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12 mars 2012 1 12 /03 /mars /2012 17:56


Now the polar bear is included in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, Endangered Species (CITES).  This means that international trade in these animals and their parts is permitted, but only by special permission of CITES.

A group of Russian experts has taken the initiative to transfer the polar bear from Appendix II to Appendix I of CITES, to make it impossible for any movement between the countries of polar bears and their skins, their derivatives or other commercial purposes.  According to them, after the ban on international trade, poachers in Russia will kill fewer polar bears.

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) does not support this initiative for several reasons. The fact that Russian poachers killing the polar bears, working mainly on the domestic market, rather than the illegal exports.  In any case, attempts to export the skins of polar bears from Russia is not fixed, unlike the cases of sales of the domestic market. Unfortunately, our country - one of the leaders in the domestic demand for polar bear hides. . Accordingly, the change in status of the polar bear in the international conventions do not reduce poaching in our country. Moreover, some consumers are buying legitimate products of animal skins - from Canada, where indigenous people allowed limited hunting of polar bears and selling their skins. If the supply of skins from Canada to cease, the demand for Russian - illegal - the skins will rise, and the poaching of polar bears in Russia may also grow.

Here in Canada, production is reduced, as with fishing polar bears is closely related to financial well-being of indigenous peoples in Canada.  Local residents not only have the right to own a limited production and sale of polar bear skins, but they can sell their  "Right shot" trophy hunter - the representative of non-indigenous nation.  As a result, for example, when the U.S. imposed a ban on the importation of polar bear hides from Canada, the price of skins fell in Canada, and production quotas for indigenous peoples of the animal had to be increased in order to avoid conflict. Moreover, Canada's federal structure gives the right areas, including the autonomous territory of Nunavut (Inuit Canadian public education as part of Canada) to establish their own additional quotas for certain animals, including polar bears. Thus, it is possible if and export to other countries to hide will be denied, then the skin even more worthless, and the quota will grow even more.

In addition, it should be noted that in accordance with the provisions of CITES movement across borders of any trophies is not a form of commercial use and, thus, the translation of the polar bear from Appendix I to Appendix II does not affect the transport of trophy hunting and trophy hunters .

In addition, CITES requires certain formal conditions for the transfer of species from one application to another.  The grounds for transfer are: a threat to the existence of species originating from the massive use of his commercially and critically low numbers, a very limited area and the likelihood of significant downsizing in the near future.  At the moment the population of polar bears is really under threat, but its numbers, though not precisely known, a rough estimate of about 20,000 individuals and covers the entire Arctic area (ie not restricted).

Thus, according to the WWF, you must first conduct research on the state population, especially in Russia, where the data on the number of species there is little. П After that, you can already make a decision about what the status of polar bears in CITES will most contribute to its preservation. It is also essential to effective control of illegal harvest of polar bears, including the study and control of markets, demand is dictating.  It was on these problems need to focus, to really help the polar bear.

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