Coexisting with Polar Bears
Alaska’s Arctic is experiencing dramatic shifts across the landscape with the effects of climate change occurring at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Significant loss of sea ice from a warming climate is one example of this change. Federally threatened polar bears depend on sea ice to hunt seals, their primary food source. Loss of sea ice has meant that more polar bears are spending longer periods of time on land.
The Southern Beaufort Sea population is considered the most endangered on the globe at this time, and Defenders has prioritized our work on this population. We are using a multi-pronged approach to protect and help restore the population that includes: 1) advocating for greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel-use reductions; 2) habitat protection; 3) working to increase the use of coexistence measures to reduce human-polar bear conflicts.