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Why is the polar bear so important?


Majestic creature of the far north, the polar bear is the world's largest terrestrial carnivore.

Polar bears help us gain an understanding of what is happening throughout the Arctic, as a polar bear at risk may signal something is wrong elsewhere in the arctic marine ecosystem. All recent indicators show that sea ice in the Arctic is melting at an alarming rate, a problem that needs to be addressed immediately if polar bears, and other species unique to the region, are to survive.


WWF is supporting research on this vital Arctic habitat so Arctic people and governments can ensure polar bears, and all the life linked to sea ice, can thrive long into the future.

Polar Bear (Ursus arctos maritimus) mother and two cubs playing around iceberg. Svalbard, Norway, Europe, February. © naturepl.com / Andy Rouse / WWF-Canon
Polar bear female with cubs along a barrier island during fall freeze up, Barter Island © naturepl.com / Steven Kazlowski / WWF-Canon

What WWF is doing for polar bears


WWF is working around the Arctic to secure a future for polar bears.

Polar bears, the charismatic icon of the Arctic environment, have long been a focus in WWF’s on-the-ground research and conservation projects in the Arctic, going back to 1972 – and climate change is a primary focus of our global conservation efforts.


WWF is supporting research on this vital Arctic habitat so Arctic people and governments can ensure polar bears, and all the life linked to sea ice, can thrive long into the future.