Warming Is Polar Bears' Top Killer, Host Nations Agree
US, Russia, Norway, Denmark and Canada sign joint statement on bear population
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 19, 2009 2:50 PM CDT
A polar bear mother and her two cubs in Wapusk National Park on the shore of Hudson Bay near Churchill, Manitoba, are seen in this 2007 file photo.   (The Canadian Press)
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(Newser) – Five nations whose land is home to polar bears signed a joint statement today declaring global warming to be the biggest threat to the animals, AFP reports. Canada, Denmark/Greenland, Norway, Russia, and the US agree that “long-term conservation of polar bears depends upon successful mitigation of climate change,” the statement said.

It is the first joint declaration on polar bears since 1973, in which the group endorsed bans on hunting the animals. The current statement is not legally binding, but is taken as a good sign ahead of multinational talks scheduled for December, where members will try to craft a new global agreement on climate change to replace the Kyoto protocol.