This afternoon I came across some startling information. [update here, here from Feb. 10, 2013, and here from April 1, 2013]
According to a dynamic summary report on the home page of the IUCN/SSC Polar Bear Specialist Group website called State of the Polar Bear, there are now 22,600-32,000 polar bears worldwide, when tallied by nation.
Here are the numbers, by nation, listed in the State of the Polar Bear summary report (see map below):
This is a big change from the 20,000-25,000 that has been touted as the global polar bear population since 2005
The “Nations” page of the Polar Bear Specialist Group’s “State of the Polar Bear,” a dynamic summary that can be launched from the home page of the IUCN PBSG website, http://pbsg.npolar.no/en/ [published Oct. 15, 2012] Click to enlarge.
(see Aars et al
. 2006; Obbard et al.
2010) and my post on polar bear population estimates
[updated Jan. 9 2013 at 8:20 PST, see end of post]