Three Ways You Can Help Save the Polar Bears
Due to rapid changes in our climate, the habitat that polar bears call home is quickly disappearing. Polar bears are critically important in balancing the Arctic food chain, and much of the ecosystem would be thrown out of balance without these unique animals. If we do not take action now to save the polar bears, their population will decline by at least 30% by 2050, according to new research. Read on to learn how to help save polar bears and protect the environment.
Polar bear facts you should know
If we don’t do something soon, polar bears are at risk of becoming endangered—or even extinct. Here are five polar bear facts you should know:
- Polar bears are currently considered a vulnerable species, with only an estimated 22,000—31,000 remaining in the wild.
- A polar bear’s hunting success rate is around 10%. Polar bears search for their food for a vast majority of their time.
- Without the Arctic sea ice, polar bears will starve. Polar bears are mainly passive hunters, patiently waiting for their prey near breathing holes on the sea ice.
- Polar bears are dependent on seals as their primary food source. A full-grown polar bear must eat 2—3 adult seals every month, or risk losing up to 30% of its body weight.
- Another man-made threat to polar bears comes from the oil and gas industry: if drilling in the Arctic Refuge becomes a reality, polar bears are further at risk of losing their dens and hunting territory.
How to help polar bears
There are many things you can do to help protect one of our planet’s most unique animals. From fundraising for environmental charities to reducing your carbon footprint, learn how to save polar bears from extinction with three ideas.
1. Volunteer your time
Depending on where you live, you can also volunteer with any of the following organizations that help polar bears:
- The only organization dedicated entirely to preserving wild polar bear populations, Polar Bears International needs the help of dedicated volunteers for their education and outreach efforts. You can sign up to be a part of the volunteer team that travels to Manitoba, Canada for two weeks each year, with the goal of educating visitors about polar bears and the importance of reversing climate change.
- Become a volunteer researcher through the EarthWatch Institute, and study climate change in the Arctic. You’ll work alongside scientists to help measure the effects of climate change and shrinking sea ice, and monitor the health of the rapidly-changing Arctic ecosystem.
- Volunteer in Cochrane, Canada at the Polar Bear Habitat. The Habitat accepts both local and international volunteers, with volunteer programs ranging from 2—4 weeks. You’ll gain valuable field experience, and will help monitor the behavior of polar bears, collect data, and maintain the habitat.
2. Help fight climate change
Polar bears are just one small part of our environment that need protecting. From saving our honeybees to protecting the ocean, many areas of our planet need relief from the effects of climate change. To make an impact no matter where you live, consider doing one or more of the following to prevent global warming:
- Try carpooling or biking to work. Transportation is a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions, and making your daily commute a little greener will go a long way toward a healthy environment.
- Start a charity fundraiser for a nonprofit that helps the environment. Choose an organization whose mission you support.
- Consider how your diet impacts the planet. Reduce your consumption of animal products, and buy local produce when possible.
- Start a community project in support of the environment. One fun idea is to gather friends and neighbors together and host a tree-planting party. Coordinate with your city to find a suitable location in need of trees, and start a fundraiser to cover the cost of supplies.
3. Raise money for an environmental charity
There are many charities that support both the environment, as well as polar bear conservation. Online fundraising for environmental charities can be fun and easy, and is a great way to include family and friends in your efforts to protect the planet. Use these top fundraising tips to make sure your fundraiser is a success:
- Connect with your donors and tell your story. Explain what makes this cause so important to you.
- Host a fundraising event to build community support and increase donations. Ideas include throwing a charity sporting event, hosting a car wash, or starting a bake sale.
- Contact your local media to increase public interest for your fundraiser, and possibly even attract the support of businesses in your area.
Fundraisers helping to protect the polar bears
People all over the world are concerned about the survival of polar bears, and are using crowdfunding to make a difference. Take a look at two examples of how others have used fundraising to support a cause they care about.
The Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat in Canada is home to five polar bears who cannot survive in the wild. In addition to full-time polar bear care, the Habitat also partners with scientists and biologists to research how polar bears are affected by climate change. When a storm damaged their polar bear enclosures, a manager there started a fundraiser to help with repairs. The organization raised over $4,000 to successfully restore the enclosures.
Rachel, a mountaineer and writer, started a fundraiser to support a trip to the arctic for herself and four other women. The goal of the expedition was to document climate change in the arctic and assist with research, including monitoring polar bears and their behavior. Rachel raised nearly $2,000 to support her trip.
Polar bears need your help today
Polar bears are a critical part of the Arctic food chain, keeping both the seal and fish populations in check. Without these top predators, the Arctic ecosystem would be thrown out of balance—possibly change permanently. Sign up and start your fundraiser through GoFundMe today, and take a stand for the polar bears who share our planet.