The polar bear migration is in full swing … with hundreds of great white bears gathered on the tundra near Churchill, Canada, on Hudson Bay to wait for the sea ice to form.
Once again, we’re inviting you to view the migration first-hand via a live, streaming Polar Bear Cam—with close-up views of moms snuggling with cubs, large male bears play-wrestling, and young bears testing the ice along the shore. Our partners on the cam include explore.org and Frontiers North Adventures.
The Wild Bear Cam plays live from 10 a.m.-Noon CT daily on the My Planet, My Part page on our website. In addition, we show highlights of the migration at other times of the day, plus live streaming footage of Siku the polar bear cub (7-10 a.m. CT) and twin cubs from the Ouwehand Zoo in the Netherlands (5-7 a.m. CT).
Other Migration Coverage
Check out our:
- Scientists and Explorers Blog Posts from Churchill, with great photos and video clips
- Live Tundra Connections broadcasts from Buggy One, where you can meet scientists and ask questions
Why Do the Bears Gather Near Churchill?
The polar bears we show on the Wild Bear Cam are located at the southern edge of the polar bear’s range. While their cousins in the Far North hunt seals year-round, the Western Hudson Bay bears are forced ashore each summer when the Bay melts. They spend the next few months in a prolonged fast, conserving their energy and living off their fat reserves. When an autumn nip chills the air, they begin migrating north along the Hudson Bay coast to Churchill in anticipation of freeze-up and a return to their seal-hunting grounds.
Although Churchill’s polar bear migration is part of an age-old pattern, global warming has caused Hudson Bay to melt earlier each summer and to freeze later, greatly shortening the hunting season of these polar bears and straining the limit of their fat reserves. As a result, their numbers have dropped by 22% over the past thirty years. The trend is expected to occur in other populations in the foreseeable future unless global warming is stopped or reversed.
The Wild Bear Cam provides a window onto this world, allowing viewers to become inspired by the beauty of these majestic animals, to witness the effects of global warming first-hand—and to become inspired to take action.
My Planet, My Part
In addition to the Polar Bear Cam, we invite you to take part in the new online community gathering place where the cams air, a webpage called My Planet, My Part (MPMP). There, you can share ideas and photos, become inspired, commit to reducing your carbon footprint, and network with like-minded people from around the world.
The launch of MPMP includes The Polar Bear Ambassador Contest, where you can submit stories, photos and video of how you’re cutting carbon emissions in your home, school, and/or community. Grand prize by our sponsor explore.org is a trip to Churchill for two to see the polar bear migration in 2013!