Introduction to the survey

The status of polar bear was re-assessed by the NWT Species at Risk Committee in April 2021. They recommended that this species be re-listed as a species of Special Concern in the NWT. The re-assessment reflects concerns that changing climatic conditions may alter polar bear denning habitat, render previously important habitats unsuitable, and/or alter polar bear movements and range. Changes to the quality and quantity of polar bear habitat may negatively influence polar bear condition, reproduction and prey availability – these changes have been associated with declines in some polar bear subpopulations. Other threats to polar bear include invasive research techniques, pollution, potential offshore development of hydrocarbon reserves, increased ship traffic, transportation and service corridors, increased pathogens, changes in foraging ecology and other cumulative effects.

 ‘Special Concern’ means that a species could become threatened because of a combination of limiting biological characteristics and identified threats.

 If re-listed, another 10-year term will be added to the current term for polar bear as a species of Special Concern. The Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR) Polar Bear Joint Management Plan and Implementation Table for Actions on Management of Polar Bears in the ISR, which were completed in 2017, will continue to provide management goals and objectives for the species. There are no automatic changes to quotas, by-laws, or regulations already in place as a result of re-listing.

 The objective of this survey is to gather public feedback on the proposed re-lisiting of polar bear as a species of Special Concern in the NWT.

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* 1. In which region of the NWT do you currently live?

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* 2. Should polar bear be re-listed to the NWT List of Species at Risk as a species of Special Concern?

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* 3. Why or why not (please be specific; this helps us better understand your perspective)?

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* 4. If another 10-year term was added to the current polar bear listing, do you think there would be any impacts (positive or negative) from the listing?

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* 5. If so, what (please be specific; this helps us better understand your perspective)?

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* 6. Is there new or missing information that was not considered in the status report?

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* 7. If so, can you provide it to us or tell us where to find it?

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* 8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

If you require additional information about the proposed re-listing of polar bear, please contact us:

Environment and Natural Resources
Government of the Northwest Territories
NWT Species at Risk Toll-free: (855) 783-4301
Phone: 867-767-9237 ext. 53214
Fax: (867) 873-0293
Email: sara@gov.nt.ca

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