The initial phase of the WildBear App is under development and will be ready for beta-testing this summer. However, the full whisker pattern, facial recognition component is a bit more complex so we will be launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The Kickstarter campaign will contribute to both the complete app development but also the field research required to gather baseline data on two bear populations: Southern Lakes Grizzlies in the Yukon and Southwestern Hudson Bay's Polar Bears.
Snaggletooth is an older bear, probably fifteen to twenty years old, who returned to Churchill for almost ten years until 2012. Characterized by his one-fanged grin, he was likely one of the top breeding males in the this population. His many scars and even his fractured jaw are indications of many spring battles with other males over the 'rights' to a female in oestrus. Sometimes, these sparring matches can carry on for over an hour in the spring, two males battling beyond the point of … Continue Reading ››
The WildBear Project is a conservation initiative focused on non-invasive bear identification and tracking. It seeks to connect people and bears through technology and social media. The WildBear App will utilize facial recognition software for individual users to identify, 'friend' and then follow bears. After all, who wouldn't want to be friends with a bear... at least, on facebook... WildBear has partnered with the Nanuq Foundation and WIldWise Yukon to gather data and expand our 'bear identification' Cloud. With more sightings and more images, the WildBear database will increase its ability to identify bears in the … Continue Reading ››
Most seal hunting by polar bears occurs in the spring, from April through June. During this time the seal pups are being whelped and polar bears have fairly ready access to them in their snow caves on the ice, called Aglus by the Inuit. Bears seek these dens out by their keen sense of smell, twenty times greater than human's, and then either cave the roof of the dens in by force or try to dig their way in from the side. Seals for their part are less than impressed by all … Continue Reading ››
‘I had just killed a seal and secured it when over my shoulder I saw three bears approaching. It was past the twilight noon, and their yellowish-white outlines against the pure white ice were so indistinct that they could not be seen except when they were moving, or at least their bodies could not, except for the shiny black noses. No stone, no bare spot in the snow, no dark shadow is as black as the polar bear’s nose. It is unmistakable miles away.’ – Vilhjalmur Stefansson