USGS Alaska Science Center Polar Bear Maternal Dens

Latest version published by United States Geological Survey on Mar 8, 2022 United States Geological Survey

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 530 records in English (28 KB) - Update frequency: unknown
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Metadata as an RTF file download in English (9 KB)


This data reports 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 between 1910 and 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. Data fields include a unique and permanent USGS identifier for each record, the year when the adult would have been expected to depart the den with young, an index of whether the maternal den was confirmed or probable, coordinates of the den, substrate that each den occurred on, the agency source of each record, method of discovery of each den, method used to determine the position of each den, and estimated position uncertainty. Data were collected through standardized VHF aircraft surveys and satellite radio telemetry, field research activities in polar bear habitat, and anecdotal reports from other government agencies, coastal residents, and industry personnel. The polar bear maternal den records presented here supersede an earlier version of these data (Durner and others, 2010)

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 530 records.

1 extension data tables also exist. An extension record supplies extra information about a core record. The number of records in each extension data table is illustrated below.

Occurrence (core)

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Durner, G. M., 2010, Catalogue of Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and nearby areas, 1910-2018 (ver. 2.0, January, 2020): U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is United States Geological Survey. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: a28eb0fc-73f3-471e-b927-cc58f576c9e0.  United States Geological Survey publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; Observation; Occurrence


George Durner
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Research Zoologist
U.S. Geological Survey
4210 University Drive
99508-4626 Anchorage
Abigail Benson
  • Metadata Provider
U.S. Geological Survey
Abby Benson
  • Publisher
U.S. Geological Survey

Geographic Coverage

Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea of northern Alaska, Canada, and Russia

Bounding Coordinates South West [63.367, -22.849], North East [83.521, 162.839]

Bibliographic Citations

  1. Durner, G.M., Amstrup, S.C., Atwood, T.C., Douglas, D.C., Fischbach, A.S., Olson, J.W., Rode, K.D., and Wilson, R.R., 2019, Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas and nearby areas, 1910–2018: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 1121 12 p. including appendixes,
  2. Olson JW, Rode KD, Eggett D, Smith TS and others (2017) Collar temperature sensor data reveal long-term patterns in southern Beaufort Sea polar bear den distribution on pack ice and land. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 564:211-224.
  3. Karyn D Rode, Jay Olson, Dennis Eggett, David C Douglas, George M Durner, Todd C Atwood, Eric V Regehr, Ryan R Wilson, Tom Smith, Michelle St. Martin, Den phenology and reproductive success of polar bears in a changing climate, Journal of Mammalogy, Volume 99, Issue 1, 1 February 2018, Pages 16–26,
  4. Durner, G.M., Fischbach, A.S., Amstrup, S.C., and Douglas, D.C., 2010, Catalogue of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) maternal den locations in the Beaufort Sea and neighboring regions, Alaska, 1910–2010: U.S. Geological Survey Data Series 568, 14 p.
  5. Fischbach, A.S., Amstrup, S.C. & Douglas, D.C. Polar Biol (2007) 30: 1395.

Additional Metadata