Identifying the drivers of polar bear-human interactions

Polar bears are curious, and that curiosity often leads them into conflict with people. Park and wildlife managers across the Arctic need to understand why polar bears approach people and whether they do so because of human activities, a lack of sea ice, or a combination of both of these factors. Currently, this is not known, which makes it hard to plan how to prevent conflicts between polar bears and people; especially with sea ice conditions changing rapidly as a result of a warming Arctic climate. Since 2011 we have been using remote cameras to describe when polar bears visit a number of research camps in northern Manitoba. This project will analyze all the data collected to date. By knowing why polar bears approach people and infrastructure, we can develop better ways of keeping both people and bears safe.

Faculty Supervisor:

Douglas Clark


Kiva Olson


Churchill Northern Studies Centre


Environmental sciences


Environmental industry


University of Saskatchewan



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