Would The Arctic Still Be The Arctic Without The Polar Bear?

Polar Bear Hunting
Polar Bear Hunting
U.S. Fish and Wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -(Ammoland.com)- Two great bears are emblematic of the Arctic: Ursa Major – arktos in Greek – the constellation from which the Arctic derives its name, and the polar bear, which has lived beneath the northern stars for hundreds of thousands of years.

It’s hard to imagine the region without either of them, but the future of the polar bear is being jeopardized by the rapid loss of its sea-ice habitat.

Its fate is not determined by the stars, but by our willingness and ability to address climate change.

While the international community grapples with that long-term challenge, U.S. government agencies, Native communities, private organizations, scientists and subsistence hunters have collaborated on a plan for improving the polar bear’s immediate chances of surviving in the wild.

This final Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the polar released today by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, outlines actions that will help this revered symbol of the Arctic persist in the wild in the near-term, while also acknowledging the primary threat to the bear will entail longer-term actions.

“This plan outlines the necessary actions and concrete commitments by the Service and our state, tribal, federal and international partners to protect polar bears in the near term,” said Greg Siekaniec, The Service’s Alaska Regional Director. “But make no mistake; without decisive action to address Arctic warming, the long-term fate of this species is uncertain.”

The plan was developed by a diverse team of experts and partners and reflects input on the draft plan submitted during the 2015 public comment period. It calls for reducing human-bear conflicts, collaboratively managing subsistence harvest, protecting denning habitat, and minimizing the risk of contamination from oil spills.

Most of these actions are already underway, in partnership with Alaska Native communities, nonprofit groups, and industry representatives who participated in the plan’s creation.

The plan also calls for increased monitoring and research to determine whether the actions in the CMP are being effective or need to be modified.

While the CMP focuses on management actions for the two U.S. subpopulations of polar bears that live off the coast of Alaska, it contributes to efforts to conserve polar bears in the other four range states of Norway, Greenland, Canada and Russia.

The polar bear was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 2008 due to the loss of its sea-ice habitat. The area of the Arctic covered by sea ice in October and November 2016 was the lowest on record for those months since recordkeeping began in 1979.

The current global polar bear population is estimated to be 26,000. If greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at the current rates throughout the 21st century, polar bears will likely disappear from much of their present-day range.

The Service will continue to work with diverse partners to implement the CMP. The team will share information, identify priorities, leverage resources and adapt the plan according to new and emerging science and information.

Read the plan and learn more about the conservation work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and partners here.

 

About The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service.

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit their website.

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    Larry BrickeyBrigitWild BillRoy D.Colonialgirl Recent comment authors
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    Brigit
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    Brigit

    Polar Bear numbers have actually been increasing over the past couple decades and as already commented, have only been in existence for about 50,000. Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the polar region was a tropical paradise. Where do you think all of the plants that became the oil up there came from?
    Author should research for facts, not propaganda.

    Roy D.
    Guest
    Roy D.

    “I am from the Government. I am here to help you.”

    James Bailey
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    James Bailey

    Polar bears have not been around for hundreds of thousands of years, according to paleontologist they’ve been around for 40 to 50 thousand years. Further biologists are seeing hybrid crosses between polar bears and grizzly bears. This illustrates the common ancestry of both subgroups of bear. It is the height of ignorance to believe that humans can change what Mother Nature has been doing for the last four billion years: climate change is natural, normal, and it is how our planet our biosphere has operated in perpetuity. Man-made climate change is a hoax: it is nothing more than a scheme… Read more »

    gerald brennan
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    gerald brennan

    Climate change is *not* a hoax. Always was climate change, always shall be. The hoax is that climate change is always a catastrophe, and that we humans, in our evil, ignorance and greed, are the cause.
    But features like this would be insultingly dumb if we didn’t already know you folks at AL are the good guys and you just let a curve ball get by you.
    Right? Right.

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    Not the only cause. A natural cycle is occurring as well. We humans are speeding it up and pushing it further than it would naturally.

    Charles
    Guest
    Charles

    I don’t know who is counting these bears but the polar bear population has exploded as have the ice sheets.

    oldshooter
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    oldshooter

    I call BS! 1) as noted by another poster, polar bears are not dependent on the amount of sea ice, but hunt along the edges of it. Further, the polar bear population not only isn’t declining, it has quadrupled over the last 40-50 years and is still growing. Even the idea that they are endangered is questionable today. 2)There is no evidence that “greenhouse gases” have ANYTHING to do with increasing global temperatures – in fact, there is very inconsistent data to show that there is any increase at all in global temperatures, at present. The best climate models, based… Read more »

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    Prove your points, please.

    2War Abn Vet
    Guest
    2War Abn Vet

    Polar bears might look cute, but they will eat your face!

    John
    Guest
    John

    Polar bears are not depended upon the square mileage of the ice. They are hunting the edge of the ice, that is where the seals are. So the breakup of the ice does not diminish their hunting ground it increases it. A thousand years ago the temperatures were much warmer than we have today. Where the Norwegians settled on Grenland and was farming you cannot grow anything as of today. The climate is to cold. And also some of the spots they were travelling to for trading with the Inuits are still covered by ice. Climate change has been occurring… Read more »

    Gary Foster
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    Gary Foster

    are you s***ting me!? This site is pro climate change?! What nonsense!

    Ammoland
    Admin

    Ok, you are right, climate change is a hoax, but we have to give both sides a chance to state their case or we would be just like the ignorant, intolerant left media.

    Mick
    Guest
    Mick

    Well said Ammoland !

    Colonialgirl
    Guest
    Colonialgirl

    WHY allow them tom spew their load of total BS on this Site?? They get enough willing idiots helping out in the lamestream media without allowing them to dump it here on a pro firearm site. FACT IS; The population of Polar Bears is at a record HIGH, Arctic Sea Ice has been growing every year and there has been NO temperature increase for almost 20 years. That Plus the FACTS that NONE of the models have predicted Current weather, NOR can they accurately portray PAST weather and the NOAA has been caught adjusting temperatures in the PAST DOWN and… Read more »

    Larry Brickey
    Guest
    Larry Brickey

    Not BS. Have you read the actual science? I doubt it.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Gary F, What does pro climate change mean? Does it mean that one is in favor of climate change? Should one be lobbying for climate change or doing all they can to change the climate? Define your terms!