Category: Polar

Ice Edge

A new post for Darkcember 1. I like trying night scenes; often polar bears on the winter ice pack. Some day I’ll get it just right. This one is pretty good. A peaceful moment in the long polar night. A Polar Bear rests at the edge of an open area in the pack ice.The Northern Lights glow in the distance; bright stars twinkle overhead.

As always, I can not emphasize enough that Polar Bear could be extinct in the wild by the end of this century, if not well before.  Contact Polar Bears International (see links below), or other conservation organizations to help prevent this.

The image is available on a number of products at my online store

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A male polar bear rests at the edge of the winter ice pack

Last Ice

Polar bear campaign seeks ‘last ice’ Arctic preserve

The plight of the polar bear is so dire due to the shrinking of sea ice crucial to its habitat that some scientists are musing about moving them to a “last ice area” in the high Arctic.

The belief is that polar bear survival is reaching a tipping point because of the retreating sea ice. Currently, there are 150 to 160 ice-free days in the Arctic each year. Once that number reaches 170, Andrew Derocher, a University of Alberta polar bear researcher, frets the bear population will decline by up to 40 per cent.

That prediction has Derocher calling for drastic action.

“It’s very clear that populations in the southern regions of the polar bear range are going to disappear,” argues Derocher. “The best thing we can do is have areas set aside where they can live relatively undisturbed.”

And it isn’t just academics who are worried. Soft drink giant Coca-Cola is teaming up with the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about the Arctic icon’s fate.

This Christmas, Coke will change 94 million of its iconic red cans to white to raise awareness about the fate of the polar bear. The company will also donate up to $3 million to WWF over the next five years.

Coca-Cola is supporting World Wildlife Fund projects to preserve polar bear habitat with special soft drink cans that will be available around Christmas.

“They [WWF] bring the know-how to us on what needs to be done. And it’s science-based. And we bring them the reach and the marketing on how to create awareness of the program,” said Nicola Kettlitz, president of Coca-Cola Canada.
Ice reserve

The money is going to fund two WWF efforts. One will be a series of conservation projects in the North. The other will focus on the science of sea-ice retreat and pin-pointing the location of the last year-round ice. This will be where the WWF hopes to create a “last ice area,” a final natural home for wild polar bears.

The most likely spot for the ice reserve is near the northern tips of Ellesmere Island and Greenland. When a final location is agreed upon, industry will need to be told what it can and cannot do in that area.

A “last ice area” may sound somewhat depressing, but WWF doesn’t think so.

“We look at it as one of the more optimistic things that has come out of the Arctic in a long time. I think it has been unfortunate that in the last 10 years most of the news about the Arctic has been bad,” said Gerald Butts, president and CEO of WWF Canada.

Mama Nose Best

Second in the series of Alaska postage stamps.  Nose to nose as a polar bear cub seeks reassurance from his mother.

As is true for a number of species, the polar bear is engangered.   For a history of polar bear-human interaction and the species’ present plight read On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear, by Richard Ellis.

To become in volved in conservation efforts contact the World Wildlife Fund (, Defenders of Wildlife (, or Polar Bears International (

Polar bear sow and cub