Photo by @daisygilardini | Bearded seals are the biggest of the four Arctic true seals.
Their common name comes from the thick, white whiskers which tent to curl when dry.
As they are depended on sea ice for pupping, moulting and resting this species is vulnerable to the reduction and duration of the sea ice due to climate change.
Artwork by @davidmceown | “Polar Bear , #7 ”, 22 x 30 inches , watercolour.
Thrilling to be on lookout for polar bears along the ice edge. Sometime we are lucky and a curious bear will visit the ship before moving on, often hunting for seals.
This painting was a demonstration for a workshop i conducted in which we investigated colour, and technique while I shared some bear encounter stories from expeditions observing and sketching these amazing animals in their natural habitat. Really looking forward to return to the arctic this summer.
Follow David @davidmceown for more watercolour paintings and stories behind the scenes.
Photo by @daisygilardini | As the shocking news that one species in eight is in danger of extinction sinks in, we humans have to understand we're not only destroying other species, we are destroying our own habitat.
We're no longer just acting on behalf of other species. We have to realize we have to act for ourselves, right now. For clean soil, clean water and clean air. For our survival.
The beauty of the Arctic, and its pristine ice, is disappearing faster than anyone predicted. It's no longer about protecting polar bears and seals. It's about saving human lives.
There is still hope. We still have a short window of time if — all together, globally — we start acting instead of preaching. Doing, instead of talking.
Photo by @daisygilardini | As much as I love the polar regions with the simplicity of the landscapes I love the complexity of the forest. Spending time in the rain forest is an incredible experience. It involves all senses and perceptions. The smell of trees and mosses fills your nostrils; the rain bouncing off leaves has an almost percussion-like effect on your ears. The raven’s call often announces the arrival of the spirit of the forest: the white bear.
The Kermode bear — also known as “mooksgm’ol “ by the First Nations — is a rare subspecies of the American black bear. Due to a unique, recessive gene, it has white-coloured fur.
It's always special when a wild animal peacefully accepts your presence and doesn't show any sign of stress or change in behaviour.
Photo by @daisygilardini | Arctic foxes are very well adapted to survive extremely cold environments. Their white winter coat is the perfect camouflage. Their short ears, short nose and furry soles have also been adapted to cope with such an extreme environment. In spring, their colour changes to brown/grey, to adapt to the colour palette of their new environment.
Photo by @daisygilardini | A mother bear with her two newborns rests in a day den while on her way to the frozen ice of Hudson Bay. Once she leaves the maternity den and the trek begins, she will stop periodically to nurse and rest.
Day dens are wind-protected areas, where snowdrifts and surrounding trees create a natural shelter from the elements.
Video by @daisygilardini | Nothing better than an ice floe for a back scratch!
Walrus skin is tough. Its thickness can vary from 1.5 to 3.9 inches (4 to 10cm). The skin’s brown colour grows paler as the animal ages. At birth, they’re usually dark brown. That fades to cinnamon in mature individuals.
Skin colour also varies depending on body temperature. The hotter the animal, the pinkier the skin; the colder the animal, the whiter.
Shot with drone permit n. RPAS 4503, issued by Civil Aviation Authority – Norway - on expedition with @martinenckell and @roymangersnes
Photo by @daisygilardini | Belugas are one of the smallest species of whales distributed widely throughout the Arctic regions.
They are social animals. They live in small pods and very vocal. Their vocalizations consist of clicks, whistles and clangs, which can resemble birds singing. Because of that, they’re sometimes called ‘canaries of the sea’ or ‘sea canaries.’ Photographing from the surface is extremely challenging. Seen from the surface, when they emerge to breath you usually only see a small part of their back. To capture these beautiful creatures, it’s best to go with underwater or aerial photography.
Photo by @daisygilardini | Spring is an extremely interesting time to explore the frozen fjords of Svalbard.
Polar bears are looking for the Ringed seals pups that are born and hidden in snow lair on the fjord ice.
It is an heartbreaking scene but it is life in the Arctic. Love the seals as much as the bears.
Polar bears are at the top of the Arctic food chain, and are the only truly carnivorous bears. Seals make up 90 percent of their diet. They need fear no other species — except humans.
Polar bear lives are broken into two seasons. The first is winter, the feasting season, when bears hunt seals while roaming on the pack ice. And then there is summer, the fasting season, when the absence of ice pushes the bears onto land, with scarce food sources.