Blog: Polar Bear Survey 2015
The aim of this cruise is to assess the number of polar bears in the Svalbard and the Norwegian parts of Barents Sea area. The blog will be updated twice each week during the four week cruise in August.
The Research vessel Lance RV Lance is base for the cruise. KV Svalbard and helicopter will also be used.
Aboard the KV Svalbard
The KV Svalbard – an ice class vessel operated by the Norwegian Coastguard is our new home base.
We have had some busy days up here in the north, including lots of helicopter flying, many polar bear observations, long stretches of sailing, and we have moved to another ship.
Another side of the expedition
I selected these pictures to show another side of this expedition, aside from the polar bears, whales and birdlife, what does the ship, its crew and passengers look like through my lens?
Life in the drifting ice
At first glance the sea ice might seem like a cold and dead place, but in reality it is life everywhere. Even if we are a group of biologists onboard with many years of experience from the Arctic, we still are fascinated by the very high biological activity and diversity in the sea ice surrounding us.
How we estimate bear density
The observations of polar bears will be used to calculate densities of animals within a defined area. We use helicopter to cover the land areas in Svalbard with transect lines and in some areas do total counts.
The islands farthest north
After a couple of days in thick fog along the ice edge, and with no apparent changes in weather condition to be expected for the next days we decided to move south to the northern parts of Nordaustlandet and the northernmost islands of Svalbard.
Transects in the ice
For a few days now, RV Lance has been sailing along the ice edge north east of Svalbard and we have met some of the challenges we expected to meet, when planning the cruise.