It’s official: Polar bear not an endangered species

Polar Bear (Sow And Cub), Arctic National Wild...

Ursus maritimus - Image via Wikipedia

The word comes from the Obama Administration, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, no less, and some enironmentalists heads are exploding right about now. This pretty well slams the door on the polar bears threatened by global warming meme. Now we know why there was a flurry of questionable press releases this past week like these:

Polar bears no longer on ‘thin ice’: researchers say polar bears could face brighter future: a combination of greenhouse gas mitigation and control of adverse human activities in the Arctic can lead to a more promising future for polar bear populations and their sea ice habitat

Polar bears: On thin ice? Extinction can be averted, scientists say
Cutting greenhouse gases now is the key

Polar bears still on thin ice, but cutting greenhouse gases now can avert extinction

From Politico: The Obama administration is sticking with a George W. Bush-era decision to deny polar bears endangered species status.

In a court filing Wednesday, the Fish and Wildlife Service defended the previous administration’s decision to give the polar bear the less-protective “threatened” species designation, a move that will frustrate environmentalists who hoped for stronger protections under the Endangered Species Act.

FWS Director Rowan Gould said the 2008 “threatened” listing was made “following careful analysis of the best scientific information, as required by the ESA.”

At the time, the service determined the bears weren’t danger of extinction, so did not warrant the “endangered” status. The bears were listed as “threatened” because they face serious threats from projected decline in its sea ice habitat due to global warming would result in them likely being in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

FWS is “confident it was and is the appropriate status,” Gould said.
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1210/46733.html#ixzz18v3D5N4y

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51 Responses to It’s official: Polar bear not an endangered species

  1. Darkinbad the Brightdayler says:

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/weather/theres-a-mini-ice-age-coming-says-man-who-beats-weather-experts-20101221-1945a.html

    According to Piers Corbyn, the forthcoming climate and weather is likely to be right up their street!

  2. pesadia says:

    I would like to propose that “Homo Sapiens” be declared an endangered specis because they are threatened with extinction by the AGW myth.

  3. Baa Humbug says:

    Silly me, I thought all the polly berras fell out of the sky and splattered on the streets of New York.

    To celebrate this good news, I hereby declare December 23rd of each year as “Hug a Polar Bear Day.”

  4. ibram says:

    Hi there, does that mean the WWF can stop their adverts with the sad looking polar bears and telling me to hand over my DD details to save them?

    If this becomes mainstream I’m gonna have a good laugh at the faces of the advocates of agw.

  5. Ralph says:

    WOW! A hint of sanity coming from Washington????

  6. Roger Longstaff says:

    “greenhouse gas mitigation” ?

    What are these guys smoking ? (and where can I get some ?)

  7. John says:

    Roger:
    They must be smoking CO2…

  8. Mark Nutley says:

    I had to explain to my five year old son that polar bears can swim, are not endangered and are doing just fine after he saw one of the wwe`s propaganda adverts on a children`s channel. These people ought to be ashamed showing that trash on kids tv show`s.

  9. tarpon says:

    How did it go, wasn’t Miami Vice the TV show with “ice ice ice” theme — Oops different ice you say?

    Polar bears are a recent addition to planet earth, having been brown bears up until about 220,000 years ago. I guess the brown bears took notice at all the tasty seals that were living on the Arctic ice pack and they began migrating north. Since the Arctic beaches had become a thing of days gone by (hey what did you think tundra is?). They also quickly figured out that white was the preferred color when stealing seals for dinner. Smart move. At least this is what the guys and gals who research polar bears has to say. And the bears biggest fears, becoming rugs, like what happened in the 1970s with excess hunting. Bring a food source, and something will evolve to eat it :).

    So everything that is, hasn’t always been, key point of things to remember :). I blame plate tectonics for closing off the Isthmus of Panama to ocean recirculation currents for the polar bear creation and subsequent migrations — chicken egg argument here.

    And 220,000 years, compared to earth’s 4.5 billion life span so far, sneeze in time. So were polar bears never entitled to live in the Arctic and snack on ‘our seals’, and occasionally people? Did they have the proper government registration, over-site and regulations to just ‘move in’ and take over? Well because that is what they did, took over.

    And if you think cuddly applies to a polar bear, then I submit you have very little, up close face time with real live wild bears 600-1000 pounds, their four inch claws, legs the size of telephone poles and gnarly superior attitude. At our Ft Churchill Aurora Borealis research site, you did not go outside without the guy with the big rifle clearing the way.

    Hey it happened to the Saber Tooth Tigers, where I bet they had one too many human entrees.

  10. Patrick Davis says:

    Seriously, I believe the only, truely, endagered species on Earth are sensible and rational, thinking humans. Ther rest are just sheep/lemmings!

  11. Brian Johnson uk says:

    On the surface it seems that Polar Bears are merely endangered and yet they still have to be ‘saved’ by cutting greenhouse gas emissions! The fact that they are multiplying means it is probably better to provide them with contraceptives rather than build electric cars [which have no range] or use wind power [which is the most expensive way to keep warm/cold [depending on your eco scientific/religious rules] in order to lower a gas which is neither poisonous or pollutant. Madness rules. Contraceptives are so much cheaper too. The Greens can fit them on whenever they like. Happy Christmas all.

  12. Bruce Cobb says:

    Oh well, at least they maintain “threatened” status, allowing “scientists” the excuse to continue harrassingstudying them.
    Meanwhile, the eco-loons like WWF etc. will continue to use Polar bears as their poster species for their favorite, most lucrative bogeyman of all time, human-produced climate.
    It’s a nice thorn in their sides though, and ramps up the level of cognitive dissonance to a delicious degree.

  13. Alpha Tango says:

    Now that we have now been assured that GW actually causes colder winters (don’t know how we missed that) – shouldn’t Eco warriors now start campaigning hard to halt CO2 reductions in order to save those Polar Bears?

    You know it makes sense.

  14. Grumpy old Man says:

    Isn’t it obvious that the US F&WS has been infiltrated by agents of the Global Denier Conspiracy?

  15. Cold as ice - London UK says:

    Mark Nutley says:
    December 23, 2010 at 3:51 am

    I had to do the same with my 9year old. I advice anyone with children to make sure their kids don’t get sucked into this daft religion called AGW. I teach my kids to have morals, respect, and everytime they come home from school I make sure they haven’t been brainwashed.

  16. Michael Jankowski says:

    It’s a Festivus miracle!

  17. Arthur W. Schaefer says:

    This has nothing to do with GW, but is an ongoing effort of the Center for Biological Diversity (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/story/index.html) to use a critter that the general public thinks cute to shut down petroleum development on the arctic’s North Slope. They were a major driver in the recent designation there for 187,000 square miles of “critical habitat” in Arctic sea ice and coastal areas. They live through a blanket of law suits and are the plaintiff on many of the lawsuits that deal with all types of critters. Noblin is their AK person and you’ll note that she only has advocate credentials. She Op Ed’s for the Anchorage Daily news which most of us AK folks view as distinctly biased.

    Rebecca Noblin, Alaska Director, Staff Attorney, is based in Anchorage, Alaska, where she focuses on protecting marine species from oil and gas development and global warming. Before joining the Center, Rebecca worked under a fellowship from Harvard, which she used to fight Arctic oil and gas development as part of Pacific Environment’s Alaska program. Rebecca holds a bachelor’s in English from the University of Texas and a law degree from Harvard Law School. She served as a clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Eastaugh on the Alaska Supreme Court.
    Contact: Anchorage, AK, 907.274.1110, rnoblin@biologicaldiversity.org
    http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/staff/#rnoblin

    Endangered listing needed to save Alaska polar bears
    By REBECCA NOBLIN
    Published: December 14th, 2010 07:42 PM
    Last Modified: December 14th, 2010 07:43 PM
    Alaska’s polar bears are getting an important boost from President Barack Obama’s Interior Department with the recent designation of more than 187,000 square miles of “critical habitat” in Arctic sea ice and coastal areas. This habitat protection under the Endangered Species Act is good news for the polar bear — studies have shown that species with designated critical habitat are nearly twice as likely to recover as those without. But we have a long way to go before we can count the polar bear as being on the road to recovery. (Complete article:
    http://www.adn.com/2010/12/14/1604473/endangered-listing-needed-to-save.html)

    Art Schaefer
    Sterling, AK

  18. Ken Hall says:

    I am fed up of telling people that polar nears are not, nor ever have been, endangered. They were added to the ‘threatened species’ list, because to be classed as endangered, their numbers must be in serious decline.

    The fact is, their numbers are not in serious decline, but if some future event should happen to negatively impact their numbers, then they could be threatened with extinction.

    Hence their inclusion on the threatened species list for entirely spurious and political reasons.

  19. olsthro says:

    Whew, I was just about to sell my shares in Coca Cola!

  20. B.C. says:

    This is a small victory for true “conservationists” everywhere. By attempting to fraudulently list the polar bears as “endangered”, the Neo-Environmentalists were/are watering down the true meaning of the term “endangered”. What good is it to call something “endangered” when everything else is already labeled the same?

    Look at the amount of wailing and gnashing of teeth that took place when the American bald eagle was taken off the endangered species list, after the incredibly successful rebound that they made. If a resounding species comeback success story like that takes years and years of court and Congressional battles to get the designation downgraded to merely “threatened” or a “species of special concern”, imagine what it would take to get the polar bears de-listed/downgraded when their population explodes in the (possibly) upcoming New Ice Age?

    For once, I can actually say “Good job, Obama Administration.” (Yes, that was a avian porcine species you just saw fly past your window.

  21. Blair says:

    Is it too much to wish that Climate Scientists are put on the endangered species list?
    Perhaps they could be made obsolete by i-phone app that ties up all the devices resources calculating an infinite number of disaster scenarios based on little or no input.

  22. woodNfish says:

    Not only are polar bears not endangered, they are not threatened either. This is all just political nonsense and has nothing to do with scientific fact, just like climate junk-science.

  23. RHS says:

    Three guesses as to what helped the Polar Bear population rebound? NOT HUNTING THEM!!!
    No piece of legislature or designation other than ones stating only Inuit type natives (I’m sure there is a better term) can hunt Polar Bears has done anything to help the Polar Bears recover.
    Now that I’m off my rant, Merry to all!

  24. RHS says:

    Doh, the end was suppose to be:
    Merry “Fill in your favorite celebration” to all!

  25. latitude says:

    Why aren’t we protecting the seals…..
    …..from the polly bears!

  26. ES says:

    Just don’t eat too much liver of the polar bear – or you could get Hypervitaminosis A.
    The liver of certain animals — including the polar bear, seal, walrus, and husky — is unsafe to eat because it is extraordinarily high in vitamin A

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypervitaminosis_A

  27. Jimbo says:

    Whenever Warmists tell you that polar bears are endangered then please point them to the following and ask them how they survived this:

    Ice free Arctic ocean during the Holocene (past ~11,000 years)
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2010.08.016
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AGUFMPP11A0203F
    http://geology.geoscienceworld.org/cgi/content/abstract/21/3/227

    Former forest is now just a thing of the past – tundra
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0033-5894(71)90069-X

    Going back further they survived an even warmer period.
    DNA from a 110,000–130,000-year-old polar-bear fossil has been successfully sequenced.

    Polar Bear Swims 200 Miles!
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/jun/05/animalwelfare.animalbehaviour

    This is why I don’t buy the threatened or endangered angle. What threatens / endangers them is called a rifle and pollution.

  28. Jimbo says:

    Here’s the link
    “DNA from a 110,000–130,000-year-old polar-bear fossil has been successfully sequenced.”
    http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100301/full/news.2010.99.html

  29. John Kehr says:

    Hunting of polar bears is still allowed. Their population has been stable for as long as there have been somewhat accurate records. As far as anyone has been able to 20,000-25,000. All of the reasonable estimates have had that same value.

    Polar bears will survive the future just fine. I have less hope for humanity despite the current higher population.

  30. Northbound says:

    Polar bears eat seals.
    Seals are mammals and give live birth.
    No ice, seals will give birth on land.Bears will feast.
    In the 1970′s with thick ice , Seal populations declinded,as ice was too thick for seals to maintain breathing holes.As a result Polar bear population , naturaly followed the seals , the over hunting line was a WWF type statement. With a warm arctic Seal and Polar bear populations have risen.

    How does a person post a jpeg , image?
    I have a couple all will enjoy.

  31. JCL says:

    In essence, this post, as well as the articles which are linked to it, say the following: If we take action now to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enough sea ice will remain to preserve the habitat which polar bears need to survive. I can’t relate this conclusion either to the gloating tone of this post or the content of the comments which follow. Care to explain?

  32. DanC says:

    It’s a form of the reverse Arrhenius effect! Cut your GH emissions in half…. and double the number of polar bears.

  33. pat says:

    This did not stop the Obama administration from declaring 180,000 + square miles of Alaska to be a Federal polar bear reserve and hence not available for mining or petroleum exploration.

  34. MattN says:

    Glad to see a decision based on facts and not emotion. I must say, that is surprising…

  35. Dave says:

    I saw the WWF advert on Sky News this afternoon. I started shouting at the tv again (and again and again)
    When I read this post I decided to contact the UK Advertising Standards Association and file a complaint.
    I have done so and if anyone else would care to do the same, here’s the link
    http://www.asa.org.uk/Complaints/How-to-complain/Online-Form.aspx

  36. Dizzy Ringo says:

    Tarpon
    Glad to see someone else has picked up on the brown/polar bear development. Since you have knowledge of places North – is it true that brown/polar bear crossbreeds are coloured like pintos?

  37. 1DandyTroll says:

    World population of polar bears?

    Nobody really seem to know. They know they know only something about, they believe, only 50%. And of course they, apparently, have only counted a fraction of those supposedly 50%.

    It makes about as much sense as the arbitrary static number of 25 000 polar bears.

  38. Mike says:

    Polar bears are classified as threatened because they are threatened by global warming. They aren’t classified as endangered because they don’t face extinction in the short term. How on Earth do you conclude from this that “This pretty well slams the door on the polar bears threatened by global warming meme.”?

  39. Douglas DC says:

    Tarpon- I my Cousin’s husband was a DEW line radar tech in the late 1950′s
    think he actually closed down a couple of sites. When they did away with DEW
    line ops.. When ever the Weather observer would go out (this being the Alaska
    Coastline) one of his duties was to take an M-14 with them. He said:” I was much
    happier with the M-14 in hand- so was the Observer.” “I was real glad we weren’t
    around for the Early M-16′s as I think ,it it fired at all, it would simply made the bear mad..”
    M-14′s shot 30-06 rounds….

  40. Steve from Rockwood says:

    “a combination of greenhouse gas mitigation and control of adverse human activities in the Arctic can lead to a more promising future for polar bear populations”.

    There are increasing signs of an inflection point in AGW from fanatic sky-is-falling pandemonium to massive back-paddling and this is just one such example.

    The next step will be “the control of adverse human activities – specifically hunting – in the Arctic has lead to a more promising future for polar bear populations”.

    And the world will be on-track once more. Merry Christmas. I have to turn my computer off for two days :(

    Anthony, you have created an enormously entertaining and enlightening web-site.

  41. DesertYote says:

    Arthur W. Schaefer
    December 23, 2010 at 6:05 am

    This has nothing to do with GW, but is an ongoing effort of the Center for Biological Diversity (http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/about/story/index.html) to use a critter that the general public thinks cute to shut down petroleum development on the arctic’s North Slope. They were a major driver in the recent designation there for 187,000 square miles of “critical habitat” in Arctic sea ice and coastal areas. They live through a blanket of law suits and are the plaintiff on many of the lawsuits that deal with all types of critters.
    ###

    I’m glad someone else who posts here is aware of this very dangerous organization with their extreme Marxist agenda. Their activities have been a leading cause of the degradation of the economy in the SW US, and a hindrance to actual wildlife recovery.

  42. John from CA says:

    Mike says:
    December 23, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Polar bears are classified as threatened because they are threatened by global warming. They aren’t classified as endangered because they don’t face extinction in the short term. How on Earth do you conclude from this that “This pretty well slams the door on the polar bears threatened by global warming meme.”?

    ========
    “Polar bears are classified as threatened because they are threatened by global warming.”

    LOL Mike, Polar Bears hunt on land as well, frequently swim long distances, hunt for seals and Walrus pups in shoreline surf, and will attack just about anything that moves. They’re threatened by PCBs, hunters, and looney scientists firing darts at them from helicopters and placing collars on cubs.

  43. incervisiaveritas says:

    The only endangered species these days are the AGW pushers.

  44. TimM says:

    In the late 60′s & early 70′s, with the polar bear population around 5000, the governments curtailed hunting. Now we are at 25,000 bears despite “unprecedented warming”. Me thinks hunting did much more damage than weather.

  45. u.k.(us) says:

    To reiterate a comment on another recent WUWT thread:

    If food is lacking, female bears will not carry pregnancy to term.
    The presence of bear cubs, indicates a sufficient food supply.

  46. Dizzy Ringo says:

    Northbound

    Thank you for the photo – how disappointing – it wasn’t brown and white splotches!

  47. mike g says:

    Sport Hunting bans have not helped polar bear numbers. Ultimately, these bans will hurt the numbers by lowering the value of the species to the natives. The large amounts of money the sportsmen were injecting into the native communities is gone. The natives simply poach them or kill them as nuisance animals.

    Since big game hunting was outlawed in Kenya in the 70′s, numbers outside the national parks have declined by 80%.

  48. J Felton says:

    This is good news. Up in Canada, where I’m from, the Canadian government has been hesitant to list polars as endangered too. Not only are there numbers steadily increasing, ( as anyone living in Northern Manitoba or Ontario can tell you, based on the amount of bears they see walking by by their kitchen windows each day) but polars are now beginning to breed with grizzly bears, creating an entire new species. ( Grolars.)
    All this hippy-talk about polars becoming extinct and so on reminds me of a qoute from the movie ” Jurassic Park” ( one of my favorites, BTW) that was uttered by the mathematician, one of the only sensible characters in the film.
    ” Life finds a way.”

  49. Mike D. says:

    Careful now. The news item referenced a filing in an ongoing court case. It represents one set opinions from USFWS and is probably incompetent in many respects, including legalistically. It may mean nothing to the judge, or he might interpret it exactly opposite of its putative (MSM agit-prop) meaning.

    Note that the judge has wallowed in this minutia previously. From the article:

    U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan sent the controversial listing decision back to the Obama Administration in October, asking officials to clarify the language the agency used when it determined that polar bears aren’t “endangered” under federal law.

    No one knows how he will rule, or more importantly how he will word his decision. Apparently the judge is now arbitrating the “science”, but in the end he will base his ruling on arcane features of ESA law as codified by prior court precedents. And his decision will be appealed on that basis. In truth, the “science” doesn’t matter. The “science” part is all for public show.

    The article does not mention that the suit was brought by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Greenpeace USA. Those groups are amply rewarded for suing the Federal Government, with all their legal fees funded by taxpayers under the Equal Access to Justice Act. Under the auspices of the EAJA, ~$4.5 billon have been given to enviro groups to file suits against USFWS, USFS, BLM, and other Fed agencies.

    Because the money is so significant, enviro groups file thousands of suits every year. They would be foolish not to. The EAJA has become their bread and butter. Hence and therefore, no matter how the judge rules, the lawsuits and appeals will not stop.

    The Obama Admin has no intention of altering the EAJA (or the ESA for that matter). It is a misreading of the Obama Admin policies to conclude that they want the polar bear’s ESA status to remain “threatened”. The Obama Admin and its root political base thrive on conflict. Make no mistake about that.

  50. Brian H says:

    It’s evident that the ‘viroz want to stop climate and evolution in their tracks, ’cause the ideal final state of both has been achieved. After all, it produced them, didn’t it? They just want a few tweaks to get rid of profit-makers and Republicans, then everything will be Golden!

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