The amazing wonder and beauty of Polar Bears, revered for some cultures as wise and powerful. It is very sad to think that future generations will just hear stories about the mythical giant polar bear because there won’t be any polar bears left in the Earth.

According to a study by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), there are approximately 26,000 Polar Bears and that they is high probability of a 30% decline in polar bear numbers by 2050 due to climate change.

Let’s talk a little about their wonder. Polar Bears are considered the world’s largest land predators. They are very big, weighing up to 600 kg and measuring up to 3 m tall. Although they look white or yellow in color, their fur is actually clear and hollow, and their skin is black. Their lovely color is caused by the reflection of light.

Polar bears are well-equipped for survival with two coats of fur and a thick layer of blubber keeping them warm at an even 37°C. They use their powerful sense of smell when hunting for seals, their main source of food. Other interesting fact about polar bears is that they do not hibernate like other bears, but females do enter into a dormant state while pregnant. Their cubs “usually two”, will spend two years with their mother learning essential hunting and survival skills. They are blind, toothless, and covered with short, soft fur. They are completely dependent on their mother for warmth and food.

Are polar bears endangered?

Polar bears are listed as vulnerable by IUCN’s Red List. Global warming impacts the survival of polar bear affecting their habitat. Rising temperatures and reduction of ice make very hard for polar bears to survive, limiting access to food, affecting their health and reproduction cycles.

The primary concern for polar bears is habitat loss which implies reduced access to their food “seal”. As described in this article by The Guardian “climate change is ‘single biggest threat’ to polar bear survival”, the IUCN study find that they is high probability’ of a 30% decline in polar bear numbers by 2050 due to retreating sea ice, which is disappearing at a faster rate than predicted by climate models. Scientists predict that as the Arctic continues to warm, two-thirds of the world’s polar bears could disappear within this century.

Polar bears are born for the Artic climate, where winter temperatures can plunge to -45º C. Annual ice-free periods of five months will spread hunger among polar bears, the IUCN said, pushing the species over a “tipping point”, with widespread reproductive failure and starvation in some areas.

Take 2 minutes to watch this video describing how climate change is affecting polar bears, when sea ice is gone polar bear are food deprived. They sit at the top of polar food chains, their decline could be devastating for these ecosystems, which could become unbalanced and chaotic.

What can we do ?

Everyone can participate to save polar bears because this is about climate change: eat less meat, drive less, eat locally, reduce gas emissions, take a shower instead of a bath, be sure you’re recycling at home … more ideas ? Check this great list  with 50 things to do to reduce global warming

Polar bears are wonderful species living in the artic. In this environment hey travel, hunt, rest, mate, have little cubs…grow and enjoy life !  A reduction in the sea ice during the summer will have a negative impact on their habits and we may become extinct by 2050.

Let’s finish this post with this quote and take two seconds to think what do you want to tell to our kids about the future of wildlife..

Well, my son really loves wildlife. And everytime he draws a polar bear I want to tell him there probably won’t any by the time… he’s my age. That’s kinda hard to deal with.

Thom Yorke

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References and More Information
http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/polar-bear
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/nov/19/climate-change-is-single-biggest-threat-to-polar-bear-survival
http://www.animalfactguide.com/animal-facts/polar-bear/
http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/polar-bears/polar-bear-faq/
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