SB, Southern Beaufort; NB, Northern Beaufort; VM, Viscount Melville; MC, M’Clintock Channel; LS, Lancaster Sound; GB, Gulf of Boothia; NW, Norwegian Bay; KB, Kane Basin; WH, Western Hudson Bay. Click to enlarge.
Between 2001 and 2005 the ‘Queen Elizabeth Islands’ region in northern-most Canada (see map above) was dropped altogether as a distinct subpopulation (along with its estimated 200 bears) and the tentative total of 2,000 bears estimated for ‘East Greenland’ was also dropped (from both minimum and maximum portions of the “21,500-25,000″ range).
In 2009, the tentative total of 2,000 bears estimated for the ‘Chukchi Sea’ subpopulation was dropped – from both the minimum and maximum total estimates – because it was deemed not accurate enough: “2,000″ became “zero,” even though bears are well known there (see previous posts here and here).
1. The Barents Sea subpopulation was roughly estimated to have been “2,000-5000” in 2001. This means that of the “20,000-25,000” total estimate, 2,000 of the “20,000” minimum came from the Barents Sea and 5,000 of the “25,000” maximum came from the Barents Sea. However, the contribution of Barents Sea bears to the total changed in 2005 because a new, more accurate estimate became available (stated as “2,997 average, range of 2,299-4,116”). No other subpopulation estimate, except the Barents Sea, changed from a tentative, ‘educated guess’ to a science-based estimate between 2001 and 2012, so I contend it is valid to include this as an “accounting change.”
2001 PBSG report:
Lunn, N.J., Schliebe, S., and Born, E.W. (eds.). 2002. Polar Bears: Proceedings of the 13th working meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialists Group, 23-28 June , 2001, Nuuk, Greenland. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge UK, IUCN.
Aars, J., Lunn, N. J. and Derocher, A.E. (eds.) 2006. Polar Bears: Proceedings of the 14th Working Meeting of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group, 20-24 June 2005, Seattle, Washington, USA. Occasional Paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission 32. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Obbard, M.E., Theimann, G.W., Peacock, E. and DeBryn, T.D. (eds.) 2010. Polar Bears: Proceedings of the 15th meeting of the Polar Bear Specialists Group IUCN/SSC, 29 June-3 July, 2009, Copenhagen, Denmark. Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.