Nigel Marvin, naturalist photographer has just finished a five part series on the Artic for British television and shows that current polar bear populations are around 25,000. Seal, walrus, and artic fox populations seem to be equally strong.
As the British Daily Mail labeled it: 'It's the photo that became a symbol of global warming: polar bears stranded on a melting ice-floe in mid-winter. The truth? It was taken in summer'
Marven by the way, refuses to take sides in the argument, he just photographs what he sees.
What it is apparently, in addition to Gorbot poofery, is a source of income for the good folks in the area who are benefiting from all the tourism of folks from around the world to see the bears before they "are all gone"!