UPDATE FEBRUARY 19, 2014 – The misleading “State of the Polar Bear” graphic is now GONE (as of January 31, 2014). A new 2013 status table is offered by the PBSG here. It has detailed text explanations and harvest information, with references, hyperlinked to each subpopulation entry (“Press the subpopulation hyperlink and more information will appear“) and may have replaced the “State of the Polar Bear” graphic that the PBSG commissioned for upwards of US$50,000, although the PBSG website says it is being “updated” [A pdf copy of the 2013 colour table is here, and my commentary on it is here.] I have left the original post as is, below.
To refresh your memory, two points about this graphic stand out, both regarding polar bear population estimates:
1) The population estimates listed on the Nations map (copied below) add up to 22,600-32,000 – far higher than the official estimate of 20,000-25,000 polar bears worldwide.
2) The population estimates listed on the upper layer of the Subpopulation map add up to just 13,036 – not even close to the official estimate of 20,000-25,000 polar bears worldwide.