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To honor our incredible wildlife, Defenders has declared 2019 the Year of Coexistence. Over the course of the year, we'll highlight innovative ways people are sharing the landscape with wildlife.

December: 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.

  Stay Engaged By Following #YEAROFCOEXISTENCE

Coexisting with Polar Bears

To reduce human-polar bear conflict, we promote and support a variety of coexistence measures, including the use of polar-bear proof food storage lockers and polar bear patrols in Arctic communities that have implemented community-wide communications systems and use non-lethal hazing and deterrence measures as a first line of defense.

Baked Alaska: A Quadruple Threat to Polar Bears

Alaska’s Arctic is slowing baking, experiencing the effects of climate change at twice the rate of the rest of the world. And polar bears are feeling the heat.

Wildlife and Wild Places