Polar Bears and Tourism
With the effects of climate change the ice in the Hudson Bay is forming later and melting earlier each year. This is making it more difficult for the female bears to find enough food to support their cubs, and so gradually the number of bears is dwindling.
A few years ago the estimate was 1200 bears in the area, now it’s closer to 900.
It’s therefore important that tourism doesn’t negatively impact the bears.
Frontiers North run polar bear watching tours that allow you to stay on the tundra. You’ll be within the Churchill Wildlife Management area – with the bears. Don’t worry, during the day you are safe on tor Tundra Buggy and at night you’ll be tucked up and warm (and safe) in the Tundra Buggy Lodge.
Frontiers North ensures everything they take on to the tundra, leaves the tundra – including all the grey water and even the sewerage. Nothing is left behind.
Although it’s fair to say that the flights in to Churchill and the diesel to power the buggies does produce emissions, it’s also fair to say that by allowing people to get closer to the bears and really experience them first hand, we have a greater chance of inspiring people to make the changes that may save these bears. These facilities also allow teams, like those from Polar Bears International, to study these bears and hopefully find ways to help them.
Every traveller has to make up his/her own mind about the ethics and the environmental impact of their trip. If you do decide to travel then check what the operators green policies are, and choose companies that you believe are really making an effort to protect the environment and put money back into the local economy. Ask questions. Push them on their answers and make it clear that environmental considerations are important to you. You have the money in your pocket – so you have the power. Use it.
For more information about visiting Canada what the country has to offer see: www.keepexploring.ca
Air Canada fly direct from the UK to Winnipeg: www.aircanada.com
Frontiers North: www.frontiersnorth.com
The Frontiers North Specialist tour allows guests to spend time getting to know the wondrous charm of the town of Churchill, while also spending plenty of time on the tundra watching majestic polar bears, and other arctic wildlife, in their natural habitat. The tour is led by a professional photographer and knowledgeable guide, and you will stay on the Tundra.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chantal Cooke is an award winning journalist and broadcaster with a passion for the planet. In 2002 she co-founded the award winning radio station PASSION for the PLANET and in 2009 Chantal was awarded London Leader in Sustainability status. Chantal also runs a successful communications agency – Panpathic Communications.