12 January, 2017
State Wildlife Conservation Director, Bruce Dale, agrees with many aspects of the plan, including recognition that the primary threat to polar bears is the loss of sea ice habitat brought on by climate change.
As part of last year's historic Paris climate agreement, almost 200 countries pledged to reduce carbon emissions in an effort to keep global temperatures from reaching 2 degrees Celsius above what they were in pre-industrial times.
According to Fish and Game, Alaska is home to anywhere from 22,000 to 31,000 polar bears.
Along with curbing emissions, the FWS's conservation plan also calls for reducing human-bear conflicts, protecting the dens of pregnant polar bears and minimizing the risk of contamination from oil spills.
"Most of these actions are already under way, in partnership with Alaska Native communities, nonprofit groups, and industry representatives who participated in the plan's creation", the FWS added.
"This plan outlines the necessary actions and concrete commitments by the Service and our state, tribal, federal and worldwide partners to protect polar bears in the near term", Greg Siekaniec, FWS Alaska Regional Director, said in a prepared statement.
Polar bears are listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.
The world's population of polar bears is now estimated at 22,000 to 31,000.
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"This recovery plan is just too risky for the polar bear", Shaye Wolf, the center's climate science director, said in a statement.
But U.S. Fish and Wildlife has no authority to deal with reducing greenhouse gases. The polar bear also plays a critical role in the health of the overall marine environment, and their absence would have damaging effects on the ecosystem. However, according to studies, the future of polar bears is actually bright as their population steadily grows.
The image has become a symbol of climate change's devastating effect on Arctic wildlife populations, and as the USA government confirmed Monday, the devastation is all too real. He has also promised to pull the USA out of the Paris climate agreement ― a move that could ultimately seal the polar bear's fate.
"In taking action now, the plan can put polar bears in the best position to be as resilient as possible to climate change".
Polar bears were listed as a endangered species in 2008 - as they depend on floating ice as a platform to hunt for seals - which is their primary source of food.
And the final conservation management plan makes it clear that human-caused warming is melting the sea ice the bears depend on, and that if it is allowed to continue, the bears are unlikely to survive. In 2013, the FWSreported the Chukchi Sea population in Alaska was doing "quite well", while the Norwegian Polar Institute found in 2015 that the Barents Sea polar bears had risen by 42 percent since 2004.
"The plan shows the complexity of what it means to truly protect America's most iconic Arctic species".