Research testing new technology to more effectively locate polar bear dens across the Arctic is showing promising results.

Researchers from Simon Fraser University (SFU) and Brigham Young University (BYU), collaborating with Polar Bears International, hope that improving detection tools to locate dens—which are nearly invisible and buried under snow—will help efforts to protect mother polar bears and their cubs.

Results of a pilot study aimed at improving den location in Churchill, Manitoba—using ARTEMIS Inc., an imaging system that relies on Synthetic Aperture Radar, or SAR—are published this week in the journal URSUS just ahead of Polar Bear Week (Oct. 29 – Nov. 4).

The team found that SAR increased den detection by more than 20 per cent, or 66 per cent, compared with the industry’s current 45 per cent accuracy rate using the aerial Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system as a den-detection tool. Read more at Simon Fraser University

Source: ENN

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