The World Conservation Union (IUCN) estimates that there are between
A warming world means that sea ice is melting earlier and forming later every year. Polar bears thus have less time to hunt for food, and female polar bears have less time to build up the fat reserves essential for when they
hibernate and give birth.
This also leads to lower reproductive rates, as undernourished bears
have fewer cubs.
Ongoing exploration for oil in the Arctic has a number of consequences for polar bears, including:
• Habitat destruction • Disturbance (seismic blasting, construction, boat traffic)
• Oil pollution (poisoning,
oil spills, etc.)