Stay Cool for Polar Bears

February 27th was designated as International Polar Bear Day by Polar Bears International (PBI).  PBI is an organization dedicated to the conservation of the polar bear and its habitat.  This year for International Polar Bear Day, PBI encouraged people all over the world to lower their thermostat by 2 degrees to reduce their carbon emissions.

Though the polar bear is protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972, and by the International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) reports that the current global polar bear population of 20,000 to 25,000 is in decline.  Cited as a vulnerable species, the IUCN predicts a “suspected population reduction of >30 percent within three generations (45 years)” – primarily attributable to climate change.

Rising temperatures in the Arctic have caused sea ice to melt earlier in the season than in years past.  Polar bears feed mainly on ringed and bearded seals with mature polar bears eating simply the calorie-rich blubber and skin since they are able to subsist off their fat reserves when food is scarce.  Since polar bears hunt for seals from an ice platform, the melting sea ice causes bears to seek the shore before their fat reserves are sufficient enough to survive off.  The receding sea ice also forces the bears to further deplete their fat reserves by swimming longer distances to find shores.

You can learn more about the many other ways to lower your carbon emissions and contribute to polar bear conservation at www.polarbearsinternational.org/education/how-to-live-greener.

To see polar bears, you don’t have to visit Hudson Bay.  You can visit an AZA accredited institution near you.

Elise Waugh

AZA Institutions with Polar Bears

Albuquerque Biological Park

Bronx Zoo

Buffalo Zoo

Central Park Zoo

Chicago Zoological Society – Brookfield Zoo

Cincinnati Zoo

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

Como Park Zoo & Conservatory

Denver Zoo

Detroit Zoo

Erie Zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo

Indianapolis Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

Lake Superior Zoo

Lincoln Park Zoo

Louisville Zoo

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Memphis Zoo

Milwaukee County Zoo

North Carolina Zoo

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

Oregon Zoo

Parque Zoologico de Leon

Philadelphia Zoo

Pittsburgh Zoo

Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Reid Park Zoo

San Diego Zoo

San Francisco Zoo

Sea World Orlando

Sea World San Diego

Seneca Park Zoo

Toledo Zoo

Toronto Zoo

Utah’s Hogle Zoo (Opens this spring!)

This entry was posted in Aquarium, Conservation, Going Green, Polar bear, Wildlife, Zoo. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Stay Cool for Polar Bears

  1. insisted_search says:

    The Toronto Zoo has a healthy new addition! A new polar bear cub has recently been debuted and they are holding a contest to name the new little cub.
    http://www.witmart.com/p_63229_j_11924

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