Polar Bear Animal Project By: Susan Nevin

Scientific Name: Ursus Maritimus

According to World Wildlife, "the polar bears were listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in May 2008. The survival and the protection of the polar bear habitat are urgent issues for WWF."

Map of where polar bears live.
The IUCN report estimates that there are roughly 26,000 polar bears around the world.

According to Polar Bear's International, "about 60% of the world's polar bears live within or are shared by Canada. Polar bears are also found in the U.S. (Alaska), Russia, Greenland, and Norway (Svalbard)."

Currently, the only real threat to polar bears is climate change. The IUCN lists the polar bear as a vulnerable species, citing sea ice losses from climate change as the single biggest threat to polar bear survival. Polar bears rely on the sea ice to hunt, travel, breed, and sometimes to den.

The population of polar bears is declining.

Canada's Western Hudson Bay population has experienced a 22% decline or greater since the early 1980s, and the Southern Beaufort Sea population along the northern coast of Alaska and western Canada have plunged by about 40% over a 10-year study period from 2001-2010 (polarbearsinternational.org).

polar bear cub

"In the Canadian Arctic, adult female polar bears with cubs hunt about 19% of their time during the spring and about 38% of their time during the summer. Adult male polar bears hunt about 25% of their time during the spring and about 40% of their time during the summer" (seaworld.org).

"When not hunting, polar bears are often sleeping or resting. From July to December in Canada's James Bay region, when lack of ice prevents seal hunting, a polar bear may spend up to 87% of its time resting. On warm days polar bears sprawl out on the ground or ice, sometimes on their backs with their feet in the air. On cold days polar bears curl up and often cover their muzzle area. During the winter, some polar bears excavate temporary dens or find natural shelters to stay warm" (seaworld.org).

Currently, many coroporations such as Seaworld and WWF are working to better the living conditions of the polar bears. According to World Wildlife, "polar bears, the charismatic icon of the Arctic environment, have long been a focus in WWF’s on-the-ground research and conservation projects in the Arctic, going back to 1972 – and climate change is a primary focus of our global conservation efforts."

Polar bears are the main predator within the arctic circle. They hunt fish, seals, otters, and many more smaller marine animals. Therefore, if the polar bears would cease to exist, the population of these small water animals would become obsurd. This would create overpopulation within many different species.

Climate change is the biggest reason polar bears are going extinct due to melting glaciers. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is taking many steps to reach a more evironmentally stable society. Some of these steps include collecting emission data, advancing the science, and partnering internationally as well as nationwide.



Created with images by Pexels - "animal cold fur" • amerune - "Polar bear"

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