What do you want to know about polar bears?

Our team answers your burning questions, ideas, and concerns.

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Could floating platforms be used to save the polar bear from sea ice loss?

"Giving polar bears a place to rest doesn't solve their main problem, which is finding food if there is no sea ice." Continue Reading

Do recent studies on the polar bear's evolution alter the risks polar bears face as the world warms?

"Polar bears have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years to fit the environment they are in now. They cannot evolve fast enough to live in a world with significantly diminished sea ice." Continue Reading

Why don't managers feed polar bears in the wild?

"Supplemental feeding at the scale required to maintain polar bear populations would be extremely difficult and expensive, to the point where it is not a practical long-term solution." Continue Reading

Are the recent sightings of polar bear-grizzly hybrids in Canada due to climate change? Will this help save polar bears?

"There is no indication that interbreeding between polar bears and grizzlies is caused by climate change. Interbreeding will not help save polar bears because a hybrid is not a polar bear, and if the hybrid were to use sea ice, it would be at the same disadvantage as a polar bear." Continue Reading

Why is polar bear hunting allowed?

"Hunting is important to some Indigenous peoples in terms of both culture and subsistence. Where hunting is allowed, takes are governed by a quota system designed to keep the harvest within the bounds that populations can support.” Continue Reading

How often do polar bears attack? What's the best way to avoid or survive an encounter?

"There are only one to three instances of polar bear attacks a year, worldwide. Bear spray is the best proven method of deterring bear attacks.” Continue Reading

What is PBI’s position on polar bears in zoos? Don't polar bears have trouble adjusting to life in zoos and aquariums?

"Our goal at PBI is to conserve polar bears and their sea-ice habitat, and modern zoos and aquariums can play a critical role in their conservation, acting as research and education centers." Continue Reading

Can't polar bears simply move north where the ice isn't melting? If not, why?

"It is likely that some areas that keep more sea ice longer will become 'refugia' for polar bears, but they will not last forever if climate change is not addressed, and they probably will have the capacity to support only a limited number of bears.” Continue Reading

With the sea ice shrinking and polar bears having a harder time hunting seals, could they eat goose eggs instead?

"Studies have shown that the calories bears consume on shore do not replace the calories they get from their fat-rich seal diet." Continue Reading

How did polar bears survive earlier warming trends?

"Today's projected climate warming is far more intense than anything the species has seen in its evolutionary history." Continue Reading

Can we save polar bears by moving them to Antarctica?

"The bear’s usual foods are not found in Antarctica, so there’s no guarantee they would survive, and if they did survive, there’s a good chance that they would upset the ecological balance in Antarctica."  Continue Reading

Could polar bears learn to hunt like grizzlies?

“Even if polar bears could learn to eat like grizzlies, the grizzlies of the far north are already filling the niche of land-based predators and there would be no space for polar bears to compete.” Continue Reading

Why all the fuss about polar bears? Aren't their populations booming?

"Polar bear populations are not booming. Some are rebounding a little after their numbers were vastly reduced by hunting, but that increase is likely to be reversed as the sea ice melts." Continue Reading

Why do researchers want to put satellite collars on polar bears?

"Satellite collars can give researchers information about the bears that they cannot get any other way. The collars provide a data-rich glimpse into the lives of single polar bears that gives us a representative sample of whole populations." Continue Reading

Are polar bear numbers increasing in the Hudson Bay regions of Nunavut?

"Residents of many communities in Hudson Bay are seeing more polar bears, real evidence of a change from past conditions. But these increased sightings do not mean the population has grown." Continue Reading