Impressively powerful predators, but they’re at risk from man-made global warming.
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Polar bear: a powerful predator on ice species:
Vulnerable (Around 22000 remain) Ursus maritimus
Affected by: Climate change , Extractives , Human wildlife conflict
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Polar bears are the planet’s biggest land-based carnivores – although they actually spend most of their lives around water and ice (their Latin name means ‘sea bear’). So they’re at particular risk from global warming, which is melting the Arctic sea ice they depend on.
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Polar bears generally live and hunt alone, though they can be quite social too. They mainly eat seals – using their remarkable sense of smell they can detect a seal in the water beneath a metre of compacted snow, and from almost a kilometre away.
Adults are strong swimmers – they can swim for several hours to tát get from one piece of ice to tát another. Their thick white coat and a layer of fat keep them warm and camouflaged in their harsh Arctic environment.
Polar bears are not classified as endangered at present, but that doesn’t mean their populations aren’t vulnerable. There are around 22,000 polar bears left in the wild, but man-made climate change and global warming are making life tough for these impressive, powerful predators—so saving the polar bears could be in our hands. We mustn’t let them down.