Management and conservation of polar bears in Davis Strait: An integrated population modeling approach to estimating population size, growth rate and Total Allowable Harvest of a priority species in Nunavut, Canada - Year two

Estimates of population size and structure of the Davis Strait polar bear population are uncertain due, in large part, to the prohibitive costs of conducting regular aerial surveys. In recent years, Inuit have indicated that increased bear abundance has resulted in public safety concerns. In addition, Inuit believe that polar bears have negatively impacted other wildlife through increased consumption of seals, and eggs in bird colonies. In an effort to address these concerns, provide better estimates of demographic parameters, and inform sustainable Total Allowable Harvest levels, we propose to use an integrated population model to describe population dynamics of the Davis Strait polar bear population. Using multiple data sets collected from the mid-1970s through 2018, we shall use capture-mark-recapture (CMR) data, capture recovery (CR) data, harvest (HAR) data, age structure (AS) data, habitat data (annual date of ice retreat and advance; ICE), and prey data (annual abundance of harp seal pups; SEAL) to implement a birth-death (BIDE) balance equation that describes the population dynamics. TO BE CONT'D

Kylee Denise Dunham
Faculty Supervisor: 
Andrew Edward Derocher
Partner University: