Polar bear – IBA Bear Research & Management

Polar bear
(Thalarctos maritimus)

Large male polar bear showing scars from battle

Large male polar bear showing scars from battle © Fotolia.com – Randy Harris

  • Height: 2,10 – 3,50 m
  • Shoulder height: 145 – 160 cm
  • Weight: 98 – 750 kg
  • Weight at birth: 500 – 700 g
  • Reproduction: Polar bears mate from late March to late May. Implantation of the fertilized egg is delayed until late September to early October and the cubs are born between late November and early January. A little under 70 percent of t he litters consist of two cubs, 25 to 30 percent are singletons, and there are a small number of triplet litters. Litters of four cubs have been reported, but are extremely rare and it would be unlikely for all the cubs to survive. Cubs remain with their mothers until they are two-and-a-half years of age, so the most often that females normally breed is once every three years.
  • Diet: Polar bears are the most carnivorous of all the bears and live almost entirely on ringed seals, and to a lesser degree, on bearded seals. They are also known to prey on young walruses and occasionally even capture narwhals and belugas. In summer, if they are along the coast, they may eat some grass, kelp, or berries, and scavenge on the carcasses of terrestrial or marine mammals.
  • Appearance: The polar bear is immediately recognizable from the distinctive white color of its fur. The neck of the polar bear is longer than in other species of bears. The head is elongated but the ears are relatively small. The front paws are large and are used like paddles for swimming while the hind legs trail behind. The nose, and the skin underneath the white fur, are black. The soles of the feet have small papillae and vacuoles like suction cups to make them less likely to slip on the ice.
  • Habitat: The preferred habitat of polar bears is the annual ice adjacent to the shorelines of the continents and archipelagos throughout the circumpolar Arctic. Wind and currents create cracks in the ice that concentrate the seals they hunt. Although polar bears have been recorded as far north as 88″, they rarely enter the zone of heavy multiyear ice of the central polar basin because it is unproductive biologically and there is little to eat. In areas such as Hudson Bay, where the ice melts completely for a few months in the late summer and fall, bears spend the summer on land, resting to conserve energy and waiting for freeze-up. Males tend to remain along the coast, while family groups and sub adults go further inland.
  • Remaining population: 22.000 to 27.000, 15.000 just for the Canada
  • Statut IUCN : vulnerable
  • Life expectancy: 35 years

Update on 06/21/2016:
104 wristbands sold – 547€ collected

Partner association: International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA)

The International Association for the bears brings together the best specialists. It is not only interested in the polar bear, but also in the 7 other ursine species thanks to its bear conservation fund providing research grants.

As all the governments get together for this year’s COP21 (climate conference in Paris), we’ve decided to support IBA. They’ll receive 5€ for each Bearz’ polar bear wristband sold. There’s no easy solution to save the polar bear, a victim of global warming, pollution and the loss of its habitat. Promoting research projects in the field seems to be the only way for us to bring our support to this endangered bear.

The International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA) is a non-profit tax-exempt organization open to professional biologists, wildlife managers and others dedicated to the conservation of all bear species. The organization has over 550 members from over 50 countries. It supports the scientific management of bears through research and distribution of information. The IBA sponsors international conferences on all aspects of bear biology, ecology and management. Many of the conference papers are published as peer-reviewed scientific papers in the journal Ursus.

The eight bear species of the world pose significant research and management problems to governments, local authorities, wildlife biologists, land managers, park personnel, tribal councils, and private land owners. The public endures hardships caused by bears; the public wants bears to survive. Management responsibility for the bears and their habitats rests with numerous national and local agencies and councils. Encroaching civilization, involving land-use conflicts and resource utilization by human beings, has resulted in the decline or disappearance of bear habitat and bear populations in portions of their ranges. Continued viability of populations and the possible restoration of bears in certain areas, will be largely contingent upon a cooperative approach towards research, management, land use, and education, and will increase in cost as land values escalate. The IBA, an association primarily of professional biologists with an interest in bears, recognizes these difficult bear research and management problems faced by agencies and governments.

IBA Mission Statement

  1. Promote and foster well-designed research of the highest professional standards.
  2. Publish and distribute, through its conferences and publications, peer-reviewed scientific and technical information of high quality addressing broad issues of ecology, conservation and management.
  3. Encourage communication and collaboration across scientific disciplines and among bear researchers and managers through conferences, workshops and newsletters.
  4. Increase public awareness and understanding of bear ecology, conservation, and management by encouraging the translation of technical information into popular literature and other media, as well as through other educational forums.
  5. Encourage the professional growth and development of our members.
  6. Provide professional counsel and advice on issues of natural resource policy related to bear management and conservation.
  7. Maintain the highest standards of professional ethics and scientific integrity.
  8. Encourage full international participation in the IBA through the setting of conferences, active recruitment of international members and officers, and through financial support for international research, travel to meetings, member ships, and journal subscriptions.
  9. Through its integrated relationship with the Bear Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN)/Species Survival Commission, identify priorities in bear research and management and recruit project proposals to the IBA Grants Program that address these priorities.
  10. Build an endowment and a future funding base to provide ongoing support for IBA core functions and for the IBA Grants Program.
  11. Support innovative solutions to bear conservation dilemmas that involve local communities as well as national or regional governments and, to the extent possible, address their needs without compromising bear conservation, recognizing that conservation is most successful where human communities are stable and can see the benefits of conservation efforts.
  12. Form partnerships with other institutions to achieve conservation goals, where partnerships could provide additional funding, knowledge of geographical areas, or expertise in scientific or non-scientific sectors.


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