Polar Research https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar <p><em>Polar Research</em> is the international, peer-reviewed journal of the Norwegian Polar Institute. The scope of&nbsp;<em>Polar Research</em>&nbsp;encompasses research in all scientific disciplines relevant to the polar regions. These include, but are not limited to, the subfields of biology, ecology, geology, oceanography, glaciology and atmospheric science. Submissions from the social sciences and those focusing on polar management and policy issues are welcome. Contributions about Antarctica are particularly encouraged.</p> Norwegian Polar Institute en-US Polar Research 1751-8369 <p><span style="color: #4b7d92;">Authors contributing to Polar Research retain copyright of their work, with first publication rights granted to the Norwegian Polar Institute. Read the journal's full <a href="https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/openaccess">Copyright- and Licensing Policy</a>.</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Perceptions of decision-makers about a potential forum of cooperation in the eastern part of the North American Arctic https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/9026 <p>Cooperation in the Arctic region has been fruitful in the past few decades, generating several multilateral organizations and forums covering the entire circumpolar North. In many cases, forums were created to serve as catalysts, bringing together decision-makers from different backgrounds in a conference setting to promote dialogue and the exchange of ideas. To enquire about the possibility of creating a forum of cooperation in the eastern North American Arctic, a total of five governmental officials from Canada, Denmark, Nunavut, Québec and Greenland, and one elected representative from Greenland were interviewed with the same set of five questions. The governmental officials were in senior positions at the main department focusing on foreign affairs in their respective jurisdictions. Most thought that a new forum of cooperation in the region would be highly desirable, on the grounds of shared interests, common identity and cultural affinities. Consensual positions were also found regarding the central role that civil society would play in a new cooperative venue and on sub-national governments assuming a leading role to spearhead the initiative. Following these interviews, it is difficult to pinpoint one government that could alone spearhead this new forum of cooperation. However, the governments of Nunavut and Greenland were the most enthusiastic about such a new regional forum. Given Greenland’s drive to complete independence, this type of forum could prove to be a statement of diplomatic motivation and ambition, tilting toward proto-diplomacy and an international policy that prepares the terrain for complete autonomy.</p> Mathieu Landriault Jean-François Savard Anna Soer Copyright (c) 2023 Mathieu Landriault, Jean-François Savard, Anna Soer https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-03-16 2023-03-16 42 10.33265/polar.v42.9026 Adult survival and annual movement patterns of common snipe in Iceland https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8616 <p>The common snipe (<em>Gallinago gallinago</em>) is a wader that breeds in subarctic regions from Iceland to Russia, and for which global populations are in decline. We studied snipe breeding in western Iceland between 1998 and 2020, locating nests and ringing birds annually. In 2019 and 2020, we deployed geolocators on nesting adults to estimate the timing of their annual migration and the location of overwintering areas. Birds moved principally between breeding locations in Iceland to wintering areas in Ireland, although some birds may winter farther north. We also found that apparent annual adult survival averaged 66%, but was higher in years with warmer, wetter winters. Given the similarity of our survival estimates to those from snipe elsewhere, we suggest that adult survival is unlikely a major contributor to declining populations, and other factors like habitat loss may be of more concern.</p> Aevar Petersen Sverrir Thorstensen Ib K. Petersen Scott W. Petrek Kane Brides Anna Calvert Mark L. Mallory Greg J. Robertson Sarah E. Gutowsky Copyright (c) 2023 Aevar Petersen, Sverrir Thorstensen, Ib K. Petersen, Scott W. Petrek, Kane Brides, Anna Calvert, Mark L. Mallory, Greg J. Robertson, Sarah E. Gutowsky https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-03-07 2023-03-07 42 10.33265/polar.v42.8616 An observation of white whale (<em>Delphinapterus leucas</em>) mating behaviour in the wild https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8875 <p>Herein we describe mating behaviour observed in a group of 20 white whales in Svalbard, Norway. A single female was the centre of attention during the 45-minute encounter, which was observed, photographed and videotaped at an ice edge in Storfjorden in June 2022. Several males surrounded the female and vigorously herded her from all sides. The female spy-hopped regularly, and sometimes her whole body was pushed out of the water by the other animals. High tail-lifts and tail-slapping were frequently performed by males, and erect penises were observed many times. Trumpet calls were also heard. At one point, three males with erect penises pressed themselves against the female simultaneously. The female was bleeding from wounds on her head and neck that were seemingly inflicted by bites from the other whales. She was also bleeding from her genital slit. A single copulation was seen at the surface, but it is likely that multiple males mated successfully with the female during the encounter. The event was more boisterous and violent than what has been described in captive white whales. We cannot assess how representative this observation is of typical reproductive behaviour for the species. But the encounter was remarkably similar to what has been described for several species of bottlenose dolphins that have male alliances that consort with individual females, restricting the female’s escape and keeping her accessible to mating only by members of the group.</p> Christian Lydersen Kerstin Langenberger Kit M. Kovacs Copyright (c) 2023 Christian Lydersen, Kerstin Langenberger, Kit M. Kovacs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-03-08 2023-03-08 42 10.33265/polar.v42.8875 Personal submersibles offer novel ecological research access to Antarctic waters: an example, with observations of the rarely encountered scyphozoan <em>Stygiomedusa gigantea</em> https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8873 <p>Underwater biological surveys have been conducted around the Antarctic continent for several decades, and our knowledge of the species present in the shallow waters (&lt;50 m) is reasonably comprehensive. However, the waters below 50 m remain underexplored on the account of difficulty of access, financial barriers and relatively few operational platforms capable of deployment to such depths. Here, we demonstrate that personal submersibles, now increasingly deployed by the expedition cruise industry, can be vessels of opportunity for biological research in the polar regions. We describe direct observations of the rarely encountered scyphozoan&nbsp;<em>Stygiomedusa gigantea</em>&nbsp;at water depths of 80–280 m in Antarctic Peninsula coastal waters as an example of the potential that personal submersibles present for the scientific community, and we outline possible research avenues for utilizing these platforms in the future.</p> Daniel M. Moore Anna Elina Flink Eva Prendergast Antony Gilbert Copyright (c) 2023 Daniel M. Moore, Anna Elina Flink, Eva Prendergast, Antony Gilbert https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-01-30 2023-01-30 42 10.33265/polar.v42.8873 Possible signs of recovery of the nearly extirpated Spitsbergen bowhead whales: calves observed in east Greenland https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/8809 <p>The Spitsbergen population of bowhead whales (<em>Balaena mysticetus</em>) was harvested to near extinction during the whaling era. Here, we show possible signs of recovery of the population by reporting observations of two calves in the Scoresby Sund polynya in East Greenland on 2 and 4 May 2022, and it is the first observation of this kind in this area since the early 1900s.</p> Outi M. Tervo Marie Louis Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen Rikke G. Hansen Copyright (c) 2023 Outi M. Tervo, Marie Louis, Mikkel-Holger S. Sinding, Mads Peter Heide-Jørgensen, Rikke G. Hansen https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-01-30 2023-01-30 42 10.33265/polar.v42.8809 Book review of Thinking like an iceberg, by Olivier Remaud (2022). Stephen Muecke, trans. Medford, MA: Polity. 180 pp. ISBN 978-1-509-55148-4. https://polarresearch.net/index.php/polar/article/view/9249 Isabelle Gapp Copyright (c) 2023 Isabelle Gapp https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0 2023-01-19 2023-01-19 42 10.33265/polar.v42.9249