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Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conduct polar bear research. They have a long term mark-recapture study in the Southern Beaufort Sea to determine population size and productivity. In 2008, they began a study on the effect of climate change on Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears to compare the condition and activity of polar bears on land versus on the ice. USFWS conducts yearly aerial surveys of Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears to study their fall distribution. USFWS and USGS also study polar bears in the Chukchi Sea. Through a capture project, the scientists collected biological and demographic information.

ADF&G and the USFWS-Marine Mammals Management are collaborating on a project to evaluate the feasibility of 3 methods to detect polar bear dens on barrier islands in the Beaufort Sea. For more information see Cooperative Maternal Polar Bear Den Detection Project.

For more information on USFWS polar bear research, see the USFWS Polar Bear Research in Alaska (PDF file).