The Center AT HUDSON BAY, CANADA, November 2011
With global warming heating up the Arctic so sea ice forms later and melts earlier each year, every winter polar bears have less time to hunt for seals and therefore emptier bellies. In 2011 on Canada's Hudson Bay, where Center staff have traveled repeatedly to observe them ready for hunting, their increasing hunger was clear — perhaps even clearer than just the year before. Climate Law Institute Director Kassie Siegel, Wildlands Director Brendan Cummings and Alaska Director Rebecca Noblin watched as polar bears, after spending the summer fasting on land, waited for sea ice to solidify, "many of them thin and lethargic, for a chance to go out on the ice and hunt for seals," as Rebecca said. Twenty years before, Hudson Bay bears had returned to the ice around November 8. The year before, they'd had to wait until the first week of December. The longer the bears must wait to hunt, the more tenuous their continued existence.
In 2011, as in 2010, our polar bear lawyer Kassie — who wrote our petition to protect the bear under the Endangered Species Act — took part in Polar Bears International's Tundra Connections, a series of free webcasts showing the Hudson Bay bears live. If you missed the webcasts, don't worry: Rebecca also shot the below videos to preserve the bears' majesty even in their increasing endangerment.
Videos by Rebecca Noblin, Center for Biological Diversity
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