Nunavut to start counting bears from the air?

aerial survey polar bearsHelicopters of the type Ecureuil (Eurocopter AS350) are used in aerial surveys in the Barents Sea Image: Andrew Derocher
In many areas mark-recapture techniques have traditionally been used to assess the status and size of polar bear populations, a technique that often require physical capture of polar bears. Some Inuit communities in Canada do not support the capture of polar bears, therefore less-invasive techniques for population assessment have been developed. Recently, Norwegian and Russian scientists have used modern distance-sampling techniques to accurately assess the population size of polar bears in the Barents Sea. In the eastern Arctic of Canada, in deference to Inuit Values,  Nunavut scientists are using a similar technique to reassess the population size in Foxe Basin, and potentially, in collaboration with Greenland to study the Baffin Bay population.
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Published Monday September 28 2009 by Dag Vongraven