Polar Bear Week

Polar Bear Week is the first week of November! In 2024, the dates are Oct. 27 - Nov. 2. Join us by donating, tuning into our live events, taking part in our “Protect Polar Bears and People" Challenge, and more.

Join Our Awareness Event

Polar Bears International created Polar Bear Week to coincide with the annual gathering of polar bears near Churchill, Canada, as they wait for sea ice to form on Hudson Bay so they can return to hunting seals. During this week, we draw attention to the threats polar bears face in a warming Arctic.

Polar bear face

Photo: Emily Ringer

Let’s Make An Impact

This year, we’re raising funds to underwrite our coexistence efforts while also supporting our other conservation efforts across the Arctic. Helping polar bears and people live safely with each other is critically important as more polar bears are spending more time onshore as the sea ice melts.

Protecting Polar Bears and People

Across the Arctic, melting sea ice from climate warming is driving more polar bears ashore in more places—and for longer periods. This is leading to an uptick in encounters with people, encounters that too often end in tragedy.

To keep people and polar bears safe, communities need reliable techniques to minimize attracting bears and to deter or frighten them away from areas of human activity. Your generosity will help fund a range of coexistence projects. These include:

  • Producing safety materials - From easy-to-follow posters to coloring books tailored to the unique situations in different communities, these outreach tools share best practices on staying safe and avoiding conflict.

  • Conducting research - This work ranges from testing ground-based radar to detect approaching bears to funding waste management studies and researching the best tools to deter polar bears.

  • Becoming "Bear Smart" - By supporting the efforts of the town of Churchill to become the world’s first “Bear Smart Community,” we're helping to develop a template that could serve as a model for other northern communities. 

  • Consulting with communities - In addition, we're working with Cree communities in northern Ontario on bear-safe measures that meet their unique needs and have started collaborating with the Ny-Ȧlesund community on Svalbard on safety materials, deterrence tools, and training.

Photo: Kt Miller / Polar Bears International

A close of up a polar bear walking by

Standardized Safety Messaging

To ensure that “bear safe” messaging is clear, consistent, and easy to follow, we helped create standardized language on how to coexist with polar bears, based on the best available information. We share this through various channels, tailored to different parts of the Arctic, as in the examples below.

Inside of coloring book sharing safety tips

Polar Bear Safety Coloring Books

Coloring books are a fun, non-threatening way to help kids learn to live safely around bears.  The coloring books are part of our wider conflict-reduction efforts, with versions tailored to communities in Canada, Greenland, and Russia to date, with more in the works.

Polar bear safety poster preview

Polar Bear Safety Posters

As part of our bear-safe messaging, we worked with partners to develop polar bear safety posters in English and in Cree for the Town of Churchill and northern Ontario communities, based on their unique needs. The information can be personalized for use in other places.

Snowy background with bear crossing sign in the forefront

Polar Bear Safety Video

We recently supported the efforts of the Churchill Bear Smart Group in producing a video for residents and visitors on how to stay safe around polar bears, based on the town's unique situation as a global destination for polar bear viewing. The approach can be adapted for use elsewhere.

Get Involved This Polar Bear Week

Photo: Simon Gee / Polar Bears International

A polar bear mom and her two cubs

Check Out Our Toolkit

Interested in using your voice and platform to raise awareness? Our toolkit provides extra action tools, resources, and ways to get involved!

Learn More About Polar Bear-Human Coexistence

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