Polar Bear Numbers Almost Triple 

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How do polar bears fare?

Photo courtesy of Andrew biologist Derocher/University of Alberta
Derocher prepares to put a radio collar on a sedated female polar  
 bear near Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, Canada. Her 18th-    
month-old cub, also sedated, is too young to wear one.     

3 May 07 – "There aren't just a few more bears. There are a ... lot more bears," biologist Mitchell Taylor told the Nunatsiaq News of Iqaluit in the Arctic territory of Nunavut. Dr. Taylor has studied the animals for the Nunavut government for two decades.

Taylor’s ongoing study shows that the number of polar bears in Canada's eastern Arctic – one of 19 polar bear populations worldwide – has grown to 2,100, up from 850 in the mid-1980s.

Inuit hunters, who make their own estimates of the polar bear population based on the number of animals they encounter on their travels, have long said that bear numbers were rising. Inuits also report more polar bears wandering into their towns and villages, where they are a threat to children.

"I'm pretty sure the numbers [of polar bears] are climbing," says Pitselak Pudlat, an Inuit hunter and manager of the Aiviq Hunters and Trappers Organization at Cape Dorset, Baffin Island. "During the winter there were polar bears coming into town."

The arctic territory of Nunavut is 730,000 square miles, bigger than Alaska and almost three times the size of Texas.

See entire article by Fred Langan, correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor



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