Polar Bear Numbers Plummeting in Alaska, Canada—What About the Rest?
Several populations of the Arctic predator are little studied, scientists say.
The number of the large predators living in the southern Beaufort Sea (map) plummeted from 1,500 animals in 2001 to just 900 in 2010, according to the study, published on November 17 in the journal Ecological Applications.
But there's a lot we don't know about the 18 other known polar bear populations, which are scattered throughout the U.S., Canada, Russia, Greenland, Norway, and Denmark, experts say.
For instance, nine groups, which live in places like northern Siberia, are little studied due to the remoteness of their locations and lack of funding.
Of the most studied populations, four—including the southern Beaufort group—are declining, five are stable, and one, in north-central Canada's M'Clintock Channel (map), is actually increasing, scientists say.