Canada's Polar Bear — Falling Through the Cracks?
More than half the world's polar bears live in Canada.
That's something to be proud of, but it's also a major responsibility.
Polar bears are internationally recognized as a threatened species—their future is uncertain in the face the rapid changes to their Arctic habitat from global warming.
Shockingly, the federal government does not have a plan to protect polar bears, despite clear warnings from scientists that the future of this iconic animal is in jeopardy.
The David Suzuki Foundation conducted a comprehensive study of provincial and federal protections for the bear, and released its analysis in the report, Canada's Polar Bear: Falling Through the Cracks?
The findings were troubling: despite increasing threats to their survival — including melting sea ice, pollutants, increased shipping traffic and oil/gas exploration — polar bears are not listed federally as a species at risk, and have little to no protection through the federal government, provinces or territories.
The report offers clear recommendations for the federal, territorial and provincial governments to take action:
- follow the scientific recommendations that the polar bear be listed as a species of special concern;
- improve provincial and territorial species at risk legislation;
- create marine and terrestrial protected areas in polar bear habitat;
- develop policies to decrease the amount of toxics released into the atmosphere; and,
- develop policies to deeply cut our country's greenhouse gas emissions.