Wapusk NP cameras captured the first evidence in the world of polar, black, and grizzly bear species sharing the same habitat. But according to Saskatchewan scientist, the story of these bears is unique in the world of science as nobody has ever documented such a “meeting.”
“Scientifically, it has never been documented anywhere,” said Doug Clark of the University of Saskatchewan, who has been operating scientific trials in Wapusk National Park, in northern Manitoba, along Hudson Bay, since 2011.
For six years, the scientists documented the visits of bear species in northern Manitoba. According to their study, 366 visits were from polar bears, 25 from black bears, while only 10 from grizzly bears.
In the 60s, the scientists were already focusing on the northern Manitoba area, but they’ve never observed that the three bear species were regularly mingling. However, in the 90s Clark spotted grizzly bears in that region for the first time.
Three Bear Species Discovered In Same Northern Manitoba Area
“Back then it was unheard of. But something has definitely changed in that part of the world, and they are regulars now. We have been picking them up every year in our cameras. There are some pretty strong indications that at least one [grizzly] bear is denning not too far away,” said Doug Clark.
“Grizzly bears have undergone a very significant range expansion in the past couple of decades. They have expanded their range out to the Hudson Bay coast and down into Manitoba and possibly even into Ontario,” Clark added.
“Something is changing,” the scientist said, believing that global warming is causing the three bear species to be mingling in northern Manitoba.
“The place is warming like crazy. No question, they knew each other were in the area, and they likely had an idea what each other was. How they interact is a really big question. There are all kinds of things that could go on,” Clark added.
With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.