Home » Travel

Plight Of The Polar Bears

Oct 24, 2007
With all of the buzz around Al Gore's Nobel Prize winning efforts, many are hoping the heightened awareness of global warming will turn some attention to the plight of the polar bears. It would be utterly heartbreaking if this incredible predator was relegated to zoos or worse, especially after hundreds of years of adaptation to the hostile Arctic environment. I was once lucky enough to see a family of bears in the wild in the high arctic, a mother and two cubs - it was a powerfully moving site, considering this wasn't a refuge but actually ice flows viewed from a Russian Icebreaker. What a great many people were not aware of until recently is that polar bears need the sea ice to freeze over. This gives the polar bears ideal hunting grounds for the seals that build dens and breathing holes in on the floes. Polar bears are classified as marine mammals and are surprisingly deficient in skills for catching prey on land.

There have been several reports of polar bear migrating into the northern boreal forests of Alaska and mating with grizzly bears, resulting in a hybrid bear: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grizzly%E2%80%93polar_bear_hybrid . While this phenomenon is not entirely new, the frequency of the polar bear's forays into southern lands is bound to increase. A bear has gotta do what it's gotta do, afterall. Biologists fear the interbreeding could dilute some of the polar bears greatest (and least understood) adaptations, such as the ability to navigate incredible distances in a dynamic environment with few landmarks, their aquatic skills and the instinct to catch seals under sea ice.

Arctic studies have shown that over the years, the sea ice grows and recedes with somewhat normal consistency but the last few years have shown a massive recession, along with the retreat of hundreds of Arctic glaciers. Call it global warming or whatever you like, but I think the time to start "thinking green" is now--if nothing else, so the great white north stays north. We may never encounter the polar bear in our normal lives and very few people will get to visit them, but that's exactly why we need to act now - to keep those wild places wild.

Writing and/or reading an article about polar bears isn't going to do much good without a soliciting a reaction. With that in mind, here are A Few Resources to Help Our Polar Pals in the Arctic...

Update on Polar Bear Status: From the Humane Society: http://www.hsus.org/marine_mammals/a_closer_look_at_marine_mammals/polar_bears/saving_acts_for_the_polar.html

Track Real Polar Bears: From the WWF http://www.panda.org/about_wwf/where_we_work/europe/what_we_do/arctic/polar_bear/index.cfm

Visit Polar Bears in Their Own Habitat: From Natural Habitat Adventures
http://www.nathab.com/north

Other Actions You Can Take: From Defenders of Wildlife
http://www.defenders.org/programs_and_policy/wildlife_conservation/imperiled_species/polar_bear/index.php

Aside from the resources above, the best thing you can do for polar bears is to reduce the effect your lifestyle has on global warming. Whether that means taking a bike to work or school, installing solar panels on your home, or just turning out the lights when you leave a room - every little bit helps.
About the Author
Everett Sizemore is a freelancer who writes about environmental issues and travel. He has worked with several eco-travel companies like Nathab to increase awareness of responsible tourism.
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 145
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources