Up Close and Personal

Martin Smart

Nanaimo, Canada

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Artist's Description

Best viewed large

Canon 40D with EF70-200 f2.8 IS lens @ 200mm
1/200sec f5.6 ISO 640

Featured in “Artists Universe” February 2012
Featured in “Extreme Close-Ups” February 2012
Featured in “Amazing Wildlife” February 2012
Featured in “The World As We See It, or as we missed it” February 2012
Featured in “Alaska~Beyond Your Dreams” March 2012
Featured in “Featured For a Challenge” May 2012

Approaching us with curiosity, this female Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) is the mother of these little guys who she tempoarily left to sort out lunch whilst she checked us out!

Photographed on the beach at Kaktovik, Alaska, USA

The village of Kaktovik is situated on Barter Island, a small island 3 miles by 2 miles just off the arctic coastline from ANWR. The island has a large saltwater lagoon located on the east side which provides sheltered anchorage for village fishing vessels.

The village is inhabited by approximately 250 Native Inupiat “Eskimo” people whose subsistence has been dependent on hunting marine mammals and whales for thousands of years and in a tightly controlled hunt permitted by federal law are allowed a harvest quota of three bowhead whales during the hunting season.

The carcasses of the butchered whales are left on the beaches and provide an attractive food source on which polar Bears can scavenge. Pack ice covers this area of the Beaufort Sea surface for 9 months of the year and during this time the bears feed mainly on seals that live under the arctic ice. However in mid summer when the pack ice moves offshore the polar bears are often marooned on shore where food sources are limited. The bears often therefore enter the fall season hungry and have keyed into the valuable food source provided by the carcasses of he butchered whales.

At the present time polar bears are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources as “Vulnerable”

Artwork Comments

  • Carol Knudsen
  • Martin Smart
  • AnnDixon
  • Martin Smart
  • Bunny Clarke
  • Martin Smart
  • Marvin Collins
  • Martin Smart
  • Ray Clarke
  • Martin Smart
  • Themis
  • Martin Smart
  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
  • Martin Smart
  • Trish Meyer
  • Martin Smart
  • Trish Meyer
  • Mary Sedici
  • Martin Smart
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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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