Archived news


PBSG and the Circumpolar Action Plan

Tuesday February 11 2020

Three downloadable documents where PBSG advice the Parties on how to priortize rsearch and monitoring activities


New PBSG status table finalized

Friday September 20 2019

Updated status table developed and published for the first time since 2014


First estimate of CS subpopulation size

Thursday November 29 2018

For the first time the Chukchi Sea subpopulation size has been estimated, and indices of subpopulation status are generally positive

Proceedings from PBSG 18 is published!

Friday April 27 2018

The proceedings from the 18th PBSG meeting in Anchorage has been finalized and published


New redlist assessment for polar bears completed

Wednesday November 16 2016

A new and improved red list assessment for polar bears was published in 2015, again concluding that polar bears are in the category Vulnerable.

PBSG meets in Anchorage

Monday November 14 2016

The 18th meeting of the PBSG, and the first regular meeting since 2009, was held in Anchorage. A packed agenda and five full days of meeting.


Polar bears and terrestrial food

Thursday April 16 2015

Can polar bears switch to and survive on terrestrial food? A new study from USGS gives us the answer.


PBSG global population estimates explained

Tuesday July 08 2014

In the status section there is a new text explaining why the PBSG has given global population range estimates for polar bear abundance since 1993, what these numbers are and what they're not.

17th meeting of the PBSG in Fort Collins, USA, is history

Thursday June 26 2014

The PBSG met in Fort Collins for a week in early June 2014, the second intersessional members-only meeting in a row, to continue discussions how to solve issues of future capacity.

New status table finalized

Friday February 14 2014

A new and updated status table was finalized prior to the Moscow Meeting of the Parties in December 2013.


PBSG responds to proposed change in Foxe Basin harvest level

Monday October 07 2013

The Nunavut Wildlife Management Board proposed a change in TAH in Foxe Basin this summer and PBSG missed the hearing deadline, but makes its response public now.

Biographical summaries of members now published

Thursday March 21 2013

You can now learn a bit more about each member of the PBSG through a picture and a brief bio.

PBSG statement on proposed transfer of polar bear to CITES Appendix I

Tuesday February 26 2013

The PBSG agrees with the recommendation from IUCN that the polar bear should still be listed on Appendix II. Read more about why...


PBSG members convene in Oslo October 24-27

Monday October 15 2012

PBSG members will meet for an extraordinary members-only meeting in Oslo Oct 24-27 to discuss the group's future.

PBSG gives input to circumpolar action plan

Sunday September 23 2012

As agreed on in Iqaluit in October 2011, PBSG has now given the group's input to some of the sections in the emerging circumpolar action plan.

PBSG critical of proposed catch increase in Western Hudson Bay

Tuesday August 07 2012

For the second year in a row, the PBSG has given its critical comments to an increase in the total allowable harvest in Western Hudson Bay, as proposed by Nunavut.

New book on polar bears from Andrew Derocher

Wednesday June 20 2012

Dr. Andrew Derocher releases his new book on polar bear biology and behavior.

Steve Amstrup wins the Indianapolis Prize

Wednesday June 20 2012

PBSG senior member, Dr. Steve Amstrup wins the 2012 Indianapolis Prize.


Nunavut to increase harvest in Western Hudson Bay

Saturday November 12 2011

Nunavut has decided to increase the total allowable harvest of the Western Hudsonj Bay subpopulation from 8 to 21 bears, in a subpopulation that at the moment is declining even without a harvest.

2011 Meeting of the Parties in Iqaluit, Canada

Monday November 07 2011

A third Meeting of the Parties, the second since 1981, was held in Iqaluit, Canada, the capital of the territory of Nunavut, Canada, October 24-26, 2011.

New book on polar bears from Ian Stirling

Wednesday July 06 2011

"Polar bears: The natural history of a threatened species" is a comprehensive book on the ecology of polar bears and their habitat for the wider audience, and it is a pleasure to read.

New book about polar bear harvest in Northwest Greenland

Wednesday February 02 2011

In a new study from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources 72 hunters have been interviewed about their catches the last five decades, and new insights about the catch has been synthesized and presented.

Proceedings from last meeting available

Friday January 28 2011

A long editing process has ended, and the proceedings from the 15th meeting of the PBSG in Copenhagen is finally available for download.


US designates critical habitat for polar bears

Wednesday November 24 2010

US Fish and Wildlife Service has designated more than 187,000 square miles in the Arctic as critical habitat for polar bears under the Endangered Species Act.

US District Court rule challenges polar bear ESA listing

Monday November 22 2010

On Nov 4 a US District Court judge ruled that the decision to list polar bears as "Threatened" and not "Endangered" in May 2008 must be reconsidered or defended.

Nunavut states polar bears not at risk, PBSG responds

Monday June 07 2010

May 28 the Government of Nunavut stated that they think polar bears are thriving, and thus they oppose the proposed uplisting of polar bears as a species of Special Concern under the Canadian Species at Risk Act.

The new status table and population reviews published

Thursday March 11 2010

The status table and reviews discussed and decided upon in Copenhagen in 2009 are finally available on the website.

PBSG meet in Oslo to discuss action plan

Thursday March 11 2010

Approximately half the members of the PBSG met in Oslo February 8-10, 2010, to meet the request from the Parties to the 1973 Agreement for input to national action plans.

Website updated with new guidelines and updated list of members

Saturday January 16 2010

The PBSG guidelines have been reviewed and all members except one have been appointed. The new guidelines and list of members have been published on the website.


Finally agreement on harvest between Canada and Greenland

Friday November 06 2009

After several years of harvesting unsustainable numbers of bears in subpopulations shared between the two countries, a Memorandum of Understanding has finally been agreed upon.

Russian literature database updated

Thursday November 05 2009

The PBSG web database on Russian literature on marine mammals have been updated with articles from the last decade.

Nunavut to start counting bears from the air?

Monday September 28 2009

Local peoples' unease with procedures involving the handling of polar bears might end mark-recapture studies of Nunavut polar bears and start aerial surveys.

Final report from Tromso meeting

Friday September 04 2009

The final report from the March Meeting of the Parties to the 1973 Agreement has been finalised.

The 15th meeting of the PBSG is over

Friday July 03 2009

Altogether 41 polar bear scientists and managers convened at the North Atlantic House in Copenhagen June 29 - July 3, hosted by the Greenlandic Representation.

Amstrup rebutts unscientific audit

Friday May 08 2009

Long-time PBSG member and USGS senior polar bear scientist Steven Amstrup rebutts a misleading and unscientific audit of two reports published as a part of the US polar bear listing process.

Final output from the Tromso Meeting of the Parties

Thursday March 19 2009

The Parties to the 1973 Agreement have met in Tromso March 17-19, and the meeting ended in a positive atmosphere that gives some hope for further process. Read the full news item and download the final output summary document.

PBSGs presentation at the Tromso Meeting of the Parties

Thursday March 19 2009

PBSG chairman Andrew Derocher presented circumpolar issues, and present and future challenges for polar bears at the Meeting of the Parties to the 1973 Agreement on the conservation of polar bears in Tromso. Read the full news item and download the pdf of the presentation.

New report on the history of the 1973 Agreement

Sunday March 15 2009

As an apetizer at the Meeting of the Parties in Tromso, the Norwegian Polar Institute has commissioned a report on the history of the 1973 Agreement on the conservation of polar bears. The report can be downloaded from the next level, if you read the whole news item.

New PBSG website is up and running

Wednesday March 11 2009

After seven years in the same html-suit, a new PBSG website is ready for the world.

Meeting of the parties in Tromso March 17-19 2009

Wednesday March 11 2009

For the first time since 1981 the official parties to the Agreement on the conservation of polar bears will meet and discuss polar bear issues.

Canadian "roundtable" discussion on polar bears

Sunday March 08 2009

On January 16, 2009, a National Roundtable on Polar Bears was held in Canada to hear views of various stakeholders in polar bear management and conservation in Canada


Updated reference list

Wednesday January 09 2008

The list of references has been updated. All readers are encouraged to send references not found in the database to the editor.


Polar bears and climate warming

Wednesday December 19 2007

PBSG chair Andrew Derocher and long-time member Ian Stirling have published a short article in the journal Wildlife Professional.

Range states meeting

Monday July 02 2007

A polar bear range states meeting was held in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, June 26-28. This meeting is probably leading up to the first official meeting of the Parties since 1981, meeting that most probably will be held in Norway in 2009.

Map and status descriptions updated

Monday April 23 2007

The map and status descriptions in the "Population status" section are now all updated according to the Seattle meeting.


Seattle meeting minor adjustment

Tuesday January 17 2006

The Group has made a minor adjustment of the numbers in Resolution #3 from the Seattle meeting.


New meeting

Tuesday June 06 2006

New meeting of the PBSG is coming up!