Oct 31 2009 -

Canada Signing Polar Bear Protection Plan

Signing along with Greenland

Canada's Environment Minister, Jim Prentice, will be signing a deal on Friday, October 30, 2009 that will indicate Canada, Greenland and Nunavut have reached an agreement on managing their shared polar bear populations.

the plan will encompass the polar bears that wander across the international maritime boundary between Greenland and Canada in the Eastern Arctic.

An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears live in the Arctic, and the world's largest population resides in Canada, with about 60 percent of this total number.

The United States considers the bears a threatened species, although Canada has provided them its lowest level of protection, the designation of "special concern," which requires no immediate actions.

Inuit groups in Nunavut that depend on income from polar bear trophy hunting contend that populations are healthy. But, the WWF has stated polar bears faces an uncertain future because of the rapid melting of sea ice, their primary habitat, due to climate change.