Polar Bears

CHURCHILL

    a northern experience!

Welcome to this site dealing with the subarctic town of Churchill, Manitoba and Polar Bears!

polar bear

This site allows you to view the famous migration of polar bears.   You will be able to obtain on-line information about the Hudson Bay area.  You will be able to witness the daily photographs that were taken during the expedition; read the daily journal recorded during the peak of polar bear migration; participate in readings that deal with arctic life; send e-mail to ask questions; link to other sites; obtain lesson plans (below) and worksheets; find relationships to educational standards and much, much more.

 

Churchill is located in northern Manitoba, Canada, on the west coast of Hudson Bay.  The population of the town is between 800-1200 people.  The main way visitors arrive in Churchill is to fly 966 kilometers (604 miles) or take the train 1697 kilometers (1060 miles) from Winnipeg at the bottom of the province.  The landscape is considered to be "subarctic" but is surrounded not only by the Hudson Bay on one side and the Churchill River on the other, but tundra and taiga.

This area is simply an "ecotourist's" paradise.  In mid-summer one can witness the white beluga whales accompanied by their calves under the breaking ice in the mouth of the Churchill River.  The spring provides ample opportunities for people to birdwatch.  But, this area is really famous for what takes place in late October through mid-November.  As winter approaches, so do the polar bears!  One of the largest denning areas for these great white bears is found 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast of town.  The dens are not visited by tourists, but the bears come to town!  Made famous by the National Geographic's "Polar Bear Alert" film, this area has become well known.  In actuality, as a group, the bears do not really roam the streets--not to say that there are not rogue bears that do indeed roam the streets, but mostly they are in the surrounding areas waiting for the ice to form on Hudson Bay so they can go out and start harvesting the harbour seals.  Large converted school buses, called "Tundra Buggies", take people out to these areas to view the bears during this time period.  Not always do people see a bear, the bears just may not be wandering about.  After all, this is real nature...not a zoo where animals are on display.
Take a look at the DAILY PHOTOGRAPHS of Churchill area.

A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO:

Manitoba Conservation, Land Information Centre
Canada Map Sales
1007 Century Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada    R3H OW4

1-877-627-7226
for their donation of the book
WAPUSK: White Bear of the North by Dennis Fast, by above and Heartland Associates, Inc., 2003
to continue to bring current information to this website and its author
Canada Map Sales provided a display at the Boat, Sport, and Travel Show in Indianapolis, Feb 20-29, '04

This website is created by Mark Weaver, science chair at Clay Middle (formerly Junior High) School, Carmel, Indiana, USA  and is based upon his experiences, research, and contacts that he has acquired during and since his time in Churchill with the support of the Carmel Clay Schools,
the Milken Family Foundation, the Indiana Department of Education, IPL, and the people of Churchill.    
Scroll down to learn more on how to use this continually updated site.

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