Canada is home to more than two-thirds of world's polar bear population and so, has a unique conservation responsibility to protect these iconic creatures.
Canada is working with its international partners, including non-governmental organizations, to coordinate our efforts in polar bear conservation. Our international actions include:
Meeting international obligations under:1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar BearsConvention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)Collaborating with the other Polar Bear Range States on conservation actionsSigning bilateral agreements on the management of polar bears:US–Canada Memorandum of UnderstandingGreenland–Canada Memorandum of UnderstandingWorking with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)Environment Canada scientists are members of the IUCN’s Polar Bear Specialist Group, who compile scientific information and give independent advice to decision-makers and management authorities.
Negotiate with governments, industry, and individuals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change.Promote sustainable consumptive and non-consumptive use of polar bears that directly affect the species, such as hunting, poaching, industrial take, illegal trade, and unsustainable tourism.Protect critical habitat including important movement corridors, and denning habitat.Prevent or remove direct threats from industrial activity such as oil and gas development, and arctic shipping.Fund field research by the world's foremost experts on polar bears to find out how global warming will affect the long-term condition of polar bears.
Large carnivores are sensitive indicators of ecosystem health. Polar bears are studied to gain an understanding of what is happening throughout the Arctic.
In the southern range of polar bears, for example in the Hudson and James Bays of Canada, sea ice is now melting earlier in the spring and forming later in the autumn. The time bears have on the ice is shorter making it more difficult for them to store the energy they need to survive the summer.
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