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Polar Bear Population Counts
 

One of the greatest challenges facing those who work with polar bears is that long-term data sets are lacking on all but three of the 19 populations of polar bears. Nine additional populations have varying degrees of data, but seven are in such remote, logistically difficult areas that knowledge is sketchy at best.

Counting bears
This was less of a problem when the polar bear's habitat was stable, especially after hunting was controlled through the 1973 International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears. But as global warming melts critical arctic habitat, managers can no longer assume polar bear populations are remaining stable in the most remote areas. Figuring out ways to assess the health and condition of each population, therefore, is becoming increasingly important.

 

To address this, a global team of 19 scientists has crafted a long-term monitoring plan the five polar bear nations can use as a framework. While the proposal won't count all polar bears, it takes a targeted approach for a sensible assessment. |more
Green House Groceries

 

To save polar bear habitat, we need to embrace sustainable living--not just as individuals, but as a society. A promising shift is underway in favor of local foods and away from over-processed and -packaged goods, all of which is having an impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Farmer's Market

You can become part of the momentum for change by modifying your own grocery habits and taking action in your community in support of greener choices.

 

This month our Save Our Sea Ice (SOS!) campaign focuses on greening your groceries through a Size Up Your Pantry challenge in honor of Endangered Species Day on May 17th, followed by our Green House Grocery List in conjunction with World Oceans Day on June 8th. 

 

By taking both challenges, you can help move us back toward sustainable food choices and show support for a new paradigm. 
Guest Post: Living in a
Green House
By Kathryn Foat
 
Living sustainably was easier when I was a kid growing up on a farm in Nebraska. We raised chickens for meat and eggs, had one milk cow, and cattle for meat. We planted a large vegetable garden of peas, sweet corn, green beans, beets, and so on, and had a small fruit orchard. |more 
Arctic Species of the Month:
Barren Ground Grizzly

Brown bears are the polar bear's closest relative, so close that the two can interbreed, producing hybrid bears dubbed pizzlies. Barren ground grizzlies are the smallest of all brown bears, living on the arctic tundra and feeding on berries, sedges, small mammals, caribou, and the occasional beached whale. Scientists attribute their small size to the fact that there is less food available on the tundra.
Barren Ground Grizzly

Because the barren ground grizzly's range lies close to the polar bear's sea ice habitat, the two occasionally encounter each other, leading some to suggest that interbreeding with grizzlies might be the answer to the polar bear's problem. But as scientist Andrew Derocher says in his Q & A on the subject, if that happened, polar bears wouldn't be polar bears anymore.

In This Issue
 
Counting Polar Bears
Green House Groceries
Guest Post
Arctic Species of the Month: Barren Ground Grizzly
Spring Cleaning Spring Sale 2013

Just as many of us clean out our closets and sheds as spring shows her lovely shades of green, here at PBI we're doing a little housekeeping of our own!

 

Check out blowout prices on books, selected items of clothing, and--for a limited time--
our sustainably 
produced
stuffed bear!

Featured Sponsor
Frontiers North Adventures
FNA Transparent

Frontiers North Adventures supports polar bear conservation year-round as a platinum-level sponsor! Our friends up north have been unfailingly supportive of PBI's mission over the years, providinboth financial and tactical support for our educational programs
and field studies. 
Thank you, FNA!
Scientist Profile
Megan Owen
M Owen  

Bundling up in subzero temperatures to study polar bear dens is all part of a day's work for Megan Owen--who is equally at home studying

bears in zoos.

 

In fact, some of her zoo-

based research for PBI would be impossible to conduct with polar bears in the wild.

 

Her current focus?

How polar bears communicate and a cortisol study

help us understand how

polar bears respond physiologically to stress.

Video of the Month

 

Polar Bears: By the Numbers

 Did you know a polar bear is tall enough to dunk a basketball? Or that one polar bear walked all the way from Alaska to Greenland . . . and back? Find out more cool facts in our video, Polar Bears by the Numbers.

Teaching Tool
SOS Transparent
For a fun way to learn about vampire energy--the power consumed by electronic devices that draw energy even when turned off--go on our Phantom Power Hunt. Compare your energy savings month to month, and everyone wins! 
 
 
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Give as a GIFT or in HONOR or MEMORY of someone special. Or, add us to your monthly budget with an
ENDURING PLEDGE. All donations are tax-deductible
and help us attain our goal of conserving polar bears.
 
 
You can also join us on your favorite community sites
and share PBI with your friends and family.
 
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We thank you for your continued support.

Conservation through research,
education, anaction.

Photo Credits:
Farmers' Market, Paul Cowan 123rf.com
Counting Bears, Barren Ground Grizzly, 
Daniel J. Cox/NaturalExposures.com;
Bears a Gazing, BJ Kirschhoffer

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