Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)

EU imports of U. maritimus in 2011 primarily consisted of wild-sourced trophy items (purposes ‘H’, ‘P’ and ‘T’) and, as in 2010, met the criteria for high volume trade in a globally threatened species. Wild-sourced trade (including source unspecified) in trophy items that can easily be equated to individuals (16 trophies, 52 skins, 51 skulls and two bodies) equated to approximately 121 individuals. A permit analysis revealed that five trophy items were imported on the same permits as other items, potentially reducing the number of animals involved to 116; this represents an increase of 29% relative to 2010. As in 2010, all wild-sourced trophies and trophy items originated in Canada (73%) and Greenland (27%).  The species was discussed at SRG 50 on 30/11/2009 and a positive opinion was confirmed for Canada, except for subpopulations of Baffin Bay and Kane Basin, for which a negative opinion was confirmed. The negative opinion for Baffin Bay and Kane Basin subpopulations was reconfirmed on 16/02/2010.

2010 Summary for Ursus maritimus (Polar Bear)

Criteria met:  High volume (globally threatened)

Principal trade term to the EU:  skins

Principal source:  wild

Top EU importer:  Denmark

Top Trading Partner:  Greenland, Canada

CITES Appendix:  II

IUCN Status:  Vulnerable

EU-reported imports of wild-sourced Ursus maritimus hunting trophies and trophy items (bodies, skins and skulls; purposes H, P and T), 2001-2010.

All EU imports in 2010 were wild-sourced. With the exception of trade for scientific purposes, imports primarily comprised skins traded for commercial purposes or as personal possessions, and hunting trophies and trophy items. Skins and other trophy items that easily equate to individual animals reported as purposes ‘H’, ‘P’ and ‘T’ equate to approximately 91 individuals, including 62 skins, 18 trophies, 10 skulls and one body. Analysis of permits revealed that one skull was imported on the same permit as one skin, possibly reducing the number of animals involved to 90. EU imports of wild-sourced hunting trophies decreased by 18% between 2009 and 2010.

All wild-sourced skins and trophies originated in Canada (79%) or Greenland (21%). The SRG formed a positive opinion for all subpopulations of Ursus maritimus in Canada except those of Baffin Bay and Kane Basin, for which a negative opinion was formed, on 02/12/2008. The positive opinion was confirmed on 30/11/2009; the negative opinion for the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin subpopulations was confirmed on 30/11/2009 and reconfirmed on 16/02/2010. U. maritimus from Canada was discussed at SRG 60 on 07/06/2012 and Canada was requested to provide more information.