by Susan Crockford, February 2019, in GWPF
Inuit paying the price of rising bear populations
The 2018 State of the Polar Bear report, published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation, confirms that polar bears are continuing to thrive, despite recent reductions in sea ice levels. This finding contradicts claims by environmentalists and some scientists that falls in sea ice would wipe out bear populations.
The report’s author, zoologist Dr Susan Crockford, says that there is now very little evidence to support the idea that the polar bear is threatened with extinction by climate change.
From 1972 until 2010,1 the Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) published comprehensive status reports every four years or so, as proceedings of their official meetings, making them available in electronic format. Until 2018 – a full eight years after its last report – the PBSG had disseminated information only on its website, updated (without announcement) at its discretion. In April 2018, the PBSG finally produced a standalone proceedings document from its 2016 meeting, although most people would have been unaware that this document existed unless they visited the PBSG website.
This State of the Polar Bear Report is intended to provide a yearly update of the kind of content available in those occasional PBSG meeting reports, albeit with more critical com- mentary regarding some of the inconsistencies and sources of bias present in the corpus of reports and papers. It is a summary of the state of polar bears in the Arctic since 2014, rela- tive to historical records, based on a review of the recent and historical scientific literature. It is intended for a wide audience, including scientists, teachers, students, decision-makers and the general public interested in polar bears and Arctic ecology.