Activist polar bear biologist Andrew Derocher (University of Alberta) may have gone too far this time. In an interview with Yahoo News, Derocher is quoted as saying:
“When I first started here about 30 years ago the population was about 1,200 bears and now we’re down to about 800,” team member Andrew Derocher, a biology professor at the University of Alberta, said in a phone interview from the tundra outside Churchill.” [my bold]
Environment Canada’s “Map 3: 2014 Canadian Polar Bear Subpopulation and Status Map,” original here. Click to enlarge.
However, the Polar Bear Technical Committee of Environment Canada says differently: it estimates there are ~1000-1,500 bears in Western Hudson Bay (WH) and that the population is probably stable, as their new status map (dated June 2014, copied above) shows. A recent (2014) peer-reviewed paper by Stapleton and colleagues (discussed here) provides the data for that estimate.