Killer Bees: The Case That Shook America
Cart 0
 

Melting Point

 

THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON POLAR BEARS

Bear Adjusted COVER.png
 
 

The area covered by sea ice has decreased considerably during the last fifty years. 2007 was a record year in this respect and the extent of the sea ice during the summer has not been lower since measurements started in 1979

 
 
 

DISTRIBUTION AND POPULATION STATUS

The polar bear is a circumpolar species and is found in arctic regions where there is access to sea ice throughout much of the year. Polar bear populations are found in Canada, Alaska (USA), Greenland, the Russian Arctic, the Norwegian Arctic and on the ice surrounding the North Pole.

The global population of polar bears consists of roughly 20,000-25,000 individuals spread between 19 sub-populations. However, polar bears wander across enormous distances, so there are no major genetic differences between these populations. The distribution of polar bears in their habitat is far from even and is highly dependent on the availability of their prey. In the central areas of the polar icecap there is only very limited access to prey, and the density of polar bear populations is thus considerably lower there than in the productive areas in the bordering zones.

 
 
 
 
 

Based on the vulnerability assessment and
in line with WWF’s Species Action Plan,
we recommend these climate-adaptive
management strategies for polar bears:

 
 
 

Recommended climate-adaptive management strategies

Identify and protect key areas which might remain viable for polar bears in the long term. This includes seasonal habitat areas, suitable sites for denning, and movement corridors. Efforts should focus on regions that are projected to retain ice habitat farther into the future than other areas. The “last ice area” is projected to remain in northeastern parts of the Canadian Archipelago and northern Greenland, 26 and adjacent parts of the polar basin.

 
 
 
Bear Update Stat.png

Scientists estimate that if current forecasts are correct about the future extent of sea ice, then two-thirds of the polar bear population will become extinct by 2050.

Background Image Last.png

Polar Bear Facts

 
 
Icons.png
 

Polar bears are highly dependent on older stable pack ice in the Arctic region, where they spend much of their time on the ice hunting, mating and denning.

 

Polar bears have a very strong sense of smell, which they use to find seal 
breathing holes in the ice. Once it has found the hole, the bear will wait patiently until the seal comes up for air to attack.

 

Canada is home to approximately 60% of the world’s polar bear population. Their habitat in Canada ranges from James Bay in the south to Ellesmere Island in the north, and east to west from Labrador to the Alaskan border.

 
 
 

Address:

World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20037

About us:

For nearly 60 years, WWF has been protecting the future of nature.

 
Background Color.png