Polar bear habitat
Polar bears depend on sea icePolar bears are found throughout the circumpolar Arctic...
- along or near coasts
- on islands
- and most importantly, on sea ice.
Polar bears spend much of their time on the annual arctic sea ice. It provides a platform for them to hunt, live, breed, and in some cases create maternal dens.
Why is sea ice important?
Sea ice is more than a simple platform: it is an entire ecosystem inhabited by plankton and micro-organisms, which support a rich food chain that nourishes seals, that in turn become prey for polar bears.
It is the very foundation and defining characteristic of the arctic marine ecosystem.
Follow polar bears
What's happening to sea ice?As the climate warms, Arctic sea ice is disappearing. Almost every summer, the amount of remaining ice gets smaller. The oldest ice has essentially disappeared.
- Learn how climate change affects the polar bear's habitat.
- Learn about the region where summer sea is projected to last the longest - the Last Ice Area