Polar bears are furry and majestic marine mammals that roam across the cold Arctic ice. However, over the past few decades, sea ice in the Arctic has been melting at an alarming rate, causing the polar ice cap to shrink over time. Commercial activities such as oil and gas exploration, shipping, mining and tourism have also been affecting the polar bear’s habitat and their ability to survive. The polar bears live off the sea ice, relying on it for hunting, travelling, breeding and denning. It is vital that they maintain sufficient fat reserves to protect them against the cold, but depleting sea ice affects both their food source and their natural surroundings, increasing the risk of starvation, exhaustion and making it harder to raise cubs.
International Polar Bear Day on February 27th aims to raise awareness of the issues threatening polar bears and the ways in which we can reduce our carbon footprint. Climate change is a huge threat to polar bears’ existence and it’s up to us to take action and protect their future. It is an opportunity for us to remind ourselves what is at stake here and why preserving the future of these magnificent mammals is so vital.
This is more important than ever because Polar bears have been classed as ‘vulnerable’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which means our ‘king of the Arctic’ could decline by over a third within three generations and is potentially at risk of extinction if temperatures continue to increase. Polar Bear Day is all about conservation and a time to celebrate these animals. It’s a day that people take the time to learn about polar bears, their ecosystem and how our actions have been harming their existence. They also pledge to reduce their carbon footprint and to speak with others about the effects that climate change has on polar bears. We can all do our bit to protect these vulnerable animals and ensure that they survive.
What Can You Do?
Why not help reduce your carbon footprint by recycling more, using less water, cycling to work or buying items from companies that are environmentally friendly – If we all work together, we can create a brighter future for polar bears.
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