It has become THIS BAD under Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s majority power: the United States (!!!!) and Russia (!!!!!) have shown Canada up in the fight to protect endangered species! Specifically, the dwindling polar bear.
Experts estimate (according to the environmental group Care 2 Make a Difference) 800 polar bears are killed by hunters annually …. their hides selling for $2,000 to $5,000 each … in one case $12,000 on international markets; with more than 3,000 other polar bear parts also sold … including their skulls, teeth,paws and other parts.
And with prices rising, the lucrative market demand is placing added stresses on the magnificent beast’s numbers.
The losses through slaughtering, of course, are on top of other challenges facing the species: loss of habitat, global warming and other natural phenomenon … to the point the polar bear’s worldwide numbers are now estimated at 20,000 to 25,000, classifying the animal as “vulnerable” by some scientists and naturalists, “endangered” by others.
You know that’s serious when the U.S. , with support from Russia, called on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to raise the polar bear status to the highest level a species possible … banning international trading of polar bear parts.
At a meeting in Bangkok a few days ago, 38 countries backed the US ban proposal, but 42 others … led by Canada where two-thirds of the polar bear population reside … rejected the higher protection status for the species.
“Unfortunately, politics seem to have overtaken science,” concluded Dan Ashe, head of the US delegation.
Who really needs polar bear paws, claws and other parts internationally! This is NOT about Canada’s Inuit hunting for food: it’s about CASH …selling off body parts of these magnificent animals to collectors or those who care less about any species’ survival than getting their “fix” for some mythical health or sexual prowess potion.
But they’ll pay BIG bucks for it …and many of them vote.
It frankly looks to me like Harper and his Tory government sacrificed the polar bear on the altar of Inuit and Asian votes and bucks.
How ironic! This is the same federal government that had announced a $150 million commitment to fund 44 International Polar Year (not Polar Bear) research projects. Nothing wrong with that… there is a lot we can and should do to understand, respect and protect the polar regions. BUT the polar bears are part of that region and deserve protection too.
How hypocritical that Harper’s government tries to put forward a world-wide face of support for the polar regions …while refusing to curb the slaughter of the region’s most formidable animals.
The US and Russia exposed Canada’s duplicity.
But the polar bear still lost.