Subject: Abstract: Polar Bears [Harvest]

Michael Williamson (whe_william)
Mon, 11 May 1995 13:53:18

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From: Michael Williamson <WHE_WILLIAM@FLO.ORG>
Subject: Abstract: Polar Bears [Harvest]
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Subject:      abstract - polar bears (fwd)
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Date: Mon, 8 May 1995 20:02:23 -0400
Dear Marmammers:
The following is an abstract from Aquatic Mammals vol. 20.3, which is
devoted to conservation issues.  The issue was requested and organized by
the members of the Species Survival Commission of the World Conservation
Union.  If you are interested in obtaining reprints of the article, please
do not contact me - refer to the address(es) that are listed w/ the
article=92s abstract.  Subscription requests should be directed to:  Paul
Nachtigall, European Association for Aquatic Mammals, P.O. Box 1106,
Kailua, HI 96734, U.S.A.=20
Prestrud, P.* and I. Stirling.  1995.  The International Polar Bear
Agreement and the current status of polar bear conservation.  Aquatic
Mammals 20: 113-124.=20
* Ministry of Environment, Myntgt 2, P.O. Box 8013 Dep. 0030 Oslo 1, Norway
In 1973, after much negotiation, the International Agreement for the
Conservation of Polar Bears and Their Habitat was signed by Canada,
Denmark, Norway, the United States of America, the former Union of Soviet
Socialist Republics.  This was in response to concern that the rapidly
increasing levels of recorded harvest might result in the polar bear
becoming endangered.  The influence of the Polar Bear Agreement on the
circumpolar development of polar bear conservation is judged to have been
significant and, on a worldwide basis, polar bear populations are now
reasonably secure.  Most hunting is done by aboriginal people.=20
Nevertheless, shortcomings still exist.  For example, the population
boundaries and size of several populations, some of which are currently
being harvested, are inadequately known.  The Agreement has seen limited
use to conserve habitat.  Nevertheless, strong coordinated national and
international research and management programs continue throughout much of
the Arctic.  Although the major conservation issue is still controlling
and monitoring the harvest, additional potential concerns include long
range transportation of hydrocarbons, radioactivity from nuclear dumping,
climatic warming, and increased disturbance and harrassment resulting from
increased development of the Arctic in general.  It is unclear whether the
Polar Bear Agreement can play a significant role in dealing with these
wider issues.=20