Polar bears in Canada’s Western Hudson Bay — on the southern edge of the Arctic — are continuing to die in high numbers, a new government survey of the land carnivore has found. Females and bear cubs are having an especially hard time. Researchers surveyed Western Hudson Bay — home to Churchill, the town called ‘the Polar Bear Capital of the World,’ — by air in 2021 and estimated there were 618 bears, compared to the 842 in 2016, when they were last surveyed. “The actual decline is a lot larger than I would have expected,” said Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta who has studied Hudson Bay polar bears for nearly four decades. Derocher was not involved in the study. Since the 1980s, the number of bears in the region has fallen by nearly 50%, the authors found. The ice essential to their survival is disappearing.