International Polar Bear Day: Climate meltdown rings Arctic extinction alarmTN Viral Desk

Feb 27, 2023

International Polar Bear Day

International Polar Bear Day is observed on February 27 to raise awareness about the challenges the Arctic inhabitants face including the devastating impact of climate change on the largest bear species’ habitats and food sources.

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Vulnerable to extinction

Polar bears are classified as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their population is declining due to the loss of sea ice caused by climate change.

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Keystone species

Polar bears are apex predators and play a crucial role in maintaining the Arctic food web. Their loss could have ripple effects on the entire ecosystem.

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Shrinking polar bear habitat

The main threat to polar bears is the loss of sea ice, which they rely on for hunting and breeding. As the Arctic warms, sea ice is shrinking, and polar bears have less time to hunt and feed.

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Climate change meltdown

Other threats to polar bears include hunting, oil and gas development, pollution, and increased shipping in the Arctic. These activities can disrupt the polar bear's habitat, disturb their hunting and breeding, and even harm the bears directly.

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Polar bear conservation

Conservation efforts for polar bears include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow the pace of climate change, protecting critical habitat areas, regulating hunting and fishing, and reducing pollution in the Arctic.

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Regulating human activity

The international community has taken steps to protect polar bears, including listing them under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and signing the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears.

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Indigenous ways

Many local communities have traditional knowledge about polar bears and work with researchers and conservationists to protect them.

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Extiontion alarm

These efforts, however, may not be enough to offset the impacts of climate change and other threats and polar bears could become extinct in the future if significant action is not taken to address the underlying causes of their population decline.

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