How to Underestimate Polar Bears

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How to underestimate polar bears, according to Polar Bear Science 30 May 2014. Zoologist and polar bear researcher Susan Crockford reports that the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group PBSG have added a footnote to their “Circumpolar Polar Bear Action Plan” draft stating: “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. (emphasis added) 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”.

Crockford commented: “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”. (emphasis in original)

She goes on to explain that the PBSG have not counted bears in all the regions occupied by polar bears, and “at the last tally (2013), 26% of the world’s polar bear subpopulations are not accounted for by the PBSG and geographically, those subpopulations occupy close to half of the world’s polar bear habitat.”

Polar Bear Science

Editorial Comment: You may be wondering why there was a public demand to count polar bears. There provably was a demand from global warming activists, who wanted to use polar bears to attract attention to their cause, but as far as we can find there never was any demand from the general public. Photos of polar bears clinging to fragments of ice have been used to convince the public the bears were an endangered species, and they were officially listed as such by the USA in 2008. However, as Susan Crockford points out in her article, most polar bears do not live in the USA. Most live in Canada and Russia, and we have no data for most Russian habitats. Furthermore, the people who actually live with Canadian polar bears will happily tell you the bears have been flourishing right through the decades of supposed catastrophic climate change. A con job to increase taxes seems a reasonable conclusion. (Ref. Ursus maritimus, ecology)

Evidence News vol. 14, No. 9
4 June 2014
Creation Research Australia

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