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19 - Encounter with the White Kings

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19 - Encounter with the White Kings

Episode Summary

Home to Nick Lunn is the vast expanses of ice and snow of the Far North.  He has devoted his life to studying, understanding and protecting polar bears, the undisputed symbols of the Canadian Arctic.

 

Synopsis

Nick LunnThe Far North, a vast land of ice and snow and polar bears that stretches as far as the eye can see, is part of the world of Nick Lunn, a man who has dedicated his life to studying, understanding and protecting these majestic carnivores, undisputed symbols of the Canadian Arctic.  Nick Lunn has been examining polar bears in the Hudson Bay area since 1981.  Twice a year, he braves the bitter weather in the Churchill area of Hudson Bay and heads out onto the ice-floes to meet up with his protégés.  The polar bear population here in the western region of Hudson Bay, lives close to the southern limits of distribution for this species, where it is most vulnerable to the climate changes that affect ice formation.  The ice now melts three weeks earlier than it did 15 years ago, thus shortening the period when the bears have access to their favourite food:  mottled seals.

Nick Lunn must collect yearly samples from bears of all ages, males and females alike.  His findings help provide further data to ensure the long-term preservation and control of polar bears in the western half of Hudson Bay. Eighty percent (80%) of the adult bears in the Hudson Bay area have been examined, weighed and measured, and each one’s history and behaviour patterns meticulously catalogued. Canada now has a considerable bank of information on the bears of Hudson Bay thanks to the efforts of Nick Lunn and his colleagues.

Ourse endormieSharing the day-to-day life of Nick Lunn is like stepping into a world of wonders:  the world of the Far North and its polar bears. His constant contact with these polar bears and his passion for them have made Nick Lunn one of the best-known specialists in the field, and one of the first people to have witnessed the decline in the living conditions of the polar bears of Hudson Bay. This passionate man is well aware of just how urgent it is to ensure the existence of these animals which are now, despite themselves, an international symbol of the pernicious effects of global warming.

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