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Polar Bears Were Never In Danger!

From: http://polarbearscience.com/2014/05/30/iucn-polar-bear-specialist-group-says-its-global-population-estimate-was-a-qualified-guess/

 

Excerpts from:

IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group says its global population estimate was “a qualified guess”

 

Here is the statement that the PBSG proposes to insert as a footnote in their forthcoming Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan draft:

 

“As part of past status reports, the PBSG has traditionally estimated a range for the total number of polar bears in the circumpolar Arctic. Since 2005, this range has been 20-25,000. It is important to realize that this range never has been an estimate of total abundance in a scientific sense, but simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand. It is also important to note that even though we have scientifically valid estimates for a majority of the subpopulations, some are dated. Furthermore, there are no abundance estimates for the Arctic Basin, East Greenland, and the Russian subpopulations. Consequently, there is either no, or only rudimentary, knowledge to support guesses about the possible abundance of polar bears in approximately half the areas they occupy. Thus, the range given for total global population should be viewed with great caution as it cannot be used to assess population trend over the long term.” [my bold]

 

So, the global estimates were “…simply a qualified guess given to satisfy public demand” and according to this statement, were never meant to be considered scientific estimates, despite what they were called, the scientific group that issued them, and how they were used (see footnote below).

 

All this glosses over what I think is a critical point: none of these ‘global population estimates’ (from 2001 onward) came anywhere close to being estimates of the actual world population size of polar bears (regardless of how scientifically inaccurate they might have been) — rather, they were estimates of only the subpopulations that Arctic biologists have tried to count.

 

For example, the PBSG’s  most recent global estimate (range 13,071-24,238) ignores five very large subpopulation regions which between them potentially contain 1/3 as many additional bears as the official estimate includes (see map below). The PBSG effectively gives them each an estimate of zero.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the rest of the article at its source:

http://polarbearscience.com/2014/05/30/iucn-polar-bear-specialist-group-says-its-global-population-estimate-was-a-qualified-guess/

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Based on previous PBSG estimates and other research, there may be ~6,000-9,000 (perhaps less but maybe more) bears living in the regions marked in black that are not included in the most recent PBSG “global population estimate” – their population estimates are “zero.” CS, Chukchi Sea; LS, Laptev Sea; KS, Kara Sea; EG, East Greenland; AB, Arctic Basin.