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Bear Necessities - Last year, tribal fisheries staff from the Namgis First Nation hand delivered pink salmon to starving brown bears in Knight's Inlet BC. With few salmon in the rivers, the bears were skinny and increasingly aggressive and desperate. Pictures of emaciated bears made national news in both Canada and the U.S. This year the story is repeating, and not just in BC. Reports of bear encounters are up in Juneau, and Haines has set up a task force to deal with their unusual bear problem. Last week, the remains of an emaciated brown bear was photographed in Smith Inlet BC, proof that some bears are not making it through the summer, let alone the winter. We recognize the efforts of BC First Nation's for giving the bears a helping hand, and the City of Haines recognizing that the problems will likely get worse before they get better. Mike Brubaker, Editor

Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Rafferty Baker / CBC / August 11, 2020

This year is shaping up to be the worst for sockeye salmon in the Fraser River since tracking began in 1893, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission.

Read article on CBC



Haines, Alaska, United States
Chilkat Valley News / Chilkat Valley News / September 17, 2020

So far, the department has counted just under 37,000 fish at the Chilkat weir, well below the 10-year average of 80,000 fish. Zeiser said at this point in the season, it’s doubtful the run will hit the escapement range of 70,000 to 150,000 fish.

Read article on Chilkat Valley News



Nekite River Estuary, Central Coast, British Columbia
Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter / Vancouver Island Free Daily / September 18, 2020

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy. The low number of salmon is not helping the bears, and a low count of berries.

Read article on Vancouver Island Free Daily



Juneau, Alaska, United States
Matt Miller / Alaska Public Media / September 18, 2020

Alaska Department of Fish and Game officials say a bunch of young bears and a dwindling natural food supply are forcing the bruins to search human garbage for food before they hibernate for the winter.

Read article on Alaska Public Media



Haines, Alaska, United States
Chilkat Valley News / Chilkat Valley News / September 17, 2020

This year has seen a dramatic increase in bear activity with bear-related calls up by 600%, according to police chief Heath Scott. As many as 22 bears have been shot in defense of property this year.

Read article on Chilkat Valley News



Old Crow, Yukon, Canada
Philippe Morin / CBC / September 18, 2020

A lack of chum salmon is causing pain in riverside communities of Yukon and Alaska, as mushers are left without a traditional source of food.

Read article on CBC



Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta, Canada
Julia Lipscombe / CBC / September 15, 2020

Parks Canada's website says that early park management practices resulted in too many wolves, while trails used for skiing and snowshoeing also made easy access for wolves to prey on the caribou herds. Habitat loss as a result of increased wildfires, insect outbreaks and human activity have also contributed to the population decline.

Read article on CBC



Alaska, United States
University of California, Santa Cruz / Phys.Org / August 19, 2020

The size of salmon returning to rivers in Alaska has declined dramatically over the past 60 years because they are spending fewer years at sea, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Read article on Phys.Org



The Northern Climate Observer is published weekly by the Center for Climate and Health. We track news coverage from across the circumpolar north and provide readers with a curated roundup of climate change related events. Thank you for reading our newsletter and for paying attention to our changing world.

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