A strange headline

I’ve been on Svalbard once and it is a beautiful and interesting place.

Everywhere there are warnings about polar bears outside of Longyearbyen, and unfortunately there are good reasons for that:

Now, there is something odd about that headline: Shouldn’t it be “Man killed by polar bear at Norwegian Svalbard campsite”?

Maybe it’s connected to the throwaway sentence at the end of the article:

An estimated 20,000-25,000 bears live in the Arctic but they are critically endangered.

I am not sure about the estimate – I have seen wildly different estimates for the population of polar bears in recent years – but it looks like there is a reasonable consensus around the number used. This is for the entire population which is spread over vast area. However, polar bears are not critically endangered. They are vulnerable:

Critically endangered (CR) – Extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
Endangered (EN) – High risk of extinction in the wild
Vulnerable (VU) – High risk of endangerment in the wild












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