Polar bear: non-detriment finding

Supporting information used when making an Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear) Non-Detriment Finding (NDF) for Canada.

Published 2009-12-11; updated 2018-03-13

Summary

Export of legally harvested polar bear from Canada is considered non-detrimental. Additional information on the non-detriment finding for bears harvested from the Baffin Bay management unit can be found in Annex 1.

  • The polar bear has a key role in Canada's Arctic ecosystem and in the culture of residents of northern Canada, particularly Indigenous peoples. There are over 16,000 bears in Canada, which is two-thirds of the estimated global population. Polar bear occurs in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, and Yukon. About 75% of polar bear harvest in Canada occurs in Nunavut.
  • Polar bears spend the majority of time on the sea ice. The projected loss of sea ice is a major threat that would affect the availability of habitat and access to prey for polar bears. The polar bear was listed under the federal Species at Risk Act in 2011 as a species of Special Concern as a single biological population in Canada. To facilitate management activities and conservation, the polar bear population in Canada is divided into 13 subpopulations, with corresponding management units (Figure 1). Some of the subpopulations occur in more than one province/territory and/or country.
  • A national technical committee (the Polar Bear Technical Committee or PBTC) assesses population status and trend annually for each of the 13 subpopulations and corresponding management units within Canada to inform conservation and adaptive management activities.
  • As part of Canada’s management system for polar bear, managers, researchers, hunters and Indigenous peoples are observing and monitoring the bears to be able to detect any negative impacts.
  • In Canada the polar bear is managed and protected through provincial and territorial wildlife acts and associated regulations, user-to-user agreements, treaties, and land claims agreements. Treaties and land claims agreements are protected by Canada’s Constitution. Treaties or land claims agreements can set out rights including the right for Indigenous peoples to harvest wildlife including the right to benefit from the sale of a polar bear hide. Subsistence can include the benefit to Indigenous peoples from the sale of a polar bear hide. Management goals are defined in Canada’s land claims agreements. Notably wildlife shall be managed subject to the principles of conservation. Polar bear management decisions are made by wildlife management boards and approved by the respective ministers responsible for wildlife based on specific collaborative and consultative processes involving government (federal, provincial, or territorial), institutions of public government, scientists, traditional knowledge holders, hunters and other Indigenous group representatives.
  • Harvest is managed adaptively to ensure viable, sustainable subpopulations and productive management units while allowing harvest by Indigenous peoples and take of bears for defense of human life and property. A research and monitoring regime, including population monitoring and analysis of harvest statistics, allows for ongoing evaluation and adjustment of management. The management system is responsive and can adjust harvest levels quickly as needed. Population monitoring occurs on a regular basis and the timing of monitoring is dependent on multiple factors, including the monitoring method used, management objectives, conservation concerns, and the age and quality of available data. Harvest reporting includes all human-caused mortalities, hunting or defense of life or property.
  • Harvest and export decisions are based on population risk assessments that take into account conservation status and threats, management measures to mitigate those threats and the associated monitoring requirements. When providing advice concerning international export, the Canadian CITES Scientific Authority takes into account overall harvest and export levels relative to population abundance and trend in Canada. The non-detriment finding advice is a determination that export of polar bears is non-detrimental to the survival of the species. The CITES Scientific Authority also reviews the management objectives and decisions, conservation status, and harvest and trade levels for the 13 subpopulations and associated management units.
  • The ECCC Scientific Authority carefully reviews and deliberates on the status and trend, trade data and management information for all of the subpopulations and corresponding management units, using the most recent PBTC status table, as a key piece of information. Evaluation requires in-depth discussions with managers, the PBTC representatives and others. Additional considerations include:
    • Management measures for each unit need to be designed to ensure conservation goals are met, while allowing for other management needs such as take of bears for defense of human life and property.
    • The Scientific Authority evaluates whether management decisions have taken into account the expert assessment by the PBTC, including subpopulation estimate, historical trends, local or traditional ecological knowledge assessment, the recent trend, and the potential future trend.
    • The Scientific Authority’s evaluation is done on a case-by-case basis because each subpopulation and its associated management unit are unique in terms of year of study, study methods and assumptions, and monitoring frequency.
    • Status may be observed by direct measurement of population parameters (i.e. abundance, survival and recruitment) over time, or inferred from other lines of evidence such as model predictions. In cases where inferences have been made, the Scientific Authority evaluates whether the appropriate monitoring scheme is in place to mitigate risk associated with this uncertainty.
    • The Scientific Authority considers the maximum number of bears that are removed from the management unit and expert advice on sustainable harvest scenarios. Calculated sustainable harvest rates vary amongst Canada’s polar bear subpopulations and are dependent upon demographic characteristics, subpopulation size, trend and net productivity within each management unit. For general reference purposes, population modelling has demonstrated that a harvest rate of 4.5% is sustainable in certain circumstances. However, harvest rates above or below this level may be appropriate.
  • The following statistics support the Scientific Authority advice that harvest of polar bears in Canada is sustainable and accordingly, their export is non-detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild:
    • Overall, based on total reported harvest in Canada in 2015/2016 of 540, harvest levels are less than 3.5% of the estimated Canadian polar bear population of over 16,000 bears.
    • Over the last five years (2012 to 2016), 281 bears were exported per year from Canada (average over five years of the number of bodies and skins from Canada’s CITES permit database 2012 to 2016), representing 1.8% of Canada’s polar bear population of approximately 16,000 bears. Based on 2016 data, an estimated 1.3% of Canada’s polar bear population enters international trade, that is, 203 bears out of 16,000 bears. It is important to keep in mind that the bears entering trade in any one year could come from many different previous hunting seasons dating as far back as the early 1980s. For example, for CITES export permits issued in 2013 and 2014, only 25% of hides exported from Canada came from bears killed in the most recent hunting season. Recent permitting data indicate that the majority of polar bears are exported within 5 years of harvest.
    • An estimated 65% of the total bears in Canada are in management units that have a recent (15 year) population trend of likely increasing or stable/likely stable (7 of the 13 management units). About 7% of bears are in management units that are likely declining (1 of the 13 management units), and about 28% of bears are in management units for which trends are “uncertain” (5 of the 13 management units). Over the past twenty years, most management units have been managed with the goal of slightly increasing or maintaining the current population size through annual quotas and sex selective harvest management for most subpopulations. One management unit, with a likely increasing population trend, is managed to reduce the number of bears in order to maintain a healthy population and address serious public safety concerns and to address impacts on other wildlife (bird colonies).

Supporting information

Biological characteristics

Polar bears have a life span of 20 to 30 years, and are slow to mature. Females are sexually mature between four and six years old and males begin to breed between the ages of eight and 10 years. Females have low rates of reproduction, usually giving birth to one or two cubs about every three years and cubs are dependent upon and remain with the female for an average of 2.5 years. Female reproductive success likely depends on body mass and condition of females at the beginning and at the end of periods of winter fasting. The survival rate of males is lower than females, in part due to sex-selectivity of the harvest.

Polar bears are apex predators that spend the majority of time on the sea ice. Productivity of the polar bear population is largely dependent on the distribution, duration, and thickness of sea ice, which provides access to their main prey, ringed seals (Pusa hispida). Recent trends in loss of sea ice have modified polar bear distribution, foraging behaviour and access to ringed seals, particularly in the southern areas of their range.

Status and threats

Polar bears occur in a circumpolar distribution in Arctic habitats of Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia and the United States. Canada’s population of polar bear consists of over 16,000 bears, which is two thirds of the estimated global total. The polar bear occurs in much of its historical range in Canada, in Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Québec, and Yukon Territory. In general, as is normal for a large predator, the polar bear is found at low densities throughout the circumpolar Arctic.

The projected loss of sea ice is a potential threat that may affect the availability of habitat and access to prey for polar bear across the entire range in Canada, although the forecasted timeline and severity associated with this threat differs across the range. Other threats include contaminants, tourism, oil and gas exploration and development, and marine shipping. These factors are considered when making decisions about harvest management.

The polar bear has been listed as a species of Special Concern in Canada under the federal Species at Risk Act since 2011, following a reassessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). COSEWIC is an independent body of experts responsible for identifying and assessing wildlife species suspected of being at risk of extinction or extirpation in Canada. A species of Special Concern may become a threatened or an endangered species because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.

The Polar Bear Technical Committee (PBTC) is a national-level scientific and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) committee that facilitates management decisions of provinces and territories by providing annual assessments on the status of polar bears based on science and ITK. The PBTC comprises scientists from the provinces and territories and other experts, including Wildlife Management Boards and Inuit representatives. The 2017 information from PBTC indicates that over 50% of the total bears in Canada are in management units that are likely increasing or stable/likely stable in size (7 of the 13 management units). Less than 10% of bears are in management units that are likely declining (1 of the 13 management units), and about 35% of bears are in management units for which trends are “uncertain” (5 of the 13 management units). The majority (an estimated 65%) of polar bears in Canada are in subpopulations that are increasing, stable or likely stable.

Harvest management

Canada has a reputation for effectively managing wildlife in a sustainable manner. Canada’s Indigenous peoples have been harvesting polar bear for subsistence for thousands of years. Managed harvest of polar bear in most of Canada has existed for most of the bears in Canada since the 1970s. Management of polar bear harvest in Canada is conducted with the goal of long-term population sustainability, and includes mortality that results from human-bear conflict and concerns for human safety.

Canada’s provinces and territories have jurisdiction to make laws relating to their natural resources, including wildlife and wildlife management, when they are located within a province or territory. The federal government has jurisdiction to make laws in relation to its own land and inter‐jurisdictional and international issues. Inuit have self‐government by way of land claims agreements that is recognized by Canada’s Constitution. Wildlife management boards, comprised of Indigenous peoples and government representatives, are established under Land Claims Agreements to make wildlife management decisions or recommendations, which are forwarded to the appropriate provincial, territorial, and federal ministers, for consideration and finalization. Each jurisdiction makes management decisions according to their jurisdictional processes. When there are shared management units, there is coordination between provinces, territories and the federal government, facilitated by the Polar Bear Administrative Committee (PBAC) and other countries as appropriate. The PBAC is composed of provincial and territorial wildlife directors, representatives of wildlife management boards and Inuit organizations.  

The relevant wildlife acts and associated regulations, inter-jurisdictional agreements, Land Claims Agreements and international agreements are listed at the end of this document.

While specific goals vary amongst management units, the overarching management objectives for the polar bear population in Canada are as follows:

  • to ensure that Canada’s polar bear population remains abundant and productive
  • to collect Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and scientific information on a timely basis to guide management decisions
  • to manage polar bears in a manner that maximizes benefits to Inuit and First Nations harvesters while simultaneously ensuring effective conservation of polar bears in accordance with the best information available, including comprehensive harvest, human-bear conflict and defense kill statistics, and management objectives
  • to monitor the bears within Canada’s management units, prioritizing the need to assess and evaluate implemented management measures and the need for new data
  • to identify specific management approaches that meet the needs of harvesters and are also consistent with relevant territorial, provincial, and federal regulations as well as international agreements
  • to minimize and prevent human-bear conflict and defense kills by communities, camps, tourism and industry
  • to minimize detrimental effects of human activities, especially commercial activities such as offshore development, shipping, and resource extraction, to polar bears and polar bear habitat
  • to maintain a system of comprehensive tags, licenses and permits necessary to ensure accountability for polar bear hunting and polar bear products

The management approach for each polar bear subpopulation and its associated management unit must be flexible enough to account for adjustments in harvest rates for public safety and the needs of Indigenous harvesters, while remaining aligned with sound conservation principles. Harvest that allows maintenance of the current population size is the goal for most of the management (87% of the bears) in Canada.

Management decisions are based on verification and evaluation of the best available scientific research, including evaluation by the PBTC and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge, harvest statistics and population trends derived from modeling tools. Polar bear harvest is managed through an adaptive management framework, which means that the success of specific management actions are regularly evaluated and adjusted as necessary.

The national management plan for polar bear that is required under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) will build upon the plans already in place or currently being developed within the individual provinces and territories. It will also build on the National Polar Bear Conservation Strategy (2011), which was developed by PBAC with support of the PBTC to address threats, to provide a process to enhance inter-jurisdictional coordination and to provide guidelines for harvest management.

Control of harvest

Polar bear harvest is managed throughout Canada by controls on hunting methods, licensing requirements, quotas or harvest limits, numbered tags, and reporting requirements.

The mechanism for control of harvest differs depending on the province or territory. For Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, and Yukon Territory, which together comprise the vast majority of the polar bear population in Canada, harvest of polar bear is controlled through a total allowable harvest and community specific quota allocation system. The quotas are reviewed and updated annually for each management unit by the relevant provincial or territorial government. The quota review follows specific processes that incorporate input from wildlife management boards comprised of government (federal, provincial, or territorial) and Indigenous group representatives. All human-caused polar bear mortalities are accounted for under the quotas: Indigenous harvest, non-resident sport hunting, known illegal take, and take in defense of life and property. Numbered, non-reusable tags are permanently attached to the hides of all harvested bears and ensure that quotas have been respected. Harvest tags and documentation associated with transfers of ownership or transfers between jurisdictions allow for accurate monitoring of the number of animals harvested per year by management unit in each province and territory. Tags also provide a link to information on sex and age class of the bear.

In the provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, harvest is very limited and export is generally not permitted. In the province of Québec, harvest is managed by agreement between Indigenous peoples and the provincial government. Historically there has been no quota, and polar bear harvest has been relatively low, with few exceptions. Where ongoing monitoring has shown the need, harvest limits have been established, with accompanying reporting of harvest and the use of harvest tags, and a more formal management system in line with those in other provinces and territories is in progress.

There is little evidence of illegal harvest in Canada. Compliance and quality of reporting of harvest is high, because provinces and territories and Indigenous peoples have a common interest in ensuring long-term, sustainable harvest. Confidence in the harvest management system is high because the adaptive management systems allow for strict controls of harvest and are reactive to changing conditions.

Harvest trend

The number of polar bears harvested is below total allowable harvest levels, and has ranged between about 500 and 650 bears annually in the last three decades, which is between 3% and 4% of the estimated population size. This is considered to be sustainable. Harvest levels in 2015 to 2016 were less than 3.4% of the estimated Canadian polar bear population of 16,560 bears. The majority of harvest occurs in Nunavut which accounts for about 75% of all harvest, with Northwest Territories accounting for about 11% and Québec accounting for about 8% of total Canadian harvest).

Harvest monitoring

Harvest data are collected, including information on management unit, harvest location, evidence of sex, date, tag number, age (tooth extraction for aging) and whether the bear was part of a family unit. Population status data are obtained by various methods including mark and recapture surveys (physical and DNA), aerial surveys, traditional ecological knowledge, harvest data, and population viability analyses (statistical modeling). These periodic population estimates, and the information that is collected on an ongoing basis through implementation of harvest controls, are used to monitor subpopulation status and trends by management unit, and to ensure that harvest levels are appropriate.

Monitoring a large carnivore that covers vast areas of the Canadian Arctic is complex. Multi-year planning is coordinated across Canada and targeted to areas of potential conservation concern. Updated population surveys are expected for all management units by 2023. Repeat monitoring will occur on a regular basis and the timing of monitoring will be dependent on multiple factors including the monitoring method used, management objectives, conservation concerns, the age and quality of available data, and other research objectives.

Incentives and benefits of harvest

Effective management of polar bear in Canada is an objective of governments, co-management bodies, and harvesters. A sustainable long-term harvest is dependent on viable wildlife populations thereby promoting a stewardship attitude towards both the polar bear and its habitat. In general, harvest activities support livelihoods of northern Indigenous peoples and assist in managing the conservation of polar bears and the reduction of human-bear conflict. Trade incentives are also important in engaging local communities in sustainable harvest practices.

Some Indigenous peoples with the right to harvest, benefit from the harvest of polar bear for skins, meat, traditional activities and guided hunt income. In Nunavut and Northwest Territories, some of the tags may be allocated to non-Indigenous peoples for sport hunting purposes if the hunt is guided by an Indigenous person using traditional methods of hunting. In this way, the majority of the money generated by hunting activities goes to northern Indigenous communities that have few other sources of income and value-added revenue.

Polar bear harvest and defense kill data also provide important information on location, movements, genetics, diet, health contaminants and other characteristics of polar bear subpopulations that might not otherwise be available. These harvest data are an essential supplement to regular systematic population surveys and other research programs.

Protection from harvest

The adaptive management framework currently applied to polar bear harvest management programs in Canada is very effective at preventing over-harvest of the species. Restrictive measures can be applied if necessary and compliance is high because local people are involved in decision-making. In general, the species can be hunted in most of its occupied range but jurisdictions have the ability to close harvest as needed to achieve specific conservation goals. This is reinforced through export controls. Cubs, females with cubs and bears digging or in dens cannot be harvested with rare exceptions such as by Indigenous peoples in specific regions of Ontario, or for defense of life and property. In practice, the CITES Scientific Authority advises no trade in cubs (bears less than one year old) or mothers with cubs.

Figure 1. Overview of the location of Canadian polar bear subpopulations and their population boundaries

The Canadian populations are: SB – Southern Beaufort Sea; NB – Northern Beaufort Sea; VM – Viscount Melville;  NW – Norwegian Bay; LS – Lancaster Sound; MC – M’Clintock Channel; GB – Gulf of Boothia; WH – Western Hudson Bay; FB – Foxe Basin; SH – Southern Hudson Bay; KB – Kane Basin; BB – Baffin Bay; DS – Davis Strait.

Map
Long description of figure 1

Map of the circumpolar distribution of the polar bear. The map is centered on the North Pole, and includes the northern coasts of Europe, Russia, and North America down to approximately the 50th parallel. The North American portion appears at the bottom of the map with Europe and Russia at the top.

Each polar bear subpopulation is delineated with a bold line, and they are shaped like various polygons. In total, there are 19 subpopulations: 6 which occur outside of Canada and 13 that occur within or overlap with Canada. The onshore polar bear range is demarcated by a thick border (50 km) along the coastline within the range of the polar bear.

International subpopulations are as follows (clockwise, starting in the west near Alaska): Chukchi Sea (CS, Laptev Sea (LV), Kara Sea (KS), Barents Sea (BS), East Greenland (EG) and the Arctic Basin (AB).

Canadian subpopulations (abbreviations): Viscount Melville Sound (VM), Norwegian Bay (NW), Kane Basin (KB), Lancaster Sound (LS), Baffin Bay (BB), Davis Strait (DS) Southern Hudson Bay (SH), Western Hudson Bay (WH), Foxe Basin (FB), Gulf of Boothia (GB), M’Clintock Channel (MC), Southern Beaufort Sea (SB), and Northern Beaufort Sea (NB).

Annex 1: additional information related to the non-detriment finding for the Baffin Bay subpopulation in Canada

Non-detriment finding advice for Baffin Bay management unit

Harvest and export from the Baffin Bay subpopulation is considered non-detrimental (a positive NDF) for bears harvested before March 10, 2010 and after July 1, 2013.

History of the non-detriment finding advice for Baffin Bay management unit

Prior to March 10, 2010, export of legally-harvested bears from the Baffin Bay management unit was considered non-detrimental. Between March 10, 2010 and June 30, 2017, negative NDF advice was in place for export from the Baffin Bay management unit and, as a result, export of bears harvested in Baffin Bay during this time period was not permitted. The negative NDF was based on increased total harvest levels from both Nunavut and Greenland and model projections based on demographic rates indicating a population decline. On July 1, 2017, in consideration of available information on population size and trends as well as harvest quotas, it was concluded harvest and export from the Baffin Bay management unit is non-detrimental (a positive NDF) for bears harvested before March 10, 2010 and after July 1, 2013. The date of July 1, 2013 corresponds with when Canada reduced harvest quotas, jointly with Greenland, to the level in place for the 2017 to 2018 harvest season and the updated population study data had been collected.

Population status and trend

The Baffin Bay subpopulation was estimated at 2074 bears in 1997. Beginning in 2011, the Government of Nunavut, in partnership with Government of Greenland, implemented an intensive, three-year research program to derive an updated population estimate, the results of which were reviewed and confirmed in the 2017 PBTC status table. The results of the recent research indicates a higher population size than in the previous study from 1997 (2826 bears compared to 2074 bears). Note that the new 2016 estimate cannot be directly compared to the previous study to determine a historical trend with confidence due to differences in study methods and area coverage. The historical trend is considered to be uncertain and the recent trend (less than 15 years) is considered to be ‘likely stable’.  

Harvest management

Given the subpopulation estimates published in 2016, the combined harvest in Baffin Bay between Greenland and Canada is considered sustainable. The Government of Nunavut reduced its annual harvest quota by 10 bears each year over a four year period, from 105 bears in the 2009 to 2010 harvest season to 65 bears in the 2013 to 2014 harvest season, and this remains the quota for the 2017/2018 harvest season. The management objective may be reviewed in light of the new population information, however, the current objective of Nunavut and Greenland is to maintain a stable population of bears with a sustainable quota that accounts for all human caused mortality including annual harvest and take of bears for defense of life and property.

Non-detriment finding advice for Baffin Bay management unit

Harvest and export from the Baffin Bay subpopulation is considered non-detrimental (a positive NDF) for bears harvested before March 10, 2010 and after July 1, 2013.

History of the non-detriment findings advice for Baffin Bay management unit

Prior to March 10, 2010, export of legally-harvested bears from the Baffin Bay management unit was considered non-detrimental. Between March 10, 2010 and June 30, 2017, negative NDF advice was in place for export from the Baffin Bay management unit and, as a result, export of bears harvested in Baffin Bay during this time period was not permitted. The negative NDF was based on increased total harvest levels from both Nunavut and Greenland and model projections based on demographic rates indicating a population decline. On July 1, 2017, in consideration of available information on population size and trends as well as harvest quotas, it was concluded harvest and export from the Baffin Bay management unit is non-detrimental (a positive NDF) for bears harvested before March 10, 2010 and after July 1, 2013. The date of July 1, 2013 corresponds with when Canada reduced harvest quotas, jointly with Greenland, to the level in place for the 2017 to 2018 harvest season and the updated population study data had been collected.

Population status and trend

The Baffin Bay subpopulation was estimated at 2074 bears in 1997. Beginning in 2011, the Government of Nunavut, in partnership with Government of Greenland, implemented an intensive, three-year research program to derive an updated population estimate, the results of which were reviewed and confirmed in the 2017 PBTC status table. The results of the recent research indicates a higher population size than in the previous study from 1997 (2826 bears compared to 2074 bears). Note that the new 2016 estimate cannot be directly compared to the previous study to determine a historical trend with confidence due to differences in study methods and area coverage. The historical trend is considered to be uncertain and the recent trend (less than 15 years) is considered to be ‘likely stable’.

Harvest management

Given the subpopulation estimates published in 2016, the combined harvest in Baffin Bay between Greenland and Canada is considered sustainable. The Government of Nunavut reduced its annual harvest quota by 10 bears each year over a four year period, from 105 bears in the 2009 to 2010 harvest season to 65 bears in the 2013 to 2014 harvest season, and this remains the quota for the 2017 to 2018 harvest season. The management objective may be reviewed in light of the new population information, however, the current objective of Nunavut and Greenland is to maintain a stable population of bears with a sustainable quota that accounts for all human caused mortality including annual harvest and take of bears for defense of life and property.

Annex 2: acts, regulations and agreements relating to Polar Bear for each province and territory, in Canada and internationally.

Manitoba

The Wildlife Act (1987)
The Polar Bear Protection Act (2002)
The Endangered Species and Ecosystems Act (1990)

Newfoundland and Labrador

Wild Life Act (1990)
Wild Life Regulations Under the Wild Life Act (1996)
Newfoundland and Labrador Regulation 26/07 (Open Season Big Game Polar Bear Hunting Order, Labrador, under the Wild Life Regulations and the Wild Life Act) (2007)
Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement

Northwest Territories

Wildlife Act
Wildlife Act Big Game Hunting Regulations
The Species at Risk (NWT) Act (2009)
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Aklavik Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Sachs Harbour Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Olokhaktomiut Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Tuktoyaktuk Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
Inuvialuit Settlement Region Paulatuk Hunters and Trappers Committee Regulations
The Western Arctic Claim--The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (and Amendments)
Inuvialuit-Inupiat Polar Bear Management Agreement in the Southern Beaufort Sea (2011, in place since 1988)
Polar Bear Management Agreement for the North Beaufort Sea and Viscount-Melville Sound Polar Bear Populations--Between the Inuit of the Kitikmeot West Region in Nunavut and the Inuvialuit (2006)

Nunavut

Wildlife Act
Big Game Hunting Regulations

  1. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Qikiqtarjuaq Nativak Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Clyde River Namautaq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Pond Inlet Mittimatalik Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Baffin Bay” Polar Bear Population.
  2. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Pangnirtung Pangnirtung Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Iqaluit Amarok Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Kimmirut Mayukalik Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Davis Strait” Polar Bear Population.
  3. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Chesterfield Inlet Aqigiq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Repulse Bay Arviq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Coral Harbour Aiviit Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Hall Beach Hall Beach Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Igloolik Igloolik Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Cape Dorset Aiviq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Kimmirut Mayukalik Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Kivalliq Wildlife Board, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Foxe Basin” Polar Bear Population.
  4. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Taloyoak Spence Bay Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Kugaaruk Kurtairojuark Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Igloolik Igloolik Hunters' and Trappers' Organization, Hall Beach Hall Beach Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Repulse Bay Arviq Hunters' and Trappers' Organization, Gjoa Haven Gjoa Haven Hunters' and Trappers' Organization Kitikmeot Hunters’ and Trappers’ Association, Kivalliq Wildlife Board, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Gulf of Boothia” Polar Bear Population.
  5. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Grise Fiord Iviq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Kane Basin” Polar Bear Population.
  6. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Arctic Bay Ikajutit Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Grise Fiord Iviq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Resolute Bay Resolute Bay Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Lancaster Sound” Polar Bear Population.
  7. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Cambridge Bay Ekaluktutiak Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Gjoa Haven Gjoa Haven Hunters' and Trappers' Organization, Taloyoak Spence Bay Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Kitikmeot Hunters’ and Trappers’ Association, And The Department of Environment for the Management of the “M’Clintock Channel” Polar Bear Population.
  8. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Kugluktuk Angoniatit Association, Kitikmeot Hunters and Trappers Association, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Northern Beaufort” Polar Bear Population.
  9. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Grise Fiord Iviq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Norwegian Bay” Polar Bear Population.
  10. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Sanikiluaq Sanikiluaq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Qikiqtaaluk Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Southern Hudson” Polar Bear Population.
  11. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Cambridge Bay Ekaluktutiak Hunters’ and Trappers’ Organization, Kitikmeot Hunters and Trappers Association, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Viscount Melville” Polar Bear Population.
  12. Polar Bear Management Memorandum of Understanding between Arviat Arviat Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Baker Lake Baker Lake Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Chesterfield Inlet Aqigiq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Rankin Inlet Aqiggiaq Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Whale Cove Issatik Hunters’ and Trappers' Organization, Kivalliq Wildlife Board, and The Department of Environment for the Management of the “Western Hudson” Polar Bear Population.

Polar Bear Management Agreement for the North Beaufort Sea and Viscount-Melville Sound Polar Bear Populations - Between the Inuit of the Kitikmeot West Region in Nunavut and the Inuvialuit (2006)
Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (and Amendment)

Ontario

Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (1997)
Endangered Species Act (2007)

Québec

An Act Respecting the Conservation and Development of Wildlife (2002)
Polar Bear Regulations (1984)
James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement and Complementary Agreements
Agreement Respecting the Implementation of the James Bay and Northern Quebec
Agreement Between Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada and Makivik Corporation
Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement
Eeyou Marine Region Land Claims Agreement

Yukon Territory

Wildlife Act (2002)
Wildlife Act Regulation (2012)
Western Arctic Claim - The Inuvialuit Final Agreement (and Amendments)
Inuvialuit-Inupiat Polar Bear Management Agreement in the Southern Beaufort Sea (2011) (in place since 1988)

Canada

Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act (WAPPRIITA)
Species at Risk Act (SARA)

International

1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears (signed by all range states including: Canada, Greenland (Denmark), Norway, United States, and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Russia)
Memorandum of Understanding Between Environment Canada and the United States Department of the Interior for the Conservation and Management of Shared Polar Bear Populations (2008)
Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Canada, the Government of Nunavut, and the Government of Greenland for the Conservation and Management of Polar Bear Populations (2009)
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) (183 Parties)
Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (120 Parties; signed by one of the range states, Norway)

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: