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Thursday, 5 April 2012

Polar bears 'larger population than ever.'

CCNet – 5 April 2012
The Climate Policy Network

Healthy Polar Bear Count Confounds Doomsayers

The debate about climate change and its impact on polar bears has intensified with the release of a survey that shows the bear population in a key part of northern Canada is far larger than many scientists thought, and might be growing. The number of bears along the western shore of Hudson Bay, believed to be among the most threatened bear subpopulations, stands at 1,013 and could be even higher, according to the results of an aerial survey released Wednesday by the Government of Nunavut. The study shows that “the bear population is not in crisis as people believed,” said Drikus Gissing, Nunavut’s director of wildlife management. “There is no doom and gloom.” He said the media in southern Canada has led people to believe polar bears are endangered. “They are not.” He added that there are about 25,000 polar bears across Canada’s Arctic. “That’s likely the highest [population level] there has ever been.” --Paul Waldie, The Globe and Mail, 5 April 2012

A recent aerial survey of Western Hudson Bay polar bears shows the population has increased slightly to about 1,000 animals, according to the Government of Nunavut. A 2006 study hypothesized that if the climate continued to warm, the polar bear population would decline. "If I could convey one message here, it's that polar bears are not endangered,” Drikus Gissing, director of wildlife with the Government of Nunavut, said. “And this confirms it. They are not endangered. There are concerns about the effects of global warming, but they are not endangered." --Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 5 April 2012

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