Polar bears are now in more danger to go extinct than ever and the U.S. authorities decided to step in to stop this. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services released an extensive conservation plan on Monday with all the measures that have to be taken for the protection of polar bears. The estimated number of polar bears left in the world lies somewhere between 22,000 and 31,000.
Global warming is acting upon the habitat of the polar bears. The rise of temperatures is caused by the burning of fossil fuels. Therefore, the wildlife services are acting upon the reduction of coal burning, therefore the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan also aims to prevent oil spills and prevent the damage of the habitat of the polar bears. Also, the harmful interactions between humans and bears are to be reduced. The subsistence practice of bear hunting practiced by indigenous tribes will be managed so that no more than four percent of the bear population is killed per year.
Greg Siekaniec, the Alaska Regional Director of the Services, warned everybody that action should be taken quickly, since the extinction of the polar bears is imminent. Many organizations and volunteers, including Alaskan native communities, are currently working together to enforce a big part of the actions included in the conservation plan.
The plan is devised to protect two populations of polar bears living off the Alaskan coast. However, the program should be fashioned to a larger extent so that it might act towards the saving of other polar bear populations from the Northern hemisphere. Other polar bear populations are found across Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia.
The polar bear entered the list of Endangered Species in 2008, at the onset of the deterioration of the icy habitat in the Arctic. Since then, the environmental conditions have been constantly deteriorating. October and November 2016 marked the point when the ice surface in the Arctic was the smallest.
The biggest aim of the polar bear conservation program is to reduce greenhouse gas emission as much as possible. Even if the emission rate does not increase and remains constant, it is still enough for the polar bear populations to disappear in little to no time.
Image Source: The Polar Bear Programme