Management Requirements: The following management needs were identified in "Alaska's Western Arctic: a summary and synthesis of resources" (Schoen and Senner 2002): Cooperative management between USFWS, Alaska Natives, and other nations, including joint international studies with Canada and Russia would facilitate more complete conservation efforts. Management should endeavor to fully implement the International Polar Bear Agreement, the Habitat Conservation Strategy for Polar Bears in Alaska (USFWS 1995a), and the pending U.S. and Russia Polar Bear Agreement. Polar Bear and human interactions should be minimized. Important habitats should be protected, including "ice-edge" habitats and polynyas, barrier beaches, and denning sites.
Harvest management should focus on protecting females (Armstrup et al. 1986).
See Herrero (1985) for prevention of attacks on humans.
See USFWS (1997) for information on application requirements and permit procedures for the issuance of permits to import trophies of polar bears sport hunted in Canada.
Biological Research Needs: Research is needed on movements of male bears; currently, no satisfactory method for long-term attachment of radio transmitters has been designed. Better estimates of abundance and harvest are also necessary, especially harvest counts for Russia and Greenland.
Relationships between polar bears, seals, and sea ice needs study (Amstrup and DeMaster 1988). Effects of industry should be assessed, particularly the effects of seismic exploration on denning bears. An evaluation of direct and indirect effects of marine oil spills should be conducted.
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