Foxe Basin (FB)

Recent abundance estimate of 2585 (95% CI: 2096-3189) from 2010 based on aerial survey.

Status table outtake

Subpopulation size Subpopulation trend Sea ice metrics 1979-2018 Human-caused removals 2013/2014–2017/2018
Estimate and uncertainity Method and type of evidence Year and citation Long term (approx 3 generations) Short term (approx 1 generation) Change in date of spring ice retreat / fall ice advance (days per decade) Change in summer sea ice area (percent change per decade) 5-year mean
Quota (bears per year) Actual (% of total population)
Mark-recapture distance sampling2009-10Stable (1994 to 2010)Stable (1994 to 2010)-4.5/4.6-14.1QC + 117.2 (NU)103.8 (4.0%)
See also the complete table (all subpopulations)

Comments, vulnerabilities and concerns

There are no estimates of vital rates. Harvest  appears to be sustainable.

Status and delineation

Foxe Basin subpopulation mapThe Foxe Basin area. See also the complete map (all subpopulations).

Based on decades of mark-recapture studies and satellite tracking of female bears in Western Hudson Bay (WH) and Southern Hudson Bay (SH), the Foxe Basin subpopulation appears to occur in Foxe Basin, northern Hudson Bay, and the western end of Hudson Strait (Taylor and Lee 1995; Sahanatien et al. 2015). The most recent mapping of satellite telemetry data indicates substantial overlap with the WH and SH subpopulations and, to a lesser extent, with DS (Peacock et al. 2010; Sahanatien et al. 2015). During the ice-free season, polar bears are concentrated on Southampton Island and along the Wager Bay coast; however, significant numbers of bears are also encountered on the islands and coastal regions throughout the Foxe Basin area (Stapleton et al. 2016). A total subpopulation estimate of 2,197 ± 260 for 1994 was developed (Taylor et al. 2006a) from a mark-recapture analysis based on tetracycline biomarkers where the marking effort was conducted during the ice-free season, and distributed throughout the entire area. TEK suggested the subpopulation of polar bears had increased (GN consultations in villages in Foxe Basin 2004 – 2012). During a comprehensive summertime aerial survey in 2009 and 2010 (based on distance sampling and double-observer estimation) covering about 40,000 km each year, 816 and 1003 bears were observed, respectively (Stapleton et al. 2016). This most recent study yielded an abundance estimate of 2,585 (95% CI: 2,096 – 3,189) polar bears (Stapleton et al. 2016), which is not statistically different from the 1994 estimate indicating a stable population. Sea ice habitat for polar bears has decreased substantially for polar bears over the last several decades in FB (Sahanatien and Derocher 2012).


Reference list