Today is International Polar Bear Day, a good time to think about how climate change affects these magnificent creatures. It’s also an excuse to re-visit my trip to the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”, as Churchill, Canada, calls itself.
Today, put on an extra sweater or fleece, and participate in the Thermostat Challenge, an initiative of Polar Bears International to draw attention to the challenges polar bears face in a warming Arctic. As sea ice, which the polar bears rely upon to hunt seals, continues to diminish, the bears’ hunting season is getting shorter, and their numbers and health are being impacted.
Now you can read about my visit to the Polar Bear Capital of the World.
Churchill is a sleepy town on the edge of Hudson’s Bay just below the Arctic Circle, where the bear population easily outnumbers the town’s 1,000 year-round human residents, although not the thousands of tourists who flock here summer and winter for a bucket list adventure.
Yes, I saw plenty of polar bear on my visit one recent summer, and also beluga whales and caribou on a trip that included hiking, kayaking, and getting around on a giant vehicle called a Tundra Buggy.
Here’s the rest of my story, published earlier on ecoXplorer with the headline Churchill, Canada: More polar bear than people.