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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R31D4T

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Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) Distribution in the Southern Beaufort Sea Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
distribution
polar bear
Beaufort Sea
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Pongracz, Jodie D
Supervisor and department
Derocher, Andrew (Biological Sciences)
Examining committee member and department
Cassady St. Clair, Colleen (Biological Sciences)
Hik, David (Biological Sciences)
Department
Department of Biological Sciences
Specialization
Ecology
Date accepted
2014-12-04T14:05:51Z
Graduation date
2015-06
Degree
Master of Science
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Polar bears (Ursus maritimus) are an apex predator of the Arctic marine food web and vulnerable to changes in sea ice because various aspects of their existence depend on this dynamic platform. Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have declined, and been particularly low since the first record low in 2007. I examined polar bear distribution using satellite telemetry in 2007-2011 including years of record low sea ice extent using kernel density methods to evaluate how recent changes to sea ice conditions may be affecting their distribution. I examine use of land and relate polar bear distributions to bathymetry. My research suggests that polar bear movement patterns and distribution are changing in response to sea ice conditions. Bears are forced to travel greater distances and remain over deeper waters longer as they maintain a presence at the edge of the pack that varies annually. Bears also used land areas in Alaska greater than previously documented. I explore the consequences of these changes and examine summer refugia.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R31D4T
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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