Today, as I’m sure you know, is International Polar Bear Day. And I’m afraid the news is bad…
…Bad news, that is, for all those environmentalists from David Attenborough downwards who have spent the last few years assiduously bigging up the polar bear as a “threatened species.”
As I’ve argued before, any species which has experienced a five-fold increase in its population in the last fifty years (in the 60s there were about 5,000 of them; now there are around 25,000), sounds less like a rare and endangered creature and more like a verminous, out-of-control menace in sore need of culling.
And the latest figures from a GWPF special report by Dr Susan Crockford appear to confirm this. (h/t Bishop Hill)
On almost every measure, things are looking good for polar bears. Scientists are finding that they are well distributed throughout their range and adapting well to changes in sea ice. Health indicators are good and they are benefiting from abundant prey. It really is time for the doom and gloom about polar bears to stop.
Particularly interesting, I think, is the bit where Crockford torpedoes the popular theory that polar bears are being starved to death by the melting of their hunting grounds.
In a section titled “Low sea ice in 2012 had no effect on Southern Beaufort bear numbers” she tells us:
The dramatically low September sea ice of 2012 had apparently no effect on Southern Beaufort Sea polar bears, or at least we have heard nothing to indicate any adverse effects. Even though 2012 had the longest open-water period in the Southern Beaufort since at least 1979, researchers doing mark-recapture work in the area reported no starving bears during the summer of 2012 or the spring of 2013. Instead, an aerial survey in the fall of 2012 reported that the numbers were higher than they had been in a decade.
Yeah, yeah, Dr Crockford. But never mind that pesky real-world evidence. What do the tell us?