Species Spotlight: Polar Bear

polar bear

Think this bear’s craving a Coke?

We all know polar bears don’t drink soda, but did you know that they don’t drink anything at all? Polar bears get all the fluids they need from food instead.

This is just one of the many amazing adaptations polar bears have for living in the frozen Arctic. Others include a thick chunk of blubber (nearly 4.5 inches!) under double layered fur to help them stay warm and large paws soled with bumpy pads and long hairs between their toes that give them traction on slippery ice. And beneath that signature white coat is black skin, which absorbs heat from the sun.

Bearded seals are important prey for polar bears.

Although the Arctic seems like a treacherous place to live, polar bears depend on these frozen areas for hunting and breeding. They need the sea ice to stand on as they hunt seals, and the snowy drifts to build dens for their cubs. Unfortunately, their habitat is disappearing due to climate change — threatening this animal’s very survival.

Read more cool facts about polar bears.

Learn more about how climate change is impacting polar bears with Jeff Corwin in his video series Feeling the Heat.

What Defenders Is Doing

Sea Bear Under Siege pdfIn addition to working to reduce greenhouse gas pollution responsible for climate change, Defenders is pushing for protection of important polar bear habitat in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. As melting sea ice makes the polar bears’ seal prey harder to find, Defenders is also working with Alaskan communities to help the hungry bears and minimize human-bear conflict. Read more about our efforts in our polar bear fact sheet and new report, Sea Bear Under Siege.

What You Can Do

Through our Wildlife Adoption Center, you can help struggling polar bears and support our work to protect them and other imperiled species.

You can also do your part to stop climate change.