Polar bears spend most of their time on sea ice where they hunt for food. Unfortunately, due to melting ice and human development, the polar bear habitat is disappearing at an alarming rate. Without sea ice, polar bears cannot successfully hunt, mate, or raise their cubs.
Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict
The Problem: For decades, Churchill, Manitoba has been known as the “polar bear capital of the world”. However, as the sea ice along the Hudson River has diminished, the polar bear population has diminished with it. Because the time between ice melt and ice formation has lengthened, hungry polar bears are being pushed to the limits of their fat reserves. And, with each passing winter, they wander closer and closer to Churchill to seek out alternative food sources.
Our Solution: Over the past few years, UHZ and partners have worked tirelessly with Churchill’s Polar Bear Task Force to develop an early detection system for approaching wildlife. In October 2019, a Utah-manufactured, military grade radar was installed on the rooftop of the town’s community center. This detection radar, paired with several high-quality cameras, provides residents of Churchill with long-distance warning signals- 24 hours a day. It is hoped that, eventually, this detection system can be used to deter polar bears from approaching human settlements, resulting in less human-wildlife conflict over time.
As an Arctic Ambassador Centre (AAC), UHZ is committed to reducing carbon emissions on both an institutional and communal level. The Zoo, which is home to two young polar bears, strives to educate the public about climate change in an impactful way.
The “Climate Alliance” is a group of like-minded organizations that are leading the effort to reduce CO2 in their communities. These institutions engage in online learning and train with experts, developing action plans to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasesaround them.