Polar Bears Are Facing Extinction, Not Just 'Vulnerability'

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Tell the IUCN to consider climate change, and the devastation it's causing polar bears


These days, our planet is changing faster than many may believe, and fewer species are in more danger from these changes than polar bears.

Climate change has destroyed the habitat of countless polar bears already, and will undoubtedly lead to the deaths of many more. As the species lingers on the brink of evolutionary truncation, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources is essentially putting the polar bears in greater danger by denying the danger they are currently in.

The IUCN maintains that polar bears are a vulnerable species [1], but that label is based on a fixed survival rate projection, and fails to consider the threat climate change presents to the species. The organization's 35-year outlook doesn't include the consequences of the exponential increase of temperatures, and destruction of habitat, now that we have passed the "point of no return," which the Independent [2] claims will lead to a raise in average planetary temperatures by 1 degree Celsius as early as 2050.

Polar bears travel, hunt, mate, and make their homes on the dwindling seaborne ice, according to the World Wildlife Fund [3]. The habitat for the ringed and bearded seals that polar bears subsist on is being rapidly destroyed at the same pace. Owing to long generational gaps and low reproductive rate, the polar bears are facing a number of threats to their survival that may drive them extinct within the next 30 years.

Ice levels in Antarctica and the Arctic are dipping to record lows, Wired reports [4], with just 3.96 million square miles covering the northern cap. If this trend continues, the Arctic could be ice-free by the mid-2030s.

We can no longer deny the threatened status of the world's polar bears, and demand the IUCN make the same resolution. Sign to tell the IUCN to classify polar bears as "Threatened" species and save them from dying out!

MORE ON THIS ISSUE

[1] International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (2017). Ursus maritimus. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22823/0

[2] World Wildlife Fund, Polar Bears and Climate Change. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from https://www.worldwildlife.org/pages/polar-bears-and-climate-change

[3] Amelia Heathman (2016, December) Polar bear numbers set to fall by a third, says study. Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.wired.co.uk/article/polar-bears-decline-climate-change

[4] Peter Walker (2016, December 1) Climate change escalating so fast it is 'beyond point of no return.' Retrieved August 1, 2017 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/donald-trump-climate-change-policy-global-warming-expert-thomas-crowther-a7450236.html

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The Petition:

To the IUCN,

To declare the polar bear as anything less than "Threatened" on your Red List is only helping to banish the species to extinction.

The 35-year outlook the IUCN currently focuses on does not consider the exponentially increasing threat climate change poses to polar bear habitats. Both Arctic and Antarctic ice levels have dipped to record lows, and if this trend continues, the planet's northern cap could be ice-free by the mid-2030s.

Added to that, the low reproductive rates and long generational gaps of polar bear families, and it's clear why their numbers only shrink, year after year.

Human's should not be adding to their plight.

Without acknowledgment from the IUCN of the imminent danger polar bears are in, we may lose the species forever. The people of the world demand you reclassify Ursus maritimes as "threatened," establishing the protections they deserve, and help save the polar bears from going extinct.

Sincerely,

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Signatures: