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Polar bears need our help

Polar bears need our help. Climate change is warming the Arctic twice as fast as the rest of the world, meaning there's less ice on which the bears can roam. Inevitably, this is pushing them closer to human settlements to find food: posing threats to the bears, and the Arctic communities who live there.

© Richard Barrett / WWF-UK

Amderma, Russia

One such Arctic community that polar bears frequent is the coastal village of Amderma in Russia. Yuri Popovich, one of Amderma’s three hundred inhabitants, leads a patrol that prevents human-polar bear conflict. They monitor bear sightings and deter them from the village, without harming them.

So far, the precautions have been a great success with no one injured. WWF-Russia’s Dmitry Ryabov visited Yuri and joined the team to investigate a report of a possible bear sighting. The best place to start looking for polar bears? At the seashore.

© James Morgan / WWF-UK

Polar bear encounters

Yuri recounts the reality of polar bear encounters in his village:

“Once I even ran into one face-to-face while fishing. He appeared from around the corner and we met nose-to-nose. I yelled and hid. Well, long story short, the bear was just as terrified as I was!”

© WWF-Russia

What we're doing

WWF is helping to mitigate human-polar bear conflict. In recent years, more than 20 direct attacks on humans have been reported within the polar bear’s range. Sharing knowledge and information with locally led initiatives, the tourism industry and scientists is integral to safeguarding both human and polar bear life. We're working with dedicated patrol teams to improve food storage, remove animal carcasses from towns and track human-polar bear interactions to keep villagers safe from this beautiful predator.

By adopting a polar bear you can help create safer communities and preserve polar bears' sea ice home.

© naturepl.com / Steven Kazlowski / WWF

Adopt a polar bear