© Craig Taylor/Polar Bears International
12/23/2020 3:05:07 PM
Together, We Accomplished So Much
As we look back over the past year, we’re filled with gratitude for all you made possible to help ensure the polar bear’s future. Despite the challenges of 2020, we made great strides together, and we look forward to building on those successes in the year ahead.
Here are five of our favorite highlights from 2020—all thanks to your incredible support:
You made it possible for us to continue our ongoing den research in Svalbard, gaining insights into the needs and behavior of moms and cubs. In addition, our staff scientists provided the scientific and technical expertise to help protect denning families in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, ongoing work to ensure that oil and gas activity does not put moms and cubs in harm’s way.
As the world shut down due to the pandemic, your generosity allowed us to pivot to meet the needs of students, teachers, and life-long learners, drawing on our years of experience with online programs. Our Tundra Connections broadcasts reached record audiences and demand for our live cams soared, inspiring viewers from around the world to care about polar bears and the Arctic.
Thanks to your generosity, our team was able to co-author four peer-reviewed publications spanning a range of timely topics. These included two related to polar bear denning that will help protect vulnerable moms and cubs, one on bear spray performance that will help reduce human-bear conflict, and a fourth outlining when various polar bear populations will disappear unless we take action on climate warming.
Your support allowed us to expand testing of an “early detection” radar system, technology that could let communities know when polar bears are approaching. We also participated in launching the first-ever “Polar Bear Safe Community” initiative in the town of Churchill; continued work on safety messaging and protocols; and were able to raise funds to deploy more than a dozen bear-safe bins in Arctic communities.
Your generosity allows us to continue to develop new technology for studying polar bears, from researching new den-detection methods to testing temporary “burr on fur” tags to track polar bears—developed by our partners at 3M. The small, minimally invasive tags could make a huge difference in how we study polar bears and have implications for other wildlife species as well.
Thank you for caring about polar bears and the Arctic—and for being such a valued part of our network.