CHURCHILL, MB, CANADA, Nov. 5, 2018 – Snow, cold, polar bears:Polar Bear Week is here, November 4 – 10, 2018! Every year, Polar Bears International (PBI) hosts this awareness event to draw attention to polar bears and the threats to their sea ice home from a warming climate.
Polar Bear Week coincides with the annual gathering of polar bears on the shores of Hudson Bay, where the bears wait for the sea ice to form so they can return to hunting seals. After months of living off their fat reserves, the bears congregate near Churchill in anticipation of freeze-up and a chance to feed again. During Polar Bear Week, PBI provides live Polar Bear Cams that let viewers see wild polar bears in their natural setting, a partnership with explore.org and Frontiers North Adventures. They also let people learn about polar bears and how they can help through Tundra Connections webcasts and live chats.
“Polar Bear Week celebrates these iconic animals and their Arctic home,” said Krista Wright, Executive Director of PBI. “Through our live cams and broadcasts, we inspire people to care about polar bears and the Arctic and to get involved in their conservation.”
As part of this outreach, viewers may see moms and cubs cuddling, hefty male bears wrestling, youngsters curiously exploring the tundra, or a sleepy bear hunkering down for an afternoon nap in the kelp beds.
Scientists estimate that we could see dramatic declines in polar bear numbers by mid-century if we stay on a “business as usual” path with carbon emissions. Polar bears rely on Arctic sea ice for hunting their seal prey. As the global climate continues to warm, Arctic sea ice melts, threatening the polar bear’s future.
“This year’s Polar Bear Week focuses on leveraging our power as citizens to effect change,” says Geoff York, PBI’s senior director of conservation. “The latest U.N. report on climate underscores the fact that action is needed now to reduce carbon emissions, for polar bears and for all of us. One of the most important things that each of us can do is to vote for leaders who support policy solutions.”
York cited Canada’s new carbon pricing plan, with dividends returned to citizens, as an example of the leadership needed.
As the only nonprofit organization dedicated solely to wild polar bears and Arctic sea ice, PBI educates the public about polar bears and the challenges they face. PBI’s staff includes scientists who study wild polar bears and understand their ecology, habitat, and threats. The organization is a recognized leader in polar bear conservation.
Outside of Polar Bear Week, PBI focuses on conservation efforts year-round and relies on global support to make the most impact. In addition to pushing for carbon-neutral policies and reducing their personal carbon footprints, people can take action by supporting community projects such as renewable energy options and environmentally friendly methods of transportation. They can also help by donating to help amplify Polar Bears International’s reach on behalf of polar bears while supporting their research and on-the-ground conservation efforts or by symbolically adopting a polar bear. Polar Bears International’s mission is to conserve polar bears and the sea ice they depend on. Through media, science, and advocacy, we work to inspire people to care about the Arctic, the threats to its future, and the connection between this remote region and our global climate. For more information, visit www.polarbearsinternational.org.