What Laws Protect Polar Bears

“My bill takes a clear, science-based approach to protecting this endangered polar bear population from planned oil activity in the Arctic Refuge” Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife ServiceThe U.S. MMPA and ESA are focused on ecosystems. The MMPA aims to ensure that polar bears are preserved as an important functional element in the ecosystems to which they belong. In addition, ESA requires the service to identify critical habitats for ESA-listed species where possible. On December 7, 2010, the service identified approximately 484,734 km2 (187,157 mi2) as critical habitat for polar bears in three general categories: sea ishabitat, barrier island resting habitat, and Denning habitat. This website is protected by reCAPTCHA and Google`s privacy policy and terms of use apply. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has more than 150 signatory states, all of which we find affected in the Arctic states: Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States of America. The Convention regulates global trade in threatened and endangered species.

However, polar bears are listed in Appendix II of the Convention, which means that international trade is allowed but restricted by licensing procedures. Appendix II is reserved for species that are not yet threatened with extinction but are at risk of extinction if their trade is not controlled. The export of polar bears or parts thereof from a country essentially requires a special export permit in accordance with Article IV of the Convention. This permit is currently granted free of charge, but requires 24 hours` notice, at least in Canada.However, a difficulty in the permitting process is that it is sometimes impossible to distinguish between parts of species and therefore to apply national and even international laws. as quoted, it is difficult. It is important to note that, according to Article 14, CITES does not affect the right of parties to adopt stricter guidelines restricting and even prohibiting trade in one species or other. A federal judge today upheld a 2008 decision to protect polar bears throughout their range as “endangered” under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The list was the result of a petition and litigation filed in 2005 by the Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and Greenpeace. The polar bear was the first species to be included in the list of threatened species solely because of the threat of global warming.

In today`s decision, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan dismissed challenges brought by the state of Alaska and others that tried to strip the polar bear of its protection. Sullivan decided that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service`s decision to protect the bear due to melting Arctic sea ice was well documented. The center, NRDC and Greenpeace had intervened in the case as defendants to support the continued protection of the bear. At the federal level, polar bears are found in a number of parks subject to the Canada National Parks Act and regulations. They are found in Manitoba in Wapusk National Park; in the Yukon Territory, Iwavik National Park and Vuntut National Park; in the Northwest Territories, Tuktut Nogait National Park, Nahanni National Park and Aulavik National Park.

As for polar bear cannibalism, all cases were observed in which the “attacking” polar bear was undernourished. In 1985, it was documented that malnourished female polar bears could eat their young. Then, in 1999, an emaciated male polar bear was observed eating another adult polar bear in Spitsbergen, Norway, following the famine. More recently, in 2004, two adult females and one male yearling were hunted, killed and eaten by other polar bears in the southern Beaufort Sea Region.It it was found that nutritional stresses associated with longer ice-free seasons led to these occurrences. “In 24 years of polar bear research in the southern Beaufort Lake region of northern Alaska and 34 years in northwestern Canada, we have not seen any other incidents of polar bears hunting, killing and eating other polar bears.” [x] The Polar Bear Protection Act was proclaimed in Manitoba on January 1, 2003. He acknowledges that “every effort should be made to keep polar bears in their natural habitat, but there will be situations where it will be appropriate to remove a polar bear from the wild.” [xxi] The law states that no one may possess a polar bear or export or attempt a polar bear from the province without permission. To obtain a permit, the applicant must prove that they need the polar bear for “legitimate scientific, educational or conservation purposes or for any other purpose required by law.” [xxii] If the permit is granted, the applicant must keep and maintain the polar bear in a facility and use it only for the purposes set out in the agreement. The applicant must also agree not to transfer the property to another person without the consent of the Minister. If a licensee contravenes a provision of the Act, the licence may be suspended or cancelled and is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to 6 months, or both. [xxiii] (While a business faces a fine of up to $50,000, a person is guilty of a separate offence for each day the violation continues). Given the many stakeholders involved in the management and conservation of polar bears, it is inevitable that there will be agreements and treaties at the international level. These agreements and treaties are important because they set common goals and targets and the means by which they can be achieved.

As a general rule, however, they do not have an adequate mechanism to be applied. The release of the plan follows another major victory for the Arctic. In December, President Obama announced the permanent protection of 115 million hectares of federal water in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas. With current melting trends, deep-sea ice is fragmenting and distancing, making it harder for polar bears to travel with each other and causing polar bears to drown. It has also been suggested that such fragmentation could lead to the isolation of populations that could have negative genetic effects on polar bear populations. After all, with climate change, polar bears are starving and struggling to reproduce. According to the World Wildlife Fund, some polar bears are already starving due to changing conditions in the Arctic. And the U.S. Geological Survey recently reported that polar bear populations could decline sharply over the next few decades as the sea ice they depend on for hunting recedes as the globe warms.

Last September, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, which collects polar and ice information for the government, announced that less sea ice covered the Arctic Ocean than at any time since satellite measurements began in 1979. Restrictions on polar bear hunting began as early as 1938 in Russia with a ban on hunting from ships and hydrometeorological stations. Later, in the early 1950s, polar bear hunting in the Soviet Arctic was even more restricted. On November 21, 1956, the Arctic Animal Protection Decree was finally passed, which prohibited any hunting (including by indigenous peoples) of polar bears on land, islands, or waters (except for self-defense, of course). This decree remains in force. Bears are only protected from the direct effects of hunting and certain other activities because of the limitations imposed by the Ministry of the Interior. She cited a rarely used loophole to make it easier for the energy industry to expand activities that already threaten bears and their habitat. The draft states that ANWR, the largest Arctic protected area in the United States, will not only place a 1.6 km wide protection zone around polar bear caves, but that all activities and measures related to resource extraction in this area will be prohibited by law. Currently, there is only one protection mandate for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which expires next year. The mandate is not expected to be renewed as the federal government in Washington DC and the government of the state of Anchorage, Alaska, are pushing to expand oil exploration on the so-called North Slope.

Polar bears depend on sea ice for all aspects of life: food, rest, reproduction and exercise. But with rising temperatures in the Arctic, sea ice is becoming increasingly scarce. Results include prey scarcity, population fragmentation, and human-wildlife conflict, all of which contribute to the decline of polar bear populations. The polar bear also plays a crucial role in the health of the entire marine environment, and its absence would have adverse effects on the ecosystem. Norway has regulations regarding tourism as well as camping activities in Spitsbergen.The government recommends that “people try to avoid critical encounters and behave in the most reasonable way when interacting with bears” [xxvii] To avoid potentially catastrophic contact with them, the government issues guidelines with the recommended precautions that are listed here. These include: Greenland is the largest island in the world. Originally run by the Danes, it was granted self-government in 1979; This law entered into force the following year. Denmark still has some control over Greenland, but mainly over its foreign affairs. This means that before 1980, Danish laws ruled Greenland, while Greenland had largely legislative autonomy since 1980. Norway has long regulated polar bear hunting. In 1927, the use of poison to hunt polar bears was banned.

Later, in 1939, an important area of Denning known as Kong Karl`s Land was closed to hunting. .