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Technology & Innovation

Polar Bear Researchers Seek A Few Extra Eyes This Winter

As the bears begin their northward migration, researchers have added a snapshot option to their live feeds and developed a smartphone app. The hope is that visitors — both online and in person — will capture and share images.

What’s the Latest Development?

Polar Bears International and are hoping that this winter they’ll be able to get some help from the public as they continue to monitor the health of polar bears in Canada. To this end, they have added to their live webcam feed a snapshot feature that allow anyone watching to capture pictures, and they have developed a smartphone app for tourists who come to witness this year’s polar bear migration from the southwest shore of Hudson Bay to Wapusk National Park.

What’s the Big Idea?

With climate change threatening the Arctic and all the species who live there, any extra data collecting researchers can get is greatly appreciated. Images sourced from tourists and the Internet public will be compared to archived photos so that the Polar Bears International team can have a better understanding of changes to the habitat over time. Chief scientist Steven Amstrup says, “The important point to me is that we need to explore the potential to collect data from whatever sources might be out there.” Executive Krista Wright adds, “The more [photos] that we have to choose from, the better the data set is going to be.”

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