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Status of polar bears to be evaluated Published 29.06.2009

Polar bear experts from all over the world have been invited by Greenland to meet at the Greenland Representation at the North Atlantic House in Copenhagen, Denmark, between 29 June and 3 July 2009. The meeting is arranged by the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources.

Under the chairmanship of Professor Andrew Derocher from University of Edmonton, Canada, the Species Survival Commission Polar Bear Specialist Group of IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature) will meet to evaluate the status of the different polar bear populations in the Arctic.
Participants include polar bear scientists representing many disciplines, managers, and Arctic representatives who hunt polar bears as part of their traditional lifestyle from the 5 polar bear countries (Canada, Greenland, Russia, Norway, and USA).
A number of important issues will be discussed including how polar bears are affected by the rapid decrease in sea ice due to global warming, the effect of high contents of pollutants in some polar bear populations, and how polar bears can be managed under rapid Arctic climate change. The IUCN/SSC PBSG met last time in Seattle in 2005.

There will be a press release from the meeting on 3 July.

For more information contact professor Andrew Derocher (Derocher@ualberta.ca) or senior scientist Erik W. Born, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources (ewb@ghsdk.dk)