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Alaska Science Center

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Tracking Polar Bears by Satellite

The USGS Alaska Science Center uses the latest technology in satellite radio-tracking to fill key information gaps on how polar bears use both the sea ice and land. Adult female polar bears are captured, fitted with satellite telemetry collars, and followed throughout their annual range. In collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service we are also experimenting with glue-on and ear tag satellite transmitters, which can be deployed on adult male bears and younger, still-growing bears.

Check back monthly for up-to-date movements of the satellite-tagged polar bears

Disclaimer:  These data and maps are provided as a public service and educational tool for the general community interested in polar bears.  Any use of this information for scientific analyses, manuscripts, or presentations requires permission from the teams of principal investigators that collected the datasets.

Movements of 13 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of April 2016

Movements of 13 satellite-tagged polar bears for the month of April, 2016. Polar bears were tagged in 2015 and 2016 on the spring-time sea ice of the southern Beaufort Sea. Eight of these bears have satellite collar transmitters and 5 of these bears have glue-on satellite transmitters. Polar bear satellite telemetry data are shown with MODIS imagery from 22 April, 2016.  MODIS images are made available by NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response ( The land cover is made available by Natural Earth ( Click on the above image to enlarge.

View previous dates of movements of satellite-collared polar bears.

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Page Last Modified: May 2, 2016