Global Population of Polar Bears has Increased by 2,500 – 5,700 since 2001

polar_bear_clinging1By Susan Crockford, PhD

The official population estimates generated by the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) give the impression that the global total of polar bears has not changed appreciably since 2001:

2001 PBSG report                  21,500-25,000

2005 PBSG report                  20,000-25,000

2009 PBSG report                  20,000-25,000

2013 PBSG website                20,000-25,000

However, some accounting changes were done between 2001 and 2009 (the latest report available) that mean a net increase in numbers had to have taken place (see summary map below and previous post here. Note this is a different issue than the misleading PBSG website graphic discussed here).

And while it is true that population “estimates” are just that — rather broad estimates rather than precise counts — it is also true that nowhere do the PBSG explain how these dropped figures and other adjustments were accounted for in the estimated totals.

The simple details of these changes are laid out below, in as few words as I could manage, to help you understand how this was done and the magnitude of the effect. It’s a short read — see what you think.

Read the rest at Polar Bear Science.

4 Responses to Global Population of Polar Bears has Increased by 2,500 – 5,700 since 2001

  1. Rob N. Hood August 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm #

    A case could very easily be made that there are not more bears, just more of them in certain areas that are accessible to those who study and track them, due to their ice bound habitat shrinking. But nooooo- I’m sure it’s a population boom even though their habitat is shrinking fairly rapidly. Yeah- it’s magic!

    • Neilio August 23, 2013 at 4:55 am #

      Well then the aliens will come with their ark ship and save them all again. Just like they did during the mediaeval warm period, and the Roman warm period. I mean how on Earth did they survive those other warmings in the past? It must have been aliens? No?

    • Michael January 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm #



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