photo: James Seith Photography via flickr
Back in 2004 there were only about 936 polar bears in the Western Hudson Bay part of Manitoba. Now researchers say that the increasing length of the ice-free season in the region means that a tipping point will soon be reached, which means the polar bears will decline over the next 30 years to a point where too few remain to sustain a viable breeding population. The Windsor Star quotes polar bear researcher Ian Stirling: "We can say with a very great deal of confidence, sadly, the Western Hudson Bay population population will be non-viable within 25 or 30 years."
Polar Bears Doomed in Region, Even With Emission Reductions
What's more, based on Stirling's work, the fate of the polar bear in the Western Hudson Bay is pretty much sealed--even with no hunting and significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. "Even if we went back to 1970 greenhouse gas levels, it will be years before we see a difference," Stirling said.
All of which means that the self-proclaimed polar bear capital of the world will likely have no bears in just three decades.