Want to know where do polar bears live?
Polar Bears are hyper carnivorous marine mammals and called Brown bears’ relatives.
In this article, we will discuss where do polar bears live. But before that, let’s take a look into their family, physical appearance, population, species, male polar bears, and female polar bear characteristics.
There are 10 commonly known bear species: American Black Bear, Polar Bear, Brown Bear, Sun bear, Sloth Bear, Spectacled Bear, Kodiak Bear, Himalayan Red Bear, Giant Panda, Spirit Bear.
American Black Bear:-
American Black Bears, also known as moon bears, live an arboreal lifestyle in eastern Asia like Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan, India, Taiwan.
Their main diet is vegetarian, but they also include lizards, vertebrates, invertebrates, and small insects in their diet.
Polar bears are considered marine mammals. They are endangered species of the bear family because of climate change.
Polar bears eat small mammals like bearded seals. Polar bear hunts seal by silently waiting for them at the seal’s breathing hole.
They have a thick layer of fur, which helps them live in colder regions.
Brown bears are omnivores. Brown bears are also known as grizzly bears, and they are a larger and essential part of the bear family.
Most brown bears are found in forests, and other brown bears are located in the mountains. They live in North America, South America, and Asian regions.
Now brown bears are becoming extinct due to deforestation as the forest is their shelter, and destroying forest result in loss of shelter, food, and hence survival.
This member of the family is a native of Central China. They consume a vegetarian diet primarily, but some include fish and small insects.
Bamboo is their favourite food. They love to eat and do what they love to do and hence end up spending most of their time eating.
Another carnivore member of the family weighs around 25kg – 70kg. They have golden patches on their bodies that look like the rising sun.
Sun bears are usually aggressive. They have a large tongue and are the most miniature bears. Their height is about 5 ft long. Due to their small length, they focuses on feeding on ants, bees, and other small insects.
They are myrmecophagous species and native of the Indian subcontinent. They feed on fruits, ants, and insects.
They are also aggressive and said to be one of the most dangerous bears in India. Sloth bear kills and harms many humans.
The spectacled bear is also called an Andean bear. They do not harm anyone unless they feel threatened or get provoked.
They consume only 5-7 percent of meat in their diet and primarily consume fruits, bamboo, cactus, orchids. They are arboreal, just like the American black bear and sloth bear.
Himalayan Red Bear
Himalayan Red Bear is also known as Himalayan Brown Bear. They are the rare species of the bear family.
Himalayan Red Bear or Himalayan Brown Bear are subspecies of brown bears. They live in mountainous regions of Pakistan, India, China, and Nepal. They eat fruits, honey, sheep, cattle, goat.
A subspecies of American black bears. They are also known as White Kermode or Kermode bears.
They are the rarest animal in the world. They are called spirit bears because they have white fur, making them look like ghosts in the dark.
They live in the forest, like those or some spirit. They eat berries, fruits, nuts, insects, but their favouritBearod is salmon. They can swim underwater.
Kodiak bear, or Alaskan brown bear, are the natives of southern Alaska. They are the largest brown bears and almost the same length as polar bears.
They are omnivores and eat less meat as compared to vegetarian items.
Now, let’s discuss details about the polar bears. Other than polar bears, these are the other bear family members. Find out where do polar bears live and other interesting facts about them.
Physical Appearance of Polar Bear
Polar bears are the largest land carnivores. They have a sturdy body and long neck.
The colour of their body varies according to season, most polar bears are seen in white & yellow colours, but sometimes the colour of their coat is seen in light brown colour.
Their ears are comparatively smaller and are round in shape. Polar Bears’ hind legs are longer than their forelegs.
Besides having a longer body and neck, polar bears are flexible. The colour of their nose and claws is black.
Polar Bears’ fur coat is the thickest fur in the whole bear family. Beneath this fur, they have a layer of skin which is 10.15cm approx. This helps them to keep themselves warm.
But where do polar bears live with their warm layers of skin? Polar bears range from the northern part of the arctic sea ice to the north pole.
Most polar bears live in the northern part, but some polar bears live in the southern part of the arctic circle. Canada, Russia, Hudson Bay, Alaska, & Svalbard.
Polar bears depend on sea ice as their main food source, and polar bears hunt Seals for their food. They also eat walrus and whale carcasses.
According to scientific classification, Polar bears are mammal species and belong to Animalia kingdom, Chordata phylum, Mammalia class and order is Carnivora, and the family is Ursidae.
The polar bear’s scientific name is Ursus maritimus ( MARITIME BEAR).
At present polar bears are the largest species of bear, but The Kodiak bear, a subspecies of brown bear, is almost equal in size to them. They are also known as white bears and Nanook.
Characteristics of male polar Bear female polar bear
The adult male polar bear is called a boar. The adult female polar bear is called a sow. Kids of polar bears are known as cubs.
Usually, the weight of male polar bears is around 300kg to 700kg, and their height grows up to 3m (9.8ft).
But the largest polar bear in records was a male polar bear, whose weight was (1,002kg) 2,209 lb and height was 3.7m that is 12 ft.
The height of female polar bears grows from 1.7m-2.6m which is Bear8ft long. Female polar bears are about half that size. The weight of the female polar bear is around 250 kgs.
Mainly Female bears breed at the age of 4, but in the areas of the southern Beaufort Sea, they breed at 5. The weight of young cubs is 400g, and their height is only 30cm long.
Polar Bear’s Gestation period (means to carry) is 195-265 days. Pregnant females carry polar bear cubs for 6.5-9.8 months with them.
Pregnant female polar bear weights become twice during pregnancy, which means 500 kg (1,102lb).
Polar bears are considered marine mammals as they live primarily on the arctic sea (ice-covered water) and spend most of their time on ice floes.
According to a report of Hudson Bay, the weight of pregnant females become doubled. The male polar bears gain sexual maturity at the age of 6 years.
What do They Eat?
Polar bears require a huge amount of fat reserves and protein. The stomach of polar bears can store food about 20% of their weight.
They hunt seals, and seal’s blubber is their favourite meal and an essential source for their fat reserves. They also eat other small mammals.
How do they hunt? Polar bear hunts seals and other small mammals as they wait silently on the edge of sea ice or seal breathing hole and wait for seals to come for breath and then grab & pull them to eat.
They catch seals to eat and feed on both ringed and bearded seals.
The main predator of ringed seals is a polar bear, but rorcas, sharks, and walruses also hunt ringed seals. Adult bears prefer to eat the fat of seals and leave carcasses for other animals.
Adult polar bears have no natural predators, but wolves and walrus can kill them.
Polar Bear Population
The population of polar bears is divided into 19 units or subunits. The exact Polar bear population ranges from 20,000- 25,000.
Out of the total polar bear population, 60% of the population lives in Canada. Hudson bay population of polar bears is around 1000. Polar bears’ lifespan is up to 30 years.
According to researchers, around 30% of the population of polar bears could be extinct by the year 2050. The polar bear’s future is in danger.
Polar Bears are great Swimmers
Polar bears are great swimmers. They can swim at a constant pace up to 6 miles within an hour by holding their hind legs flat and paddling with their front legs.
Polar bears are not monogamous; they are polygamous and mate every few years.
Polar bears Evolved from:-
According to scientists, polar bears evolved due to shifts in climatic conditions. They have separated from brown bears 5,00,000 years ago.
Where do polar bears live?
They live in the Arctic sea (ice-covered water), Canada, or we can say that they have a sea ice habitat. From Yukon, Labrador, to Newfoundland, Canada is polar bear central.
Now we know where do polar bears live. In Arctic sea ice, yes. But they don’t live in Antarctica. The climate of the Antarctic is harsh for polar bears. So, they prefer to live in Artic but not Antarctica.
But brown bears live in forests, areas of the desert. And as climatic conditions have changed a lot, Ursus maritimus (polar bears) shifted to cooler places ( sea ice forms ).
The starvation causes anger and frustration, due to which they become aggressive. Such aggression turns into attacks that have been seen in Russia’s northern region, Alaska, Arctic villages, and so on and melting ice is the main reason for their frustration.
We all know now where polar bears live and spend most of their time. As mentioned earlier, they spend most of their time in cold areas. But it becomes difficult for them to find food and feed themselves as climate changes.
Where will the polar bears live if the situation continues or becomes worse? They will lose their shelter.
They prefer to live in cold temperatures because of their thick layer of skin; sea ice cover is much needed to survive. But global warming is making it difficult as it results in climate change.
They live in the arctic ocean. Arctic sea is moving backward, the retreating ice of the arctic ocean and the warming climate has adversely affected the polar bears and has left them to travel further in search of food.
Due to their dependence on ice-cold waters, they are also called sea bears and ice bears.
Why is it necessary to protect polar bears?
If polar bears’ attacks are lethal for humans, why is it necessary to protect them?
So the answer to this question is that Polar bears are at the top of the food chain; their role in the health of the marine environment is essential and precious for economies of artic people or living beings. They are also an indicator of climate change.
So, it is essential to protect the polar bears.
What measures are taken to protect polar bears?
It is essential to understand them to protect bear species, and the World Wildlife fund takes all the necessary measures to do that. World wildlife fund had achieved success in that and prepared an International Polar Bear Management plant.
Polar bears can be found all across the globe, but mostly in the ice-filled or polar climates. There are different ranges of the polar bear population too.
They are found in Canada, Greenland, Norway, Russia, Alaska. There are two different subpopulations in Alaska, namely the Chukchi Sea population.
Well, that’s all we have on polar bears for you. If you would like to know anything else, feel free to connect with us over the comment section.
I hope you all enjoyed the article.
She is Sanya Raheja, a content writer with over two years of experience, specializing in lifestyle and travel niches. Her writing encompasses a wide range of topics, including travel experiences, health and wellness, fashion and beauty, food and drink, and much more.
She is dedicated to creating engaging and informative content that resonates with readers and inspires them to live their best lives.