Gulf of Boothia (GB)

The existing population size estimate is dated, but a new 3-year study began in 2015.

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)
Physical C-R2000Likely stable (2000 to 2017)Likely stable (2000 to 2017)-8.0/6.6-13.672.461.8 (3.9%)
See also the complete table (all subpopulations)

Comments, vulnerabilities and concerns

Ongoing population assessment

Status and delineation

Gulf of Boothia subpopulation mapThe Gulf of Boothia area. See also the complete map (all subpopulations).

The boundaries of the Gulf of Boothia subpopulation are based on genetic studies (Paetkau et al. 1999, Campagna et al. 2013, Peacock et al. 2015, Malenfant et al. 2016), movements of tagged bears (Stirling et al. 1978, Taylor and Lee 1995), radio telemetry in GB and adjacent areas (Taylor et al. 2001), and interpretations by local Inuit hunters of how local conditions influence the movements of polar bears in the area. GB belongs in the Canadian Archipelago global genetic cluster (Peacock et al. 2015). An initial subpopulation estimate of 333 bears was derived from the data collected within the boundaries proposed for GB, as part of a study conducted over a larger area of the central Arctic (Furnell and Schweinsburg 1984). Although population data from this area were limited, local hunters reported that numbers remained constant or increased since the time of the central Arctic polar bear survey. Based on TEK, recognition of sampling deficiencies, and polar bear densities in other areas, an interim subpopulation estimate of 900 was established in the 1990s. Following the completion of a mark-recapture inventory in spring 2000, the subpopulation was estimated to number 1,592 ± 361 bears (Taylor et al. 2009). Natural survival and recruitment rates were estimated at values higher than the previous standardized estimates (Taylor et al. 1987). Taylor et al. (2009) concluded that the subpopulation was increasing in 2000, as a result of high intrinsic rate of growth and low harvest. Harvest rates were increased in 2005 based on the 2000 population estimate and the population was believed to be stable. A three year (genetic mark-recapture) population inventory study began in spring of 2015.


Reference list