Activity Cycle of Polar Bears
Posted in CSR

Daily Pattern

  • Most active during first third of the day. Least active in last third.
  • In summer, grooming/washing occurs after 30 minutes of feeding.
  • Amount of time spent hunting changes depending on availability of seals.
    • In general, less than 2% of hunting attempts are successful.
    • An experienced adult catches a seal every 4-5 days.

Yearly pattern

  • Late February-April: mother and cubs leave den.
  • Usually remain at den site for 7-10 days so that cubs can adjust to cold (den may be 20 degrees warmer) and have a chance to exercise.
  • March-April: adult males begin search for females.
  • April-May: ovulation induced in female due to intense 1-2 week mating period.
  • April-August: bears most active. Ringed Seals give birth in April.
  • August-September: bears of both sexes dig sleeping pits and temporary dens and remain somewhat sedentary in Canadian Arctic (Messier et al 1994).
  • Late October-early November: denning by females.
  • Delayed implantation of embryo occurs in fall.
  • November-January: females give birth, nurse young in den.

Source: San Diego Zoo wildlife Alliance Library

Manager’s Office Team

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