No, polar bears are not endangered they are listed as Vulnerable species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List. However it is more likely than not to occur that white bears fall into the category of endangerment. Scientists claim that polar bears face high risk of endangerment in the next 20 years or so possibly due to rapid climate change, human hunting, and scarcity of food. On the contrary recent findings show that the overall global population of polar bears has been stable. It clearly suggests the divided opinion of scientists on polar bear status.
Are Polar Bears Endangered?
Endangered species are those species that are likely to become extinct in the next few decades if the appropriate conservation efforts are not made. The status is defined by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Endangered species are listed on the Red List of IUCN.
Why are Polar Bears not Endangered?
Studies show that there is a slightest chance of polar bears getting extinct—not at least in the next 20 years. Thus they are not endangered. While many factors such as excessive hunting, harvesting, and climate change contribute towards polar bears future endangerment still the overall population is more than 20,000. The maximum population size is 25,000 which can qualify polar bears as vulnerable species but certainly not endangered animals.
Factors that can make Polar Bears Endangered in 2030
Factors such as these are likely to change the polar bear’s conservation status in near future. We can probably imagine that polar bear may face rapid decline in her population given the climate continues to change; the habitat continues to be threatened, and the indigenous people continue to hunt polar bears.
Read More: Are Polar Bears going Extinct?
Climate Change/Global Warming
The overall warming of the earth’s surface temperature has caused the Arctic sea ice to melt. As it turns out summers are longer than winter and bears are forced to stay on land more than ever. Unlike before, polar bears must learn to hunt land mammals which might be a tough ask since polar bears are marine mammals. They are adept to spend so much time in water; playing and hunting seals. Currently the survival on land is turning into a major challenge. If the global warming goes on with time then it can pose serious threats to the polar bear’s existence.
Indigenous People Hunting
The native people in Canada and Greenland are allowed to hunt polar bears because their living depends on it. They eat meat and they sell polar bear’s skin and coat in the village market. However villagers are not permitted to deal commercially outside the village. The legal hunting by the locals is going to hit the polar bears’ population in the years to come.