If you have watched Our Planet on Netflix, then you the kind of pressure human activities have put on our polar animal populations. February 27 is observed as International Polar Bear Day in order to recognise the challenges faced by these mighty animals as a direct result of our intervention. The day aims at raising awareness about how these animals are struggling with growing climate change and how we can reduce our carbon footprint to help them survive and prevent their extinction.
With increased global warming and reducing polar ice surface, these animals are finding it more difficult to survive each day. In a 2020 report published by BBC, if the current trends continue, these incredible animals will be wiped off from the face of the Earth by the end of this century. Their habitat is threatened by climate change, they have lessened food supply, and their survival is threatened by hunting and human interference.
The non-profit organisation Polar Bear International was formed in 1994. They came up with February 27 as the day to celebrate these animals. According to their official statement, “We founded the day to coincide with the time period when polar bear moms and cubs are snug in their dens. As part of our celebration, we focus on the need to protect denning families across the Arctic.” Their mission is to encourage people and countries to make active changes in order to deplete fossil fuel emission. The day was first celebrated in 2011.
International Polar Bear Day 2021 Theme
This year’s Polar Bear Day is focused on mums and their cubs.This year, the PBI launched a campaign to gather fund for developing tools map and locate dens so that mothers and cubs are not disturbed.
As of now, the polar bears have been classified as ‘vulnerable species’.This category of IUCN is used for species which are going to be to be endangered soon, unless an intervention is made to the situation threatening their existence.
Unlike species like white rhino and many others who we cannot save, we still have a chance to protect this magnificent polar creature.
Even though they live mostly on snow-covered land, they are classified as marine animals. Their adaptations like thick fur, fat layers, and water-resistant coat help them survive in both the freezing water and icy air of the north pole.
The species which has been walking on our planet since at least 150,000 years ago may not walk for long. The industrialisation of 1950s tripled the fossil fuel emissions from previous decades, causing global temperature rise and melting the icy poles.
PBI present citizens with multiple ways to help these animals.