Increase in polar bear numbers in northern Canada prompts control measures, federal ministry says

As polar bear numbers in northern Canada increase, certain control measures must be taken, federal officials say, despite past reports that the animals are nearing extinction.

“However, science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit (IQ) are now observing that polar bear numbers are increasing, and management goals are to maintain or reduce numbers in communities and sensitive areas (i.e., bird colonies). Our focus is on doing what we do,” said the Environment Agency. A report called ‘Nunavut 2021 Threatened Species’, last updated in December 2022.

“The Inuit are concerned about increased encounters and property damage by polar bears. It may be due to the combination

The ministry also said the first polar bear catch limits came into force in 1960 and since then the polar bear is “an iconic species endangered on a national and international scale”.

The report referred to the “Nunavut polar bear”. joint management planIt said the past 50 years of efforts to restore polar bear populations in areas where polar bears have been depleted have been “largely achieved.”

“Currently, the focus of polar bear management has shifted to maintaining or reducing numbers in areas where public safety is a concern and/or where increased polar bear populations have detrimental ecological impacts.” and, October 2016.

“Inuit hunters have observed that polar bear numbers have increased since their low populations in the 1950s and 60s. This is confirmed by scientific studies on most subpopulations in Nunavut. ”

The joint management plan continues to address conflicting views on the issue between Inuit and outside observations by environmental groups and “climate change advocates” to protect polar bear populations. summed up as pressure.

“The Inuit believe that there are so many bears today that public safety is a major concern,” he said.

The Federal Environment Agency has repeatedly warned that climate change is threatening polar bear populations.

“If greenhouse gas emissions remain unchecked, it is very likely that the world’s entire polar bear population will be wiped out by the end of the century,” former environment minister Catherine McKenna said in 2020. tweeted and quoted a news article on the subject. “It’s devastating, but it should motivate more ambitious climate action!”

peter wilson
Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.