3/19/2010 1:46:45 PM

Proposal to Block Polar Bear Trade Defeated

Bear on IceA U.S. proposal to block the trade in polar bear skins was defeated at the CITES Convention in Qatar, largely due to block voting by European Union members and opposition from Canada. Scientists in the IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group say that climate change, not native hunting, is the real threat to polar bears, with 2% of Canada's bears traded every year.

Native hunts were permitted to continue under the 1973 International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, which banned other hunting after the bears were driven to the brink of extinction. Hunts in Canada are based on a quota system and native hunters are permitted to sell their right to kill a bear to non-natives.

Photo copyright Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com

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