The plight of Polar Bears and their link to climate change has become common knowledge in recent years. It's an exciting time as people and organisations create various ways to support these beautiful animals. Here are some of the latest updates:
Tracking Polar Bears
You can now follow five female polar bears who have been radio collared in northern Canada. By tracking the movements of polar bears, we can all learn more about how they use their natural habitat and how they are adapting to the changes in sea ice due to the effects of climate change. The five are all females and are accompanied by at least one cub each. The tracker site gives each bear's stats, exactly where they were last located, a map of where they have travelled and the distances they have covered. The page also includes regular updates about the bears on the left. To follow Aurora, Nanukic, Neige, Nita and the wanderer Callista (she gets around) simply go to http://polarbears.wwf.ca/.
7-Eleven Stores join Coca Cola in protecting Polar Bear's Arctic home
In an earlier post (click here) I discussed Coca Cola changing their cans from red to white for the holiday season as well as making donations to the WWF. 7-Eleven is now running a campaign through out there 6,400 stores around the USA. The campaign involves downloading a iPhone app (see www.ArcticHome.com/7-Eleven) where you can challenge friends to snowball fights. You earn point this way, as well as visiting 7-Eleven stores, and go in the running to win an iPad and a trip for two to the Arctic.
The app helps raise funds for WWF's efforts by directing users to www.ArcticHome.com, where they can enter package codes from specially-marked Coca-Cola products to trigger an individual $1 donation. Coca-Cola will match all donations made with a package code by March 15, 2012, up to a total of $1 million.
New IUCN study still predicts decline in polar bear numbers
Although a lot is being done to increase awareness and raise funds a new report from the IUCN predicts a dramatic reduction in polar bear habitats in the next 10-50 years. The IUCN Red List has polar bears listed as vulnerable, as are many other animals around the world, but the polar bear is the first species protected under the Endangered Species Act because it is threatened due to global warming. "Climate change will be one of the major drivers of species extinctions in the 21st century," says Simon Stuart, Chair of IUCN's Species Survival Commission. In order to save the polar bears we must reduce out reliance on fossil fuels as well as campaign for leaders to make strong decisions on reducing emissions (just like Australia has just done - click here to see WWF Australia update). Other factors include toxic contaminants, shipping, recreational viewing and oil and gas exploration. For further information visit the Polar Bears International site at http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/news/iucn-study-predicts-dramatic-decline-polar-bear-populations
Resources for educating children
If you work with children, Polar Bear International has some great resources to help you educate them about polar bears. You can find posters, videos, quizzes, PowerPoint presentations and more. To see the great selection visit http://www.polarbearsinternational.org/education/educational-tools-and-materials