Northwest Territories residents are being asked whether polar bears should be placed back on the species at risk list under the category of “special concern.”
NWT Species at Risk is posing the following questions:
-Why should polar bears be relisted as “special concern” to the NWT List of Species at Risk?
-What positive or negative impacts would have on polar bears if they are listed?
-Is there any new or missing information about polar bears not added in the status report? If so, what is it?
The NWT shares an estimated 3,000 polar bears with other jurisdictions. The animals are found in the southern Beaufort Sea, northern Beaufort Sea, and Viscount Melville Sound.
According to NWT Species at Risk, the most serious long-term threat to polar bears in the NWT is climate change from the melting of sea ice.
Melting sea ice affects the habitat of the bear by not having access to prey, areas to sleep and it will increase human-bear interactions.
People can send in their comments to the NWT Species at Risk by completing a survey by Oct. 15.