear interaction.
– Outreach and Education through offering courses regarding safety and behaviour of Polar Bears, through first-hand knowledge from Duane Collins, certified Polar Bear guard and former Parks Canada Polar Bear Trainer. School presentations to local youth regarding the importance of Polar Bears. Creation of a Polar Bear brochure.
– Surveys, Inventories, and Monitoring by tracking sea ice conditions to determine if Polar Bear movements and sightings will potentially occur along the northeast coast, while monitoring seal population to determine if increase activity of that population along the northeast coast would encourage Polar Bear movements onshore.
– Species and Habitat Threat Abatement through installing educational signage regarding Polar Bear activities.

Project Term: November 1st, 2021- March 31st, 2022