Marine Mammals Management
Alaska Region


Polar Bear

What We Do

The primary objective of the polar bear program is to ensure that polar bear populations in Alaska remain a healthy, functioning component of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort seas ecosystems. Management responsibilities are described in the Conservation Plan for Polar Bears in Alaska (pdf - 366kb).

The latest issue of the FWS Polar Bear News (pdf - 835kb) provides a summary of recent polar bear management activities in Alaska.

  • We monitor polar bear population distribution, abundance, status, and trends through use of aerial surveys and activities conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey’s polar bear research program.
  • We monitor harvest of polar bears for subsistence use by Alaska Natives.
  • We study polar bear feeding ecology by observing polar bears concentrated near bowhead whale carcasses along the Beaufort Sea coastline.
  • We monitor the effects of incidental (unintentional) take of polar bears from oil and gas operations in the Beaufort Sea region.

plane. Susanne Miller/USFWS.

hiderack. Susanne Miller/USFWS.

Last updated: January 6, 2010