U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Polar Bear

FWS Role in Polar Bear Management

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 Polar Bear Conservation Management Plan. Our polar bear conservation activities include:

Species Management

  • Working cooperatively with Alaska Native partners and the North Slope Borough for co-management of polar bears in Alaska.
  • Implementing the terms of the U.S.-Russia Bilateral Agreement for the Conservation of Polar Bears.
  • Providing technical assistance to the participants of the Inuvialuit-Inupiat Polar Bear Management Agreement in the Southern Beaufort Sea

Harvest Monitoring

  • Monitoring harvest of polar bears for subsistence use by Alaska Natives.

Research and Monitoring

  • Monitoring polar bear population distribution, abundance, status, and trends in conjunction with the U.S. Geological Survey’s polar bear research program and other partners.
  • Observing feeding ecology of polar bears concentrated near bowhead whale carcasses along the Beaufort Sea coastline.

Reducing Human-Bear Conflicts

  • Monitoring the effects of incidental (unintentional) take of polar bears from oil and gas operations in the Beaufort Sea region.
  • Conducting polar bear deterrence trainings with our partners.
  • Participating in and providing guidance to partners during oil spill and emergency responses.

The most recent Polar Bear Program Annual Report summarizes our polar bear conservation activities during 2016.

 

Marine Mammal Protection Act

The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) of 1972 as amended is the legal foundation for all that we do in the Marine Mammals Management office.

Of particular interest are the following provisions:

Stock Assessment Reports

Section 117 of the MMPA requires the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to report periodically on the status of marine mammal stocks within Alaskan waters. Our Stock Assessment Reports cover northern sea otters, Pacific walrus and polar bears.

See All Reports

Cooperative Agreements

Section 119 of the MMPA authorizes the appropriation of funds to develop cooperative agreements between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Native organizations for co-managing subsistence use of marine mammals.

Read More About Cooperative Agreements

Polar Bear strolling over a snowy landscape. Photo credit: USFWS

About the Species: Polar Bears (Ursus maritimus)

Polar bears evolved from brown bears and are the largest member of the bear family. Male polar bears measure 2.4- 2.6 m (8-9 ft) from nose to tail and generally weigh up to 600 kg (1,320 lbs), but may reach up to 800 kg (1,760 lbs). Females measure around 2 m (6-7 ft) and are typically about half the weight of males.

Adaptations & Diet

Polar bears are specially adapted to the polar marine environment in which they live. Adaptations include: white coloration for camouflage; water repellent guard hairs, dense underfur, and black skin for absorbing warmth; small “suction cups” on the soles of their feet for traction on slippery ice; teeth specialized for a carnivorous rather than omnivorous diet; and the ability to store large amounts of fat when food is available and then use it later when food is unavailable. Polar bears’ primary food source are ringed seals but they also hunt bearded seals, walrus, and beluga whales, and will scavenge on beached carrion such as whale, walrus and seal carcasses found along the coast.

Polar Bear on ice
Polar Bear on ice. Credit: Marie Webber/USFWS.

Populations

Nineteen populations of polar bears are distributed in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. The world wide population is estimated to be 22,000-25,000 bears. Two populations occur in Alaska: the southern Beaufort Sea stock, shared with Canada; and the Bering Chukchi/Seas stock, shared with the Russian Federation.

To the left is a map of the 19 polar bear subpopulations (source: Polar Bear Specialist Group. The subpopulations include: Southern Beaufort Sea (SB), Chukchi Sea, Laptev Sea, Kara Sea, Barents Sea, East Greenland, Northern Beaufort (NB), Kane Basin (KB), Norwegian Bay (NW), Lancaster Sound (LS), Gulf of Boothia (GB), M’Clintock Channel (MC), Viscount Melville Sound (VM), Baffin Bay, Davis Strait, Foxe Basin, Western Hudson Bay (WH), Southern Hudson Bay and the Arctic Basin (AB).

Polar bears generally live alone except when concentrating along the coast during the open water period, or when mating or rearing cubs. Pregnant females will enter maternity dens in October/November; most dens in the circumpolar Arctic are located on land in areas where snow accumulates, such as along coastal bluffs or river banks. In Alaska, dens are excavated on either sea ice or on land. One to three cubs are born in December/January; cubs remain with their mother for about 2 1/4 years.

Worldwide, polar bear populations remain relatively stable; however, climate change, contamination of the Arctic environment, potential over-harvest, and increasing human development in polar bear habitat pose conservation challenges for polar bears.

Additional species information can be found on the IUCN Red List polar bear page

Deterrence Guidelines

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) announced final deterrence guidelines that may be safely used to deter a polar bear without seriously injuring or causing the death of the animal.  The deterrence guidelines, which take effect November 5, 2010, are voluntary and are intended to reduce occurrences of interactions between bears and humans in manners safe for both. They provide clear guidance for minimizing incidental encounters with polar bears, but will not change the legal status quo for any activities in Alaska.

The deterrence guidelines include 2 levels:

(1) Passive deterrence measures – these are measures intended to prevent polar bears from gaining access to property or people.  They include:

  • (i) Rigid fencing and other fixed barriers such as gates and fence skirting.
  • (ii) Bear exclusion cages, which provide a protective shelter for people.  
  • (iii) Bear-proof garbage containers to exclude bears from accessing garbage as a food. 

(2) Preventive deterrence measures – these are measures intended to dissuade a polar bear from initiating an interaction with property or people.  These include:

  • (i) Acoustic devices that create an auditory disturbance.
  • (ii) Vehicle or boat deterrence, e.g. patrolling the periphery of an area.

In finalizing these guidelines the Service is mindful of the inherent risks to humans associated with the act of deterring a large carnivore such as the polar bear, as well the Marine Mammal Protection Act’s (MMPA) intent that acceptable acts of deterrence are those that safely deter but do not result in death or serious injury.  Therefore, these guidelines are benign in nature.  While some parties may believe they do not go far enough, we do not believe more active deterrence measures are appropriate for these guidelines.

Independent of these deterrence guidelines, and under separate provisions of the MMPA, the Service does authorize active hazing measures that may be taken to stop bear activity patterns or to remove an individual animal from areas of human populations or work environs. In addition, the lethal taking of a polar bear in defense of life (but not property) is an exempted action under the MMPA. These deterrence guidelines serve to complement such authorized activities and not supersede them.

Deterrent Training Manual

    The main purpose of this manual is to provide information and training techniques that minimize polar bear-human interactions and maximize the safety of both humans and polar bears, so each can continue to live safely in the Arctic environment.

    Polar Bear General Reports

    To receive a copy of a publication or report listed here, please contact:
    Marine Mammals Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    1011 E. Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99503
    or call 907-786-3800

      Publications

      2011

      Durner, G.M., J.P. Whiteman, H. J. Harlow, S.C. Amstrup, E.V. Regehr, and M. Ben-David.  2011. Consequences of long-distance swimming and travel over deep-water  pack ice for a female polar bear during a year of extreme ice retreat. Polar Biology. 10 pp. (pdf)

      Hunter, C.M., H. Caswell, M.C. Runge, E.V. Regehr, S.C. Amstrup, and I. Stirling. 2011. Climate change threatens polar bear populations: as stochastic demographic analysis. Ecology 91(10:2883-2897. (pdf)

      Letcher, R. J. M.A. McKinney, J. Aars, E.W. Born, M. Branigan, E. Choy, R. Dietz, T.J. Evans, G.W. Gabrielsen, D.C. G. Muir, E. Peacock, and C. Sonne.  2011.  Region-specific influence of diet relative to other factors on the spatial trends of chlorinated, brominated, and fluorinated, POPs in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Abstract for presentation at the AMAP conference entitled “The Arctic as a Messanger for Global Processes – Climate Change and Pollution. May 4-6, Copenhagen, Denmark. (pdf)

      McKinney, M.A., R.J. Letcher, J. Aars, E.W. Born, M. Brannigan, R. Dietz, T.J. Evans, G.W. Gabrielsen, D.C.G. Muir, E. Peacock, and C. Sonne.  2011. Regional contamination versus regional dietary differences: understanding geographic variation in brominated and chlorinated contaminant levels in polar bears. 2011. Environmental Science and Technonolgy: 45: 896-902. (pdf)

      McKinney, M.A., R.J. Letcher, J. Aars, E.W. Born, M. Branigan, R. Dietz, T.J. Evans, G.W. Gabrielsen, E. Peacock, and C. Sonne. 2011. Flame retardants and legacy contaminants in polar bears from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Svalbard, 2005-2008.  Environment International 37(2):365-374. (pdf)

      Routti, Heli, R.J. Letcher, E.W. Born, M. Branigan, R. Dietz, T.J. Evans, A. T. Fisk, E. Peacock, and C. Sonne. 2011. Spatial and temporal trends of selected trace elements in liver tissue from polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, Canada, and Greenland. Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 13:2260-2267. (pdf)

      Stirling, I., T.L. McDonald, E.S. Richardson, E.V. Regehr, and S.C. Amstrup. 2011. Polar bear population status in the northern Beaufort Sea, Canada, 1971-2006. Ecological Applications 21(3): 859-876. (pdf)

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 2011. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Designation of critical habitat for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the United States; Final Rule (75 FR 76086). (Primary author T.J. Evans). (pdf)

      Vongraven, D., J. Aars, S.Amstrup, S.N. Atkinson, S. Belikov, E.W. Born, M. Branigan, T. DeBruyn, A.E. Derocher, G. Durner, M. Gill, N. Lunn, M. Obbard, J. Omelak, N. Ovsyanikov, E. Peacock, F. Pokiak, E. Richardson, V. Sahanatien, I. Stirling, and O. Wiig. 2011. Circumpolar polar bear monitoring plan. (pdf)

      2010

      Rode, K.D., J.D. Reist, E. Peacock, I. Stirling. 2010. Comments in response to “estimating the energetic contribution of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) summer diets to the total energy budget by Dyck and Kebreab (2009).  2010. Journal of the Mammalogy 91(6):1517-1523. (pdf)

      Rode, K.D, S.A.Amstrup, and E.V. Regehr. 2010. Reduced body size and cub recruitment in polar bears associated with sea ice decline.   Ecological Applications 20(3): 768-782. (pdf)

      2009

      Debruyn, T. D. , T. J. Evans, S. Miller, C. Perham, E. Regehr, K. Rode, J. M. Wilder, and L. J. Lierheimer. 2009. Polar bear conservation in the United States, 2005-2009. Report to the 15th Polar Bear Specialist Group. USFWS, Anchorage, Alaska. 44 pp. http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/meetings/COP2009.html

      Gleason, J.S., and K. D. Rode.  2009. Apparent shift in polar bear distribution and habitat association as a function of changing sea ice conditions during the fall open-water period in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea.  Arctic: in press.

      MacGillivray, A.O., D.E. Hannay, C. J. Perham, M. T. Williams, S. A. MacLean, S. C. Amstrup.  In prep.  Measurements of industrial noise and ground vibration in artificial polar bear dens. 

      Regehr, E.W., C.M. Hunter, H. Caswell, S.C. Amstrup, and I. Stirling. 2009.  Survival and breeding of polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea in relation to sea ice. Journal of the Animal Ecology. 1-11. (pdf)

      Rode, K.D., S.C. Amstrup, and E.V. Regehr.  2009.  Reduced body size and cub recruitment in polar bears associated with sea ice decline.  Ecological Applications: in press.

      Rode, K.D., Amstrup, S.C., and Regehr, E.V. 2009.  Reduced body size and cub recruitment in polar bears associated with sea ice decline.  Ecological Applications: In press.

      Shideler, R.T. and C.J. Perham.  2009.  Survey of maternal polar bear den habitat between Atigaru Point and Kogru River Dew line Site, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska, March 2009.  Unpubl. rept. to Jacobs Field Services, Anchorage, Alaska.  11p. 

      Shideler, R.T. and C.J. Perham.  2009.  Survey of maternal polar bear den habitat between Atigaru Point and North Kalikpik Well No. 1, National Petroleum Reserve, Alaska, March 2009.  Unpubl. rept. to Marsh Creek, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska.  11p.

      Verreault, J., Muir, D.C.G., Norstrom, R.J., Stirling, I., Fisk, A.T., Gabrielsen, G.W., Derocher, A.E., Evans, T.J., Dietz, R., Sonne, C., Sandala, G.M., Gebbink, W., Riget, F.F., Born, E.W., Taylor, M.K., Nagy, J., and Letcher, R.J. 2005. Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants and metabolites in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, Canada, East Greenland, and Svalbard: 1996-2002. Science of the Total Environment 351-352:369-390.

      2008

      Rush, Scott A., Katrine Borgå, Rune Dietz, Erik W. Born, Christian Sonne, Thomas Evans, Derek C.G. Muir, Robert J. Letcher, Ross J. Norstrom, and Aaron T. Fisk.  2008. Geographic distribution of selected eslements in the livers of polar bear from Greenland, Canada, and the United States. Environmental Pollution 153:618-626.

      Schliebe, S., Rode, K.D., Gleason, J.S., Wilder, J., Proffitt, K., Evans, T.J., and Miller, S. 2008. Effects of sea ice extent and food availability on spatial and temporal distribution of polar bears during the fall open-water period in the Southern Beaufort Sea. Polar Biology 31:999-1010

      Schliebe, S.l. and K. Johnson. 2008. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; Determination of threatened status for the polar bear (Ursus maritimus) throughout its range; Final Rule. (73 FR 28212). (pdf)

      Shideler, R.T. and C.J. Perham.  2008.  Survey of maternal polar bear den habitat between Kaktovik and the KIC Well No. 1, February 2008.  Unpubl. rept. to Marsh Creek, LLC, Anchorage, Alaska.  11p.

      Smith, T. S., S. Herrero, T. D. DeBruyn, and J. M. Wilder. 2008. Efficacy of bear deterrent spray in Alaska. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:640-645.

      Stirling, I., Derocher, A.E., Gough, W.A., and Rode, K. 2008. Response to Dyck et al. (2007) on polar bears and climate change in western Hudson Bay. Ecological Complexity 5:193-201.

      2007

      Hunter, C.M., Caswell, H., Runge, M.C., Regehr, E.V., Amstrup, S.C., and Stirling, I.  2007.  Polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea II: demography and population growth in relation to sea ice conditions.  U. S. Geological Survey Administrative Report.  U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA. 46p

      Kannan, K., Agusa, T., Evans, T.J., Tanabe, S.  2007. Trace Element Concentrations in Livers of Polar Bears from Two Populations in Northern and Western Alaska.  Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 53:473-482.

      Obbard, M. E., McDonald, T. L., Howe, E. J., Regehr, E. V., and Richardson, E. S. 2007.  Polar bear population status in Southern Hudson Bay, Canada.  U. S. Geological Survey Administrative Report.  U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

      Regehr, E.V., Hunter, C.M., Caswell, H., Amstrup, S.C., and Stirling, I.  2007.  Polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea I: survival and breeding in relation to sea ice conditions, 2001-2006.  U. S. Geological Survey Administrative Report.  U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.

      Regehr, E.V., Lunn, N.J., Amstrup, S.C., and Stirling, I. 2007. Effects of earlier sea ice breakup on survival and population size of polar bears in western Hudson Bay.  Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2673-2683.

      Rode, K.D., Amstrup, S.C., and Regehr, E.V.  2007.  Polar bears in the Southern Beaufort Sea III: stature, mass, and cub recruitment in relationship to time and sea ice extent between 1982 and 2006.  U. S. Geological Survey Administrative Report.  U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA.  28p.

      Wilder, J. M., T. DeBruyn, T. Smith, A. Southwould. 2007. Systematic collection of bear-human interaction information for Alaska’s national parks. Ursus 18:209-216.

      2006

      Amstrup, S.C., Stirling, I., Smith, T.S., Perham, C., and Thiemann, G.W. 2006. Recent observations of intrapsecific predation and cannibalism among polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea. Polar Biology 29: 997-1002.

      Miller, S., S.Schliebe, and K. Proffitt. 2006 Demographics and behavior of polar bears feeding on bowhead whale carcasses at Barter and Cross Islands, Alaska, 2002-2004.  Technical report MMS 2006-14 prepared for Minerals Management Service by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management Office, Anchorage, Alaska.  29pp.

      Muir, D.C.G., Backus, S., Derocher, A.E., Dietz, R., Evans, T.J., Gabrielsen, G.W., Nagy, J., Norstrom, R.J., Sonne, C., Stirling, I., Taylor, M.K., and Letcher, R.J. 2006. Brominated flame retardants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska, the Canadian Arctic, East Greenland, and Svalbard. Environmental Science & Technology 40:449-456.

      Regehr, E.V., S.C. Amstrup and I. Stirling. 2006. Polar bear population status in the Southern Beaufort Sea. Report Series 2006-1337, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Anchorage, Alaska. 55pp.

      Schliebe, S., T.J. Evans, K. Johnson, M. Roy, S. Miller, C. Hamilton, R. Meehan, and S. Jahrsdoerfer. 2006. Status assessment in response to a petition to list polar bears as a threatened species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 262pp.

      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. Perham, J. Wilder, and L. Lierheimer. 2006. Polar bear management in Alaska, 2000-2004. Pp. 63-76 in  J. Aars, N.J. Lunn, and A.E. Derocher (eds). Polar bears: proceedings of the 14th working meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group, 20-24 June, 2005, Seattle, Washington, USA. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/meetings/

      Smithwick, M., J.W. Martin, S.A. Mabury, K. Solomon, C. Sonne, E.W. Born, R. Dietz, A.E. Derocher, R.J. Letcher, T.J. Evans, G.W. Gabrielsen, J. Nagy, I. Stirling, and D.C.G. Muir. 2006. Temporal trends of perfluoroalkyl contaminants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from two locations in the North American Arctic 1972-2002.  Environmental Science and Technology 40(4):1139-1143.

      Williams, M.T., C.S. Nations, T.G. Smith, V.D. Moulton and C.J. Perham.  2006.  Ringed seal (Phoca hispida) use of subniviean structures in the Alaskan Beaufort Sea during development of an oil production facility.  Aquatic Mammals 32(3): 311-324. 

      2005

      Kannan, K., Yun, S.H. and Evans, T.J.  2005. Chlorinated, Brominated, and Perfluorinated Contaminants in Livers of Polar Bears from Alaska.  Environmental Science and Technology, 39: 9057-9063.

      Perham, C.J. 2005. An Analysis of Oil Spill Impact for Polar Bears in the Central Beaufort Sea.  Unpubl. rept.,  USFWS, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska.  34pp.

      Perham, C.J. 2005. Proceedings of the Beaufort Sea Polar Bear Monitoring Workshop. OCS Study MMS 2005-034. Prepared by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service-Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, AK. Prepared for the U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Minerals Management Service, Alaska OCS Region, Anchorage, AK. 26 pp. plus appendices.

      Smithwick, M., Mabury, S.A., Solomon, K.R., Sonne, C., Martin, J.W., Born, E.W., Dietz, R., Derocher, A.E., Letcher, R.J., Evans, T.J., Gabrielsen, G.W., Nagy, J., Stirling, I., Taylor, M.K., and Muir, D.C.G. 2005. Circumpolar study of perfluoroalkyl contaminants in polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Environmental Science & Technology 39:5517-5523.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Alaska Nanuuq Commission. 2005. A summary of polar bear harvest management in Alaska (booklet).  Susanne Miller, ed., Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 66pp.

      2004

      Evans, T.J.  2004. Concentrations of selected essential and non-essential elements in adult male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, AK. Technical Report MMM 04-02.

      Evans, T.J. 2004. PCBs and chlorinated pesticides in adult male polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from Alaska. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Anchorage, AK. Technical Report MMM 04-01.

      2003

      Evans, T.J., A.S. Fischbach, S. L. Schliebe, B.F. Manly, S.B. Kalxdorff, and G.S. York. 2003. In Press. Polar bear aerial survey in the eastern Chukchi sea: a pilot study. Arctic 00(0): 000-000.

      2002
      Brower, C.D., A. Carpenter, M. Branigan, W. Calvert, T. Evans, A. Fischbach, J. Nagy, S. Schliebe, and I. Stirling. 2002. The polar bear management agreement of the southern Beaufort Sea: an evaluation of the first ten years of a unique conservation agreement. Arctic 55(4): 362-372.

      Schliebe, S.L., J.W. Bridges, T.J. Evans, S.B. Kalxdorff, A.S. Fischbach, and L. Lierheimer. 2002. Polar bear management in Alaska 1997-2000 In: Proceedings of the Thirteenth Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

      2001
      Howlin, S. M. Stishov, L.McDonald, S. Schliebe. 2001. Modeling polar bear den site selection on Wrangel Island. Submitted Journal of Agricultural, Biological, and Environmental Statistics.

      Kalxdorff, S., S. Schliebe, and S. Belikov. 2001. U.S./Russia Bilateral Agreement on Polar Bears Breaks New Ground in International conservation. In: CAFF: Arctic Flora and Fauna: Status and Conservation. Helsinki, Finland. 272pp.

      Schliebe, S.L. 2001. United States-Russia sign polar bear accord. In: Arctic Bulletin; World Wildlife Fund No. 4, p.17.

      1999
      Schliebe, S.L. 1999. Conservation and the polar bear hunt. In: Arctic Bulletin; World Wildlife Fund No. 3, p.18.

      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, A.S. Fischbach, and M.A. Cronin. 1999. Using genetics to verify sex of harvested polar bears: management implications. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 1999: 27(3).

      1998
      Garner. G.W., S.E. Belikov, M.S. Stishov, O. Wiig, A. Boltunov, G.I. Belchansky, D.C. Douglas, L.L. McDonald, D.M. Mulcahy, and S. Schliebe. 1998. Polar bear research in Western Alaska, Eastern and Western Russia 1993-1996. In: Proceedings of the Eleventh Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

      Norstrom, R.J., S.E. Belikov, E.W. Born, G.W. Garner, B. Malone, S. Olpinski, M.A. Ramsay, S. Schliebe, I. Stirling, M.S. Stishov, M.K. Taylor, and O. Wiig. 1998. Chlorinated hydrocarbon contaminants in polar bears from Eastern Russia, North America, Greenland, and Svalbard: Biomonitoring of arctic pollution. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; 35: 354-367.

      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, A.S. Fischbach, and S.B. Kalxdorff. 1998. Summary of polar bear management in Alaska. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

      1993
      Schliebe, S.L., S.C. Amstrup, and G.W. Garner. 1993. The status of polar bear in Alaska 1993. Pages 125-138 in Proceedings of the Eleventh Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

      Schliebe, S.L. and T.J. Evans. 1993. Polar bear management in Alaska 1988-92. Pages 139-144 in: Proceedings of the Eleventh Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, U.K.

      1991
      Nageak, B.P., C.D.N. Brower, and S.L. Schliebe. 1991. Polar bear management in the southern Beaufort Sea: An Agreement between the Inuvialuit Game Council and the North Slope Borough Fish and Game Committee. In: Transactions of North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. 56:337-343.

      Technical Reports

      2011
      DeBruyn, T.D., T.J. Evans, C. Hamilton, S. Miller, C.J. Perham, C. Putnam, E. Regehr, K.Rode, M. St. Martin, and J. Wilder. 2011. Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska 2009/2010. Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. 20pp. (pdf)

      Evans, T.J., T.D.DeBruyn, S. Miller, J. Wilder, C.J. Perham, E. Regehr, K. Rode, C. Putnam, and C. Hamilton. 2011. Report to the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories, Canada, 2010-2011. Polar Bear Management in the Southern Beaufort Sea. Anchorage, Alaska. 25 pp.

      2010
      DeBruyn, T.D. T.J. Evans, C. Hamilton, S. Miller, C.J. Perham, E. Regehr, K.Rode, and J. Wilder. 2010. Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska 2008/2009. Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee. Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 20pp.

      DeBruyn, T.D., T.J. Evans, C. Hamilton, S. Miller, C.J. Perham, C. Putnam, E. Regehr, K. Rode, and J. Wilder. 2010. Report to the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Polar Bear Management in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 2008-2009. Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. 24 pp. (pdf)

      Miller, T.J. Evans, K. Rode, E. Regehr, J.Wilder, C. Perham, C. Putnam, and T. DeBruyn. 2010.  Summary of polar bear management in Alaska, 2008-2009.  Report to the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, December 2010, Anchorage, Alaska. (pdf)

      2009
      Evans, T.J., T.D. DeBruyn, C. Hamilton, S. Miller, C. J. Perham, E. Regehr, and K.Rode. 2009.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2007-2008: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 3-5 February, 2009, Whitehorse, Canada. (pdf)

      Evans, T.J., T.D. DeBruyn, K. Rode, S. Miller, and C. Perham. 2009. Report to the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska, and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories on polar bear management in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 2007-2008,  28-29 April 2009, Barrow, Alaska.

      Miller, S., K. Rode, C. Perham, T.J. Evans, E. Regehr, and T. DeBruyn. 2009.  Summary of polar bear management in Alaska, 2007-2008.  Report to the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, August 2009, Nome, Alaska. (pdf)

      2008
      Evans, T.J., S. Schliebe, S. Miller, C. J. Perham, and K.Rode. 2008.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2006-2007: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 3-5 February, 2009, Whitehorse, Canada

      Evans, T.J., S.L. Schliebe, S. Miller, C. Perham, and K. Rode. 2008. Report to the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories on polar bear management in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 2006-2007, 3-4 February 2008, Inuvik, Canada.

      Evans, T.J., S. Schliebe, S. Miller, C. Perham, and K. Rode.  2008.  Summary of polar bear management in Alaska, 2006-2007.  Report to the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, 17-18 January, 2008, Nome, Alaska. (pdf)

      2007
      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. J. Perham, and K.Rode. 2007.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2005-2006: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 6-9 February, 2007, Edmonton, Canada.

      2006
      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. J. Perham, and J.Wilder. 2006.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2004-2005: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 6-8 February, 2006, St. Johns, Newfoundland, Canada.
      Evans, T.J., S.L. Schliebe, S. Miller, and C. Perham. 2006. Report to the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories on polar bear management in the Southern Beaufort Sea, 5-6 June 2006, Anchorage, Alaska.

      2005
      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. Perham. 2005. Polar Bear Management Agreement for the Southern Beaufort Sea and agreement between the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska, and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories: Progress Evaluation for the Joint Commissioners, North Slope Borough  10-11 February 2005, Edmonton, Canada.

      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. J. Perham, and J. Wilder. 2005.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2003-2004: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 7-9 February, 2005, Edmonton, Canada.

      2004
      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, and C. J. Perham. 2004.  Summary of Polar Bear Management in Alaska, 2002-2003: Report to the Canadian Polar Bear Technical Committee, 15-17 February, 2004, Winnipeg, Canada.

      Schliebe, S.L., T.J. Evans, S. Miller, C. Perham, and J. Wilder. 2004. Polar Bear Management Agreement for the Southern Beaufort Sea and agreement between the Inupiat of the North Slope, Alaska, and the Inuvialuit of the Northwest Territories: Progress Evaluation for the Joint Commissioners, North Slope Borough  18-19 February 2004, Winnipeg, Canada.

      2003
      Kalxdorff, Susanne B. 2003. Demography and behavior of polar bears feeding on stranded marine mammal carcasses in the Beaufort Sea region, Alaska. Interim Report to Minerals Management Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 24pp.

      2002
      Kalxdorff, S., S. Schliebe, T. Evans, and K. Proffitt. 2002. Aerial surveys of polar bears along the coast and barrier islands of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, September-October 2001. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 27pp.

      2001
      Schliebe, S., S. Kalxdorff, and T. Evans. 2001. Aerial surveys of polar bears along the coast and barrier islands of the Beaufort Sea, Alaska, September-October 2000. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 23pp.

      1999
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1999. Oil spill response plan for polar bears in Alaska. Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 21pp.

      1998
      Kalxdorff, Susanne B. 1998. Distribution and abundance of marine mammal carcasses along beaches of the Bering, Chukchi, and Beaufort Seas, Alaska, 1995-1997. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 98-1; Anchorage, Alaska. 27pp.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1998. Stock assessment for polar bear (Ursus maritimus) - Alaska Chukchi/Bering Seas Stock and Southern Beaufort Sea Stock. 35pp.

      1997
      Kalxdorff, Susanne B. 1997. Collection of local knowledge regarding polar bear habitat use in Alaska. U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Technical Report MMM 97-2; Anchorage, Alaska. 55pp.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1997. Final environmental assessment: Development of proposed treaty U.S./Russia bilateral agreement for the conservation of polar bears in the Chukchi/Bering Seas. Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 60pp.

      1995
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Final Environmental Assessment: Development of legal and scientific findings for permit regulations for importing polar bear trophies from Canada. 22pp.

      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1995. Habitat conservation strategy for polar bears in Alaska. Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 232pp.

      1994
      U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. Conservation plan for the polar bear in Alaska. Marine Mammals Management, Anchorage, Alaska. 79pp.

      1989
      Schliebe, S.L. 1989. Occurrence and distribution of walrus and other marine mammal carcasses along western Alaska beaches in the Chukchi Sea: August 1989. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Report; Anchorage, Alaska. 8pp.

      This list of publications and reports by the staff in the polar bear program does not include Federal Register publications of the listing, proposed rule, critical habitat, two sets of Southern Beaufort Sea Incidental Take Regulations, annual reports required for management agreements (e.g. to the Alaska Nanuuq Commission, Polar bear specialist group, Canadian polar bear technical committee), Chukchi Sea Incidental Take Regulations, and two sets of Incidental Harassment Authorizations, all of which are major accomplishments within the last 5 years. During this period the polar bear staff consisted of the following individuals:  Scott L. Schliebe, Terry D. DeBruyn, Thomas J. Evans, Susanne Miller, Craig J. Perham, Karyn D. Rode, Eric Regehr, and James Wilder.

      Stock Assessment Reports

      On June 22, 2017, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a Federal Register Notice informing the public that we have developed draft revised marine mammal stock assessment reports for each of the two polar bear (Ursus maritimus) stocks in Alaska: The Southern Beaufort Sea polar bear stock and the Chukchi/Bering Seas polar bear stock. Prior to finalizing these draft documents, and in accordance with the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, as amended, and it's implementing regulations, we are making these draft documents available for 90 days for public review and comment, the comment period closes on September 20, 2017. The Federal Register announcement which summarizes the draft Revised Stock Assessment Reports and each draft report are available by selecting the links below: