Polar Bear Gets Listed!

OTTAWA, Nov. 9, 2011 /CNW/ - The Canadian Wildlife Federation commends the decision to list the polar bear as a species of special concern under the Species at Risk Act. The decision comes after many months of extended consultations with Aboriginal Groups, provincial and territorial agencies, the general public and in particular the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board and the Nunavut Government.

The polar bear was assessed and reconfirmed as special concern since 1991 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. However, the proposed listing had yet to be adopted by the Federal Government. In response to the latest listing proposal, CWF submitted comments in July 2011 to Environment Canada advocating for listing to be made official. Ninety percent of the 3000 letters received between 2008 and 2010 by Environment Canada during the extended consultation were in support of the listing.

This recent decision to list the polar bear on the Species at Risk Act initiates the development of a management plan to be completed within the next three years. The plan will outline steps needed to ensure the status of the polar bear in Canada improves and that this icon of the north maintains its presence for generations to come.

"Although this listing is a positive step in the conservation of this iconic Canadian species, it also serves as a somber reminder that this species is not faring well," says James Pagé, CWF Species at Risk and Biodiversity Program Officer. "In response to the growing number of species at risk, the Canadian Wildlife Federation created the Endangered Species Fund in 2009 which provides grants to researchers investigating iconic and/or aquatic species in Canada. The ongoing fund has enabled over 60 projects to be carried out for the conservation of species at risk."

To get more information on the status of the polar bear, the extended consultation process and the listing decision visit Environment Canada`s species at risk public registry at: http://www.sararegistry.gc.ca

About the Canadian Wildlife Federation:
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to fostering awareness and appreciation of our natural world. By spreading knowledge of human impacts on the environment, sponsoring research, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, recommending changes to policy and co-operating with like-minded partners, CWF encourages a future in which Canadians can live in harmony with nature. For more information, visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca.

SOURCE CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION

For further information:

Pam Logan
CWF Communications
Tel (613)599-9594 ext. 250
Cell (613)222-1405
Email pamelal@cwf-fcf.org

James Pagé
CWF Conservation
Tel (613)599-9594 ext. 242
Email jamesp@cwf-fcf.org

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CANADIAN WILDLIFE FEDERATION

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