In April 2013, our partners at the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) began tracking a number of polar bears on Svalbard using GPS-enabled collars. Here, NPI’s Magnus Andersen updates us on their behaviours. See all bears on the Polar Bear Tracker.
Kara, aka N26135, was tagged in Svalbard in spring. During the summer and autumn months, she performed a record long journey from Svalbard past Franz Josef Land in Russia and all the way to Severnaya Zemlja.
When the sea ice cover was at the minimum in late September she went on shore at Severnaya Zemlja, but as soon as the sea ice again started to form and grow towards the south she started to move across the northern Kara Sea towards the Franz Josef Land Archipelago. In the end of November she reached one of the easternmost islands in the archipelago, Graham Bell Island.
Once on the island it seems like she dug a den, stayed in it for some time and then possibly moved to another den location for some unknown reason. After yet a while we stopped receiving positions, either because the transmissions were blocked by snow and the terrain or simply because the electronics stopped functioning.