Owing to global warming, reduced food sources, threatened habitat and illegal poaching, polar bear populations are diminishing to dangerously low numbers. Many organizations are hard at work trying to keep the polar bear from extinction. Identifying direct threats can assist you in taking immediate action to help save the polar bears.
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Learn about global warming's impact on polar bear populations. According to Greenpeace, the increase in global temperatures has caused astronomical damage to polar bear habitat and food source availability (such as seals). This endangered bear species often travels hundreds of miles out to sea to hunt and feed; therefore, they rely on established, stable ice for survival. Because of the melting ice, polar bears' behavior and reproduction schedules have shifted, negatively affecting their overall population numbers.
Understand the human impact on declining polar bear numbers. In addition to human contribution to global warming, humans affect polar bears in other ways. Polar bears are illegally poached for sport or eliminated for dangerous behavior, such as getting into human food. Additionally, Arctic oil drilling and development threatens polar bears.
Educate yourself on the current status of polar bears. On May 14, 2008, the polar bear was officially listed on the Endangered Species List. The term "endangered" signifies that polar bears are a highly threatened species, in peril of extinction. The Endangered Species Act mandates that the United States government must act immediately to help save the polar bear from extinction. According to the World Wildlife Fund, only
20,000 to 25,000 polar bears remain on the planet (see References).
Donate money to organizations that help save polar bears. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) works continuously to protect the planet from global warming and uphold the Endangered Species Act. Other organizations that are leaders in saving the polar bears are the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Greenpeace and the Center for Biological Diversity.
Contact your local, state and federal government. Urge representatives to continue to fight for polar bear populations. Sign petitions that push legislation to help save polar bears, such as global warming education, habitat protection, tighter pollution standards and funding for alternative fuel sources.
Reduce your carbon footprint. All humans contribute to global warming. Reduce your impact and, in return, help preserve polar bear habitat. Visit the Carbon Footprint website (www.carbonfootprint.com) and take a short quiz to determine your contribution levels. Help reduce the effects of global warming by planting trees, switching to energy-efficient lightbulbs and heating/cooling pumps, car pooling regularly and recycling.
Educate friends and family members. Share your knowledge about polar bears and encourage others to take action as well. Distribute newsletters and brochures that educate about polar bears. Hold fundraisers to help raise money for polar bear advocacy organizations.
Adopt a polar bear. Through the WWF, individuals can "adopt" a polar bear with a low annual fee. Adoption programs often include a plush polar bear stuffed animal, framed photo, certificate and informational newsletters. The money raised goes directly to saving the polar bears.
Category: Personal Finance