Polar Bear Skin Rugs
Polar Bears are not currently threatened with extinction and the regulated harvest does not pose a threat to the survivability of the species.
Of the world’s estimated 25,000 Polar Bears in 2014 around 16,000 or 65% are thought to live in the arctic regions of Canada.
The Canadian population is made up of 13 subpopulations distributed among 13 management units. Around 600 or 3% of the Canadian Polar Bear population are killed in Canada annually under a limited hunt, mostly by native Inuit hunters. 6 Quotas are established for each management unit designed to keep harvests at levels the bear population can sustain. Hunting is prohibited in units experiencing or threatened with population declines.
The Native people of the north have long hunted Polar Bears. For the Inuit and many northern communities, polar bears are especially significant culturally, spiritually and economically. Polar Bear hunting plays a central role in long-held traditions and also provides food and fiber for traditional lifestyles. Hunted bears are fully utilized. Canada’s indigenous Inuit people also argue trade in Polar Bear pelts is one of their few economic resources.
World-wide, Polar Bears are currently listed on Annex II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), as Vulnerable allowing tightly restricted trade. All trade in products from that species requires a CITES permit. Trade is regulated and monitored but not banned. Canada is the only country that permits the export of Polar Bear parts, from a limited number of subpopulations. About ½ of those killed (approximately 2% of the Canadian Polar Bear population) end up in the international trade and exports from Canada have not increased over the years.
Reference Fur Institute of Canada