photographs from alaska’s national wildlife refuge by steven kazlowski , who notes, "i never got close to these amazing animals, they got close to me," pointing out that "polar bears are inquisitive, sociable, and super intelligent." he was even woken one morning by a curious young polar bear who had entered his tent and began tapping on his head.
“it is not dangerous to photograph bears if you…give them their space,” he says. it takes time to learn how to read the behaviour of the animal to understand what is safe and what is not safe.”
but kazlowkis, who’s photos are documented in his book, “the last polar bear,” notes the effects that climate change is having on the animals, as less summer ice, which is needed to hunt seals, “will lead to the loss of a great wild creature in one of the last wild environments left in the world.”
In May 2008, the U.S listed the polar bear as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. In Canada, polar bears are listed as a species of special concern. Russia also considers the polar bear a species of concern.
What’s happening? Today, scientists have concluded that the threat to polar bears is loss of their sea ice habitat in the Arctic from global warming. Polar bears depend on sea ice for hunting, breeding, and in some cases, denning. Summer ice loss in the Arctic now equals an area the size of Alaska, Texas, and the state of Washington combined.
Photos by: [Anette Holmberg]
Today is the day for polar bears!
Join in and show your support by taking action on reducing your carbon footprint and raising awareness on polar bears. Feeling like a challenge? Have a go at Polar Bears International’s Thermostat Challenge and let them know how you get on!
What will you be doing today to help polar bears?
michael poliza in churchill manitoba, who noted “the polar bear was all by himself as they are very solitary animals anyway. but this one looked particularly sad as it wandered around, almost as though it didn’t understand where the snow had gone.” (more polar bear photos)