A new conservation management plan to prevent polar bear from becoming extinct has been released recently by the United States Fish and Wildlife service. The new conservation management plan addresses human induced threats being faced by the polar bears. The threats addressed in the plan include overhunting of the bears and oil spills (An oil spill is the release of liquid petroleum into the environment, especially into the ocean). However, the plan does not tackle the greatest threat being faced by the bears; which is the rapid decline of sea ice due to climate change.
“This recovery plan is too risky for the polar bear. Recovery plans work, but only if they truly address the threats to the specie. Sadly, that simply isn’t the case with this polar bear plan. – Shaye Wolf, Climate Science Director”
The new plan describes that how polar bears become attractive to human residential area. When they are hungry, they travel towards human settlements to find food in human garbage. Because they also attack human so people kill them. Currently, there are estimated 22,000 to 31,000 polar bears globally, in total of 19 subpopulations. Out of those nineteen, two subpopulations already in decline due to sea ice loss.
Sea ice plays vital role in polar bears overall survivability. They were born on ice, grown up in ice, hunt for their food in ice; they simply spend all their life on sea ice. Ice seals are the primary diet for polar bears and are available on sea ice. If sea ice will keep declining, polar bears will suffer badly and will soon be extinct.
The US Wildlife and Fish service stated that they have no control over the warming climate. They said that they don’t have power to reduce carbon emissions produced by human activities. They also said that it is impossible for them to deal with the sea ice decline.