Project Dashboard

Identifying the Drivers of Polar Bear-Human Interactions (148625)
Proposal Status: Conformity Determination Issued
Project Overview
Type of application: New
Proponent name: Ms Danielle Rivet
Company: Unviersity of Saskatchewan
Start Date: 2017-09-01
End Date: 2022-12-31
Operation Type: Annual
Project Description:
Park and wildlife managers across the Arctic need to understand why polar bears approach people and whether they do so because of human activities, a lack of sea ice, or a combination of both of these factors. Right now this is not known, which makes it hard to plan how to prevent conflicts between polar bears and people; especially with sea ice conditions changing rapidly as a result of a warming Arctic climate. At the park's invitation, since 2011 we have operated remote cameras at three field camps in Wapusk National Park to determine when and how often bears visit. We have recorded 292 unique visits from 2011-2016 by polar bears to those camps so far. Since bears mainly visit in late autumn when people aren't using these camps, and since sea ice conditions didn't change much between 2011 and 2014, we have not yet been able to answer this key question about what drives them to approach camps and therefore risk interactions with people. The patterns we described may not hold during years when the ice breaks up earlier or later, limiting how useful these research results may be for park managers. Within the park we propose to carry on recording polar bear visits to these three camps from 2017-2022. To better examine human activity's influence we propose to add a site outside WNP that is regularly occupied in autumn, which will compensate for the lack of human use of the WNP camps at that time of year. Arctic Kingdom operates their Gellini River in October-November each year for polar bear viewing. Two cameras were loaned to them in autumn 2016 and they judged this successful, so five cameras will be deployed in 2017, using the same layout as at the other three camps. Although we are not attempting to survey the western Hudson Bay polar bear population it is necessary to determine whether or not the bears that we observe visiting camps are representative of the bears in the population as a whole. To do this we will install single cameras at unoccupied sites away from the four camps and CNSC but in similar habitats. We will also be able to compare bears' activity patterns with the Churchill Northern Study Centre, where remote cameras show they visit at night, instead of mainly in daytime at field camps. Answering these questions will give Wapusk National Park, and other agencies around the Arctic, a solid base for planning and implementing polar bear-human conflict prevention measures, especially as sea ice continues to change.
Persons: 1
Days: 10
Project Map
List of all project geometries:
ID Geometry Location Name
2924 point Gellini River Camp (Arctic Kingdom) location for remote camera installation
Planning Regions:
Affected Areas and Land Types
Settlement Area
Keewatin Planning Region
Project Land Use and Authorizations
Project Land Use
Scientific Research
Licensing Agencies
Other Licensing Requirements
No data found.
Material Use
Type Quantity Size Use
Remote Trail Cameras 5 6in x 8in to record photographs of polar bears that utilize the area/approach the camp
AA Lithium Batteries 30 2in x 1/4in to power the remote trail cameras
SD Memory Cards 5 1in x 1in to save/store photographs taken on remote trail cameras
Lag Bolts 20 3in x 1/4in to attach remote trail cameras to the exterior of the camp
Fuel Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
Other 0 0 Liters None
Hazardous Material and Chemical Use
Type Container(s) Capacity UOM Use
None 0 0 Liters None
Water Consumption
Daily Amount (m3) Retrieval Method Retrieval Location
Waste and Impacts
Environmental Impacts
No person is required to be present for the duration of the study in order for the cameras to operate (aside from the day of camera installation and for the removal/replacement of the memory cards throughout the study). Additionally, installation of the cameras is onto a previously existing structure, so no additional building/structures must be added or completed for the project. Lastly, the remote trail cameras are noninvasive and non-polluting, and they operate on battery power. Thus, environmental impacts are expected to be neglibile and mitigation measures should not be necessary.
Waste Management
Waste Type Quantity Generated Treatement Method Disposal Method
Other None None None
Category: Application form attachment - Project description
Recieved: 2017-08-09
Originator: Danielle Rivet
Public Registry ID: 12986
Document Size: 3094.2 Kb
Category: Application related document - Conformity Determination Letter
Recieved: 2017-08-29
Originator: Peter Scholz
Public Registry ID: 13007
Document Size: 388.87 Kb
2017-08-15 16:23:21, from: Peter Scholz
 Hello, are you aware if you require a DoE permit for this project?


Environmental Protection:
s2.4.9: The applicant undertakes to prevent any new occurances of pollution, garbage and contamination at the site of the development.

Removal of Fuel Drums:
s2.4.9: The applicant undertakes to remove all drums safely from the site and dispose of the drums in a safe manner.

New Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s2.4.15 and Appendix 2,s1: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its natural condition to the greatest extent possible.

Old Site Restoration and Clean Up:
s3.13.2: The applicant undertakes to clean up the site and restore the site to its original condition to the greatest extent possible, including any work required due to the applicant's action prior to this application.

Low Level Air Flights:
s5.4.4 and Apendix 2, s3: Will the applicant avoid low-level flights?

Caribou Protection Measures:
s2.4.6 and Appendix 3: Will the applicant comply with the Caribou Protection Measures outlined in section 2.4.6 and in Appendix 3?

Caribou Water Crossings:
Will the applicant avoid, between May 15 and September 1, to construct any camp, cache any fuel or conduct s2.4.6 and map: any blasting within 10 km of any Designated Caribou Water Crossing identified

Reporting of Archaeological Sites:
s4.4.3 and Appendix 3, s2 and s8: Will the applicant immediately report the discovery of all suspected archaeological sites to the Government of Nunavut?

Scientific Research:
s6.4.2: Does the project proposal involve scientific research?
If yes, will the applicant integrate all available and relevant local and traditional knowledge when conducting its research?
Local Services and Local Employment:
s6.4.3: Will the applicant rely on local services and employment where possible?
Describe the services retained and people to be employed.
We are working with a tour company (Arctic Kingdom) that employs local Inuit guides. These guides will assist us with installing cameras/swapping memory cards at the pre-existing camp.

Communication on Scientific Research:
s6.4.4: Will the applicant communicate with communities in language that is clear, non-technical, in Inuktitut and English and communicate to the affected communities the results of all scientific res

Consultation with Nunavut Research Institute:
s6.4.5: Has the applicant made all reasonable efforts to consult with the Nunavut Research Institute about research that would benefit or interest local residents?
Describe the results of your consultation.
Information about and results of the consultation can be found in the Hudson Bay Front-Line Operators Workshop (FLOW) on Polar Bear-Human Conflict Reduction Measures produced by PJ Ewins, DA Clark, G York, J Main, V Sahanatien, and D Hedman in 2016. Arviat community representatives asked for locally-focused and relevant research on polar bears. I have attached the document in the Project Documents section of this application.

Game Sanctuary:
s2.4.1: Is the project proposal located, in whole or in part, within the Thelon Game sanctuary?

Bird Sanctuary:
s2.4.1: Is the project proposal located, in whole or in part, within the Mc Connell River Migratory Bird Sanctuary, the Harry Gibbons Migratory Bird Sanctuary or, the East Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Southern Southampton Island and Coats Island:
s3.4.5: Is the project proposal located, in whole or in part, in southern Southampton Island and Coats Island?
If yes, does the project proposal involve hydrocarbon exploration?
Municipal Lands:
s1.4.3: Is the project located, in whole or in part, within municipal boundaries?


New Land Use:
Does the project proposal involve a new type of land use never engaged in before in the region?

Code of Good Conduct for Land Users:
Appendix 2: The applicant undertakes to adhere to the Code of Good Conduct at all times.