Polar bears, © Joan Cambray

Polar Bears on Parade

One of the largest carnivores in the world, the polar bear is not an animal you want to bump into. But now, thanks to Explore.org, you can watch these fascinating mammals from the safety of your own home. By tuning into one of many high-definition cameras set up in the remote wilds of the Arctic, you can track a Canadian population of polar bears as they make their way north to the Hudson Bay.

Historically, sea ice on the Hudson allows the bears to hunt seals as far as 100 miles off the coast. But climate change is having a dramatic impact on the Arctic landscape, diminishing this once-reliable habitat. This year, Arctic sea ice reached its second lowest level on record. Such trends are taking a serious toll on sea-ice dependent animals like polar bears, and in Alaska reports of drowned or starving bears, cannibalism and other aberrant behavior are increasing. Without help, these Arctic icons could disappear from U.S. shores forever.

Cameras like these offer the many who will never travel to the chilly north a rare glimpse into what life is like for these majestic animals, and hopefully inspire them to fight for polar bear survival. Charlie Annenberg, a filmmaker and founder of explore.org who spearheaded the project, said he hopes the cameras will “allow people to observe the natural world we live in with the hope that they’ll develop emotional connections with the planet.”

Polar bear cubs_USFWS

Photo courtesy USFWS

Don’t wait to check it out! The migration has already begun, and runs only through the end of November. Video capturing the movement is now being streamed live.

Disclaimer: you made find it difficult to tear yourself away. We at Defenders have already watched a three-bear-wrestling match, and can’t wait to see what these animals are up to next…

Learn more:

Last week saw a win for polar bears! Learn more.

Read Defenders report, Sea Bear Under Siege, to see our recommendations for helping polar bears survive in a world with less and less sea ice.