Study Values Polar Bears at $420,000 Apiece


Written by Stephen Messenger

Polar bears are one of the most iconic animals on the planet, a noble species on the front-line of a warming world — and to ensure the priceless creatures survive, Canadians are willing to shell-out some real money. According to a recent study, Canucks would be willing to contribute $6.3 billion towards saving the arctic circle’s 15,000 remaining polar bears; That amounts to an impressive $420 thousand per bear!

Needless to say, attempts at putting a price-tag on wildlife inevitably stirs up controversy whenever the idea is put forth, given their intrinsic value as members of a regional and global ecosystem, but a report commissioned by Environment Canada attempted to anyways.

According to the Toronto Star, a survey revealed that each Canadian household would be okay with paying an average of $508 towards polar bear conservation, though not wholly out of a love of nature:

The polar bear’s image is constantly used in advertising campaigns, the report points out. (Think of Coca Cola’s obsession with the great, white bear around Christmas and its $2 million contribution to the World Wildlife Fund to help conserve the bears.)

The iconic image of ursus maritimus has even been hijacked by the government of Canada for the $2 coin.

Plus, polar bears are an invaluable asset to science and education, the report states. Their fur has fibre-optic properties that capture heat, and their status at the top of the food chain provides much information on habitat productivity.

“It is, moreover, a charismatic animal whose image has come to symbolize climate change,” the report continues.

Additionally, the report found that the polar bear’s charming appearance may have a significant influence on Canadian’s generosity. Beluga whales, for example, are at a higher risk of extinction in the region, yet could command only $107 per household surveyed.

This post was originally published by Treehugger.


Related Stories:

Survival Against All Odds: Animals of the Arctic

Zoo Polar Bear Turns On Her Newborns

Polar Bear Swims 9 Days, Her Cub Doesn’t Make It


Photo from rubyblossom via flickr


Carrie Anne Brown

interesting article, thanks for sharing :)

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

Now we have polar Bears cannibalizing their cubs.

Go to: Polar-bears-Cannibal-pictures-prove-theyll-eat-bear-cubs.html

The photos are not for the faint of heart.

Michael C.
Michael C.4 years ago

According to a recent study, Canucks would be willing to contribute $6.3 billion towards saving the arctic circle’s 15,000 remaining polar bears; That amounts to an impressive $420 thousand per bear!

The Canadian Government saw fit ti drop out of Kyoto, personally, I think the inmates have taken over the asylum.

Velmapearl Hawkins
Velma Hawkins4 years ago

sO SO SO SAD we must keep this from getting any worse......use our voices.......our signatures, and our donations.........we can help halt the crisis getting worse.

Anne G.
Anne G.4 years ago

Thanks, interesting.

gary c.
Gary C.4 years ago

They are invaluable in their environment and should be protected and looked after without reservation.....Thankyou....

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago

thanks for telling the world

Cheryl B.
Cheryl B.4 years ago


Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

Another point for Michael P, the statement that it's an Inuit "hunt" is patently false.. it's a cruel factory massacre of hundreds of thousands of seal pups on now disappearing ice floes for a handful of whites in the offseason to sell the fruits of their massive crime to Asia.. no sale to Europe anymore, there's now a European wide boycott of trade in Canada's seal products, along with boycotts of Canadian seafood and bans in other countries Mexico.. Even Chinese are now getting disgusted at canadian ministers running over there with extortion and bribes to peddle the products of Canada's harp seal horrors.

Mark Donners
Mark Donner4 years ago

I can never comprehend why Canadians like Michael P. keep following primitive urges to defend their repulsive hordes of ministers and that yearly cruel bloodbath slaughter of seals.. maybe it's the socialist irreponsiblity and Canada's corrupt socialist government. And its not just "brigitte bardot" who objects, it's many countries in the world that happen to have an ounce of integrity, ethics, decency and sanity. The fact is that the psychotic slaughter of harp seals in Canada is the largest and cruelest massacre of marine mammals in history and on earth, bar none, and it is completely unacceptable. Don't keep whining that "seals eat all the fish" either, Canada typically resorts to transparently fake and skewed propaganda calling it "science" to justify pure criminal greed. Seals have been around the Arctic in far larger numbers for millions of years before european imports arrived without "depleting the fish". In fact the main part of the seals' diet is predators of food fish and their eggs such as squid and rays. When Canada's greed wiped out the cod populations and their nurseries from the north atlantic with their greedy commercial trawlers, then blaming the seals for their own enviornmental crimes and wiping the seals of course those predator populations exploded and cod never recovered. But Canadians blamed the seals for to hide another greedy agenda. And it's Canada that has made it legal to hunt polar bears. This is what environmental tyrants in Canada' government l