No Decline in Polar Bear Population

The Polar Bear Specialist Group of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the organization of scientists that has attempted to monitor the global polar bear population since the 1960s, has issued a report indicating that there was no change in the overall global polar bear population in the most recent four-year period studied.

“The total number of polar bears is still thought to be between 20,000 and 25,000,” the group said in a press release published together with a report on the proceedings of its 15th meeting

20,000 to 25,000 polar bears worldwide is exactly the same population estimate the group made following its 14th international meeting.

“The total number of polar bears worldwide is estimated to be 20,000–25,000,” the scientists said in the report they issued after that previous meeting.

The 15th meeting of the IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group took place from June 29-July 3, 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark—four years after the 14th meeting, which took place in Seattle, Wash., June 20-24, 2005. But the report on the 15th meeting and its conclusions about the polar bear population—including subsequent information that was developed through March 2010—was not published until this year (on Feb. 25, 2011).

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