Summary of polar bear population status per 2017

The present table was initially discussed at the PBSG meeting in Anchorage in June 2016. Discussions continued during late fall and early winter 2016, and the new table was finally agreed upon by the group early March 2017. This status table will be updated whenever there are new information available that is considered credible and valid by the group.

Explanations for sea ice metric method here.

Press the subpopulation hyperlink and more information will appear.

Subpopulation Size Sea ice metrics Human-caused removals 2010–2014
Estimate /
95% CI
Year Method Change in spring ice retreat / Change in fall ice advance (days per decade) Change in summer sea ice area (percent change per decade) 5-yr mean Last year
Potential Actual Potential Actual
Arctic BasinUnknown  -3.2/8.0-6.7    
Baffin Bay2826
2059-3593
2012-2013Genetic capture-recapture-7.3/5.2-18.9140143132133
Barents Sea2644
1899-3592
2004Distance sampling-16.6/24.2-16.0NA1NA1
Chukchi SeaUnknown  -3.4/4.2-18.85829 (U.S.) + approx. 32 (Russia)589 (U.S.) + approx. 32 (Russia)
Davis Strait2158
1833-2542
2007Physical capture-recapture-7.7/9.7-19.910210910896
East GreenlandUnknown  -6.2/5.5-6.562636465
Foxe Basin2585
2096-3189
2009-10Physical capture-recapture AND Distance sampling-5.3/5.8-14.2101.4106.2130114
Gulf of Boothia1592
870-2314
2000Physical capture-recapture-6.9/8.3-12.263.4607467
Kane Basin357
221-493
2013-2014Genetic capture-recapture-7.2/5.6-12.2115115
Kara SeaUnknown  -9.2/7.6-18.6 NA NA
Lancaster Sound2541
1759-3323
1995-1997Physical capture-recapture-5.6/5.1-7.792.886.68980
Laptev SeaUnknown  -8.2/6.5-14.7 NA NA
M'Clintock Channel284
166-402
2000Physical capture-recapture-3.9/5.8-9.03.43.455
Northern Beaufort Sea980
825-1135
2006Physical capture-recapture-5.8/3.3-5.9142.2 (SB+NB)83 (SB+NB)133 (SB+NB)57 (SB+NB)
Norwegian Bay203
115-291
1997Physical capture-recapture-1.3/4.3-2.342.241
Southern Beaufort Sea907
548-1270
2010Physical capture-recapture-8.7/8.7-20.5142.2 (SB+NB)83 (SB+NB)133 (SB+NB)57 (SB+NB)
Southern Hudson Bay943
658-1350
2012Physical capture-recapture AND Distance sampling-3.1/4.1-11.460.258.84543
Viscount Melville Sound161
93-229
1992Physical capture-recapture-4.7/7.4-6.17.05.272
Western Hudson Bay1030
754-1406
2011Distance sampling-5.2/3.6-16.32524.82828