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Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018

January 27, 2020

This report presents data on the approximate locations and methods of discovery of 530 polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal dens observed in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and neighboring areas from 1910 to 2018, and archived partly by the U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center, and partly by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Marine Mammals Management, in Anchorage, Alaska. A description of data collection methods and their associated biases, primary data collection time periods, and estimated position uncertainty are provided. Polar bears in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas den on sea ice and land. Standardized very high frequency (VHF) aircraft surveys and satellite radio telemetry data provide a general understanding of where polar bears have denned in this region over the past 3 decades. Den observations made during other research activities and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel also are reported. These data on past polar bear maternal den locations are provided to inform decision making by natural resource agencies and for public use.