Polar bear and yearlings on an ice floe, Nunavut, Canada.

Polar bear and yearlings on an ice floe, Nunavut, Canada.
Photo Credit: Lee Narraway / Students on Ice (CNW Group/WWF-Canada

New polar bear survey. Some good news, for now

Share

There are 19 subpopulations of polar bears in the Arctic circumpolar region, with 13 of them in Canada

A recent survey was taken of two of these subpopulations as previous number estimates were old, dating back to the 1990’s and deemed to be woefully out of date.

The new results, taken from 2011 to 2013 indicate that the subpopulations in the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin areas are stable and may even show a slight increase.  In Baffin Bay there are now an estimated 2,826 animals, while in the Kane Basin some 357 bears.

Polar bear subpopulations, with Kane Basin and Baffin Bay highlighted.
Polar bear subpopulations, with Kane Basin and Baffin Bay highlighted. © WWF

Melanie Lancaster, senior specialist, Arctic species, WWF Arctic Programme  says, “It’s definitely a positive sign to see population numbers looking good, but it’s also worrying to see that climate change is beginning to have a noticeable effect, even on northerly populations. This reiterates the importance of monitoring to understand how polar bears are coping with the effects of climate change, while at the same time focusing our efforts on maintaining polar bear habitat within the Last Ice Area.”

However, while that seems to be good news, the report also indicates that in Baffin Bay there has been a dramatic loss of sea ice, with  ice melt occurring 3-4 weeks earlier now than it did in the 1990’s, and with 12 more days being ice-free than in the past.

The report notes that because of this , the bears range is moving northward.

Although the numbers appear to be stable, the report notes a decline in the bear’s overall body condition, and a decline in cub production.

It has also meant bears are being forced to swim longer distances which puts hardship on weakened bears, and on fragile cubs.

The bears are also spending about a month longer on land, where it’s known that food sources are inadequate.

Brandon Laforest, senior specialist, Arctic species and ecosystems for WWF-Canada, says of the new population survey: “This work has helped to establish a reliable estimate for these polar bear subpopulations, a key component for the creation of a comprehensive conservation plan and a baseline from which to measure their health in the future. The decreases in reproduction and body condition of polar bears in Baffin Bay are very concerning. As sea ice continues to decline, frequent and timely monitoring of polar bear subpopulations across Canada will be necessary to ensure co-management boards can make informed decisions.”

Additional information-sources

Share
Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Environment, International, Internet, Science and Technology

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

One comment on “New polar bear survey. Some good news, for now
  1. Avatar Tomasie Panipak says:

    500 polar bears is a good number and safe. More seals and less wild beast damage and losts.