07/12/2011 05:03 EDT | Updated 09/11/2011 05:12 EDT

Canada Polar Bears Getting Protection Under Species At-Risk Legislation


THE CANADIAN PRESS -- OTTAWA - The polar bear is finally set to be listed under Canada's species-at-risk legislation.

The federal government has given notice that it intends to list the iconic white mammal as a species of concern under the law.

That would require a plan be devised within three years to prevent it from becoming endangered or threatened.

The legislative move comes almost three years after the committee on the status of endangered wildlife recommended the bear needed special attention.

Canada is home to 60 per cent of the world's polar bears and changes in sea ice conditions are wreaking havoc with bear populations.

Aboriginal groups in the North strongly oppose the inclusion of the bear under the law, saying populations are growing and that they have management of the bear under control.