Recommended Reading

Annotated reading list from EATEN: A novel

Current and Predicted Polar Bear Conservation Status
IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG). 2015. Population Status Table, for each of the 19 subpopulations and

Crockford, S.J. 2015. “Global polar bear population estimate about 26,000 (20,000-32,000), despite PBSG waffling.” [Critique and deconstruction of the IUCN PBSG population estimates]

Amstrup, S.C., DeWeaver, E.T., Douglas, D.C., Marcot, B.G., Durner, G.M., Bitz, C.M. and Bailey, D.A. 2010. Greenhouse gas mitigation can reduce sea-ice loss and increase polar bear persistence. Nature 468: 955–958.

Amstrup, S.C., Marcot, B.G. and Douglas, D.C. 2007. Forecasting the rangewide status of polar bears at selected times in the 21st century. Administrative Report, US Geological Survey. Reston, Virginia.

Crockford, S. 2015a. Twenty Good Reasons Not to Worry About Polar Bears. GWPF Briefing 14. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. Available online here:

Crockford, S.J. 2015b. The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear. GWPF Briefing 16. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. [This paper discusses a number of issues related to assertions that polar bears are threatened with extinction, quoting original sources. It’s worth a read if you are interested in the science behind the claims.] Available online here:

Davis Strait Polar Bears
Peacock, E., Taylor, M.K., Laake, J. and Stirling, I. 2013. Population ecology of polar bears in Davis Strait, Canada and Greenland. Journal of Wildlife Management 77: 463–476.

Polar Bears in Newfoundland and Gulf of St. Lawrence (Recent and Past)
CBC News 2008. ‘Frank, it’s a polar bear!’ Sightings of animals spike near coastal communities. March 31. [A Fogo Island sighting]

Bailey, S. 2012. Polar bear encounters on the rise in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Star/The Canadian Press, April 6.

Tapper, J. 2012. Polar bear goes on rampage before being killed in Newfoundland. March 29. [A Goose Cove incident]

Weather Network 2015. Shaggy dog spotted in Newfoundland actually a polar bear. April 21. [A Fogo Island sighting]

Town of St. Anthony polar bear photos (2008-2011) [Late March and April polar bear sightings 2008-2011]

Coish, D (Ed.) 1999. The unexpected visitor (Sunday, January 20, 1935), pg. 39 In: Tales of Fogo Island. Fogo Island Literacy Association, Newfoundland.

Honderich, J.E. 1991. Wildlife as a hazardous resource: an analysis of the historical interaction of humans and polar bears in the Canadian arctic. MA thesis, University of Waterloo, Ontario.

Lewis, H.F. and Doutt, J.K. 1942. Records of the Atlantic walrus and the polar bear in or near the northern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Journal of Mammalogy 23(4): 365-375.

Harp Seal Biology and Conservation Status
Sergeant, D.E. 1991. Harp Seals, Man and Ice. Canadian Special Publication of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 114. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) 2012. Current status of northwest Atlantic harp seals (Pagophilus groenlandicus). Science Advisory Report 2011/070.

Johnston, D.W., Friedlaender, A.S., Torres, L.G., Lavigne, D.M. 2005. Variation in sea ice cover on the east coast of Canada from 1969-2002: climate variability and implications for harp and hooded seals. Climate Research 29:209-222.

Ryan, S. 2014. Appendix 3: Chafe’s “Notes of the Voyages” 1924-1941, In The Last of the Ice Hunters: An Oral History of the Newfoundland Seal Hunt, pg. 445-457. Flanker Press, St. John’s. [Contains critical notes about ice conditions between 1924 and 1941 and where harp seals were found in those years]

Polar Bear Diets and Season of Feeding
Hammill, M.O. and Smith T.G. 1991. The role of predation in the ecology of the ringed seal in Barrow Strait, Northwest Territories, Canada. Marine Mammal Science 7:123–135. [Spring as the season of primary feeding]

Stirling, I. 1974. Midsummer observations on the behavior of wild polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 52: 1191-1198. [Spring as the season of primary feeding]

Stirling, I. and Øritsland, N. A. 1995. Relationships between estimates of ringed seal (Phoca hispida ) and polar bear (Ursus maritimus ) populations in the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 52: 2594 – 2612. [Spring as the season of primary feeding]

Thiemann, G.W., Iverson, S.J., and Stirling, I. 2008. Polar bear diets and Arctic marine food webs: insights from fatty acid analysis. Ecological Monographs 78:591-613. [diet composition by region]

Derocher, A.E., Wiig, Ø., and Andersen, M. 2002. Diet composition of polar bears in Svalbard and the western Barents Sea. Polar Biology 25 (6): 448-452. [Diet composition and spring as the season of primary feeding]

Arctic Sea Ice Predictions to 2100
Durner, G.M., Douglas, D.C., Nielson, R.M., Amstrup, S.C., McDonald, T.L. and 12 others. 2009. Predicting 21st-century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models. Ecological Monographs 79: 25–58. [Shows that winter sea ice is not predicted to decline and spring sea ice is predicted to decline only slightly; only summer sea ice is predicted to decline markedly over this century]

Swart, N.C., Fyfe, J.C., Hawkins, E., Kay, J.E. and Jahn, A. 2015. Influence of internal variability on Arctic sea-ice trends. Nature Climate Change 5(2): 86–89. [Discusses the lack of a declining trend in summer sea ice coverage from 2007-2014, which could continue until 2024 or beyond]

Seal Industry and Protests

Guy, R.. 2000. Seal wars. Canadian Geographic. January/February.

Wenzel, G. 1991. Animal Rights, Human Rights: Ecology, Economy, and Ideology in the Canadian Arctic. University of Toronto Press. Toronto.

Wenzel, G. 1978. The harp seal controversy and the Inuit economy. Arctic 31(1):2-6.

Ryan, S. 2014. The Last of the Ice Hunters: An Oral History of the Newfoundland Seal Hunt. Flanker Press, St. John’s

Predicted Cost of Feeding Bears in Summer
Derocher, A.E., Aars, J., Amstrup, S.C., Cutting, A., Lunn, N.J., Molnár, P.K., Obbard, M.E., Stirling, I., Thiemann, G.W., Vongraven, D., Wiig, Ø., and York, G. 2013. Rapid ecosystem change and polar bear conservation. Conservation Letters 6:368-375.

Polar Bears Starved Due to Thick Spring Sea Ice
Burns, J.J. 1975. Quarterly report. In: Environmental Assessment of the Alaskan Continental Shelf, Principal Investigators’ Reports, July-September 1975. Boulder.

Crockford, S.J. 2015b. The Arctic Fallacy: Sea Ice Stability and the Polar Bear. GWPF Briefing Paper 16. The Global Warming Policy Foundation, London. [This paper also discusses why thick spring ice conditions are so much more deadly for polar bears than sparse summer ice, quoting original sources. It’s worth a read if you are interested in the science behind the claims that declining summer ice is a threat to polar bear health and survival] Online here:

Harwood, L.A., Smith, T.G., Melling, H., Alikamik, J. and Kingsley, M.C.S. 2012. Ringed seals and sea ice in Canada’s western Arctic: harvest-based monitoring 1992–2011. Arctic 65: 377–390.

Stirling, I. 2002. Polar bears and seals in the eastern Beaufort Sea and Amundsen Gulf: a synthesis of population trends and ecological relationships over three decades. Arctic 55 (Suppl. 1): 59–76.

Stirling, I. and Lunn, N.J. 1997. Environmental fluctuations in arctic marine ecosystems as reflected by variability in reproduction of polar bears and ringed seals. In: Ecology of Arctic Environments, Woodin, S.J. and Marquiss, M. (eds). Blackwell Science.

Stirling, I, Kingsley, M. and Calvert, W. 1982. The distribution and abundance of seals in the eastern Beaufort Sea, 1974–79. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper 47. Edmonton.

Problems with Polar Bears in Churchill, Manitoba
Stirling, I., Jonkel, C., Smith, P., Robertson, R. and Cross, D. 1977. The ecology of the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) along the western coast of Hudson Bay. Canadian Wildlife Service Occasional Paper Number 33. 62 pgs. [This paper covers research from the fall of 1966 to the spring of 1976, and includes an in-depth discussion of the problems caused by garbage dumps attracting polar bears in the fall as they waited for the ice on Hudson Bay to re-freeze.]

Kearney, S.R. 1989. The Polar Bear Alert Program at Churchill, Manitoba. In: Bromely, M. (Ed.), Bear–People Conflict: Proceedings of a Symposium on Management Strategies, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Department of Renewable Resources, pp. 83–92.

Towns, L., Derocher, A.E., Stirling, I., Lunn, N.J. and Hedman, D. 2009. Spatial and temporal patterns of problem polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba. Polar Biology 32(10):1529-1537.

Polar Bear Attacks in Winter
Edward W. Nelson’s Alaskan Diaries, 1877 – 1881. Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Arctic Studies Center. and

Seattle Times, 12 December. 1990. Alaska polar bear hunted down following deadly attack – animal had dragged away villager.

Newfoundland Sealing Disasters
Brown, C. 1972. Death on the Ice: The Great Newfoundland Sealing Disaster of 1914. Doubleday Canada, Toronto.

Ryan, S. 2014. The Last of the Ice Hunters: An Oral History of the Newfoundland Seal Hunt. Flanker Press, St. John’s.

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