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New tracking approach will help protect polar bears
Date:6/18/2009

ty and accuracy of their diagnoses to be evaluated. The hunters' assessments, complemented by an analysis of digital images of the footprints, will be combined with the results of the genetic data to map the bear population's age and sex distribution, diet, movement and mating patterns.

The Queen's team has received up to $500,000 from the federal Ministry of Indian and Northern Affairs to refurbish and upgrade research cabins in the McClintock Channel, west of Baffin Island. Local labourers will be used to haul building materials hundreds of kilometres by skidoo, and set up the cabins. Coupled with ongoing polar bear surveys in which local residents set up the sampling stations and analyze tracks, this work is expected to provide an economic boost for the communities involved. And when the refurbished huts each equipped with wind turbines, generators, heaters and 15 beds aren't being used for research, Inuit hunters may be able to bring in eco-tourists by skidoo to observe the bears in a natural setting.

The funding is part of the federal government's integrated Northern Strategy that focuses on exercising Canada's Arctic sovereignty, protecting the North's environmental heritage, promoting social and economic development, and improving northern governance.


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Contact: Nancy Dorrance
nancy.dorrance@queensu.ca
613-533-2869
Queen's University
Source:Eurekalert  

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