Polar bears are absolutely crucial to the sustainability of the Arctic marine ecosystem. The majority of the world's polar bears live in Canada and they're currently at high risk of becoming endangered due to climate change. Biologists estimate that there are only around less than 25,000 polar bears left living in the wild, and 60% - or, nearly two-thirds - of them call Canada home, says the Toronto Zoo.
With International Polar Bear Day coming up on February 27th, the Toronto Zoo has taken time today to share some important facts about polar bears and their necessary species survival.
"Zoo biologists and researchers work closely with their wildlife biologist colleagues in the field with valuable learning and studies that can be applied to polar bear conservation in the wild," said the Toronto Zoo in a tweet.
"This is very important as biologists estimate there are only approximately 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild with approximately 60% of those living in Canada".
The Toronto Zoo also shared a video of a behind-the-scenes session where workers care for polar bear Hudson on their Twitter. Check out the full video below!
According to the World Wildlife Fund for Nature, polar bears are at major risk of becoming endangered because of climate change and melting ice caps. "There is a high estimated risk of future decline due to climate change and data deficiency," warns the WWF on their website.
Polar bears are currently categorized as a vulnerable species, but that could soon change for the worse. "Because of ongoing and potential loss of their sea ice habitat resulting from climate change, polar bears were listed as a threatened species in the US under the Endangered Species Act in May 2008," says the WWF.
Since around two-thirds of polar bears live on our homeland, Canada has a special relationship with the species unlike any other country on Earth. "At least two-thirds of the world’s polar bears live in Canadian territory, giving Canadians a special relationship with and responsibility for these bears," says the WWF on their website.
The survival of the polar bear species affects us all and is crucial for sustainability. "The survival and the protection of the polar bear habitat are urgent issues for WWF," says the international non-governmental organization.
To help contribute to efforts to save the polar bears, there are several different ways you can get involved. For starters, you can do incorporate simple habits in your everyday life to reduce your impact on climate change, which is what is causing polar bears to move towards becoming endangered.
Easy, everyday actions such as eating vegetarian or vegan foods, eating more often locally sourced foods, taking the bus or walking instead of driving more often, reducing your plastic consumption by using less plastic bottles or buying less plastic packaging, and more can add up and can help reduce your carbon footprint.
There are also several initiatives you can take part in that directly help save the polar bears. For instance, Polar Bears International has various initiatives and to find out more, you can visit their website.
By helping reduce your impact on climate change, you're helping to contribute to saving polar bears and their habitats. To find out more ways to contribute to reducing climate change, you can visit the Polar Bears International website.