Viscount Melville Sound (VM)

The most recent inventory was completed in 1992; at that time the population was estimated to be 160 polar bears. Current population size and status is unknown.

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-R1992Data deficientData deficient-5.5/7.1- (2.2%)
See also the complete table (all subpopulations)

Comments, vulnerabilities and concerns

Low densities of ringed seals and polar bears were observed during capture-recapture programs (2012-2014). Field program to estimate abundance completed 2014, final report not yet available.

Status and delineation

Viscount Melville Sound subpopulation mapThe Viscount Melville Sound area. See also the complete map (all subpopulations).

A five-year study of movements and subpopulation size, using telemetry and mark-recapture, was completed for polar bears inhabiting Viscount Melville Sound (VM) in 1992 (Messier et al. 1992, 1994, Taylor et al. 2002). Population boundaries were based on observed movements of female polar bears with satellite radio-collars and movements of bears tagged in and out of the study area (Bethke et al. 1996, Taylor et al. 2001). The most recent subpopulation estimate of 161 ± 40 (1992) (Taylor et al. 2002) is 25 years old and the PBSG now regards VM as a data deficient subpopulation. However, in spring 2014, the field component of a mark-recapture study to re-assess abundance and status of the VM subpopulation was completed; the results are not yet available.


Reference list