Russian scientist calls for global action to prevent polar bear extinction

September 23rd, 2010 - 1:59 am ICT by BNO News  

MOSCOW, RUSSIA (BNO NEWS) — A Russian scientist on Wednesday called on global action in order to prevent the extinction of polar bears as human activity and global warming threatens the world’s arctic regions.

RIA Novosti reported on the talks from Nikita Ovsyannikov, deputy director of State Natural Reserve Wrangel Island, who spoke at The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue, an international Arctic forum in Moscow, Russia, saying “if policies and attitudes to the polar bear [...] do not change, there is a real possibility that we will loose this species.”

In the past years, the polar bears’ natural habitat has been shrinking dramatically, forcing them to jump to dry lands in search of food and survival.

In the beginning of the 1970s, the polar bear was also threatened by extinction, but an international agreement in 1973 helped shift their fate, Ovsyannikov explained, calling for another worldwide movement that would regulate human activity in the Arctic.

Russia holds around 7,000 polar bears of the 20 to 25 thousand that currently exist in the wild. However, poachers annually kill 300 to 700 polar bears.

The Russian Geographic Society is hosting the dialogue, which takes place Wednesday and Thursday in the Russian capital.

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