Why did the Southern Beaufort polar bear population survey stop in 2010? It’s clear that the recently-published and widely-hyped new study stopped before the population rebound from a known decline was complete.
The researchers of the recently-published paper knew before starting their mark-recapture study in 2007 that the population decline had taken place. They also knew why the numbers dropped and that previous declines, caused by similar conditions, had been followed by a full recovery.
Did they really think a full recovery in population numbers was possible in only
three four years, when cubs born in 2007 would not yet have been old enough to reproduce?
In fact, a US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) fall survey of Southern Beaufort polar bears in 2012 found numbers were higher than they had been in a decade.