Polar Bear Habitat, Distribution, and Population

The polar bear is the largest carnivore on the white ice of the Arctic. Polar Bears habitat spread across the polar region. They are native to the Arctic region. The polar bear is living proof of nature’s unique creation and adaptation. Their bodies have acquired various adaptive abilities to survive the severe cold of the polar regions. This article will discuss in detail the habitat, distributions, and population of polar bears.

Habitat of Polar Bear

The Arctic region is the only habitat for polar bears in the wild. Polar bears live on the ice, islands, and continental coasts of the Arctic Ocean. Many consider polar bears to be marine mammals because they live in the Arctic Ocean and coastal waters for most of the year.
The polar bear moves south when ice increases during the winter. In winter, the polar bears extend their habitat across the south. During this time, they also lived on land adjacent to the coast.
When the snow starts to melt in the summer, they change their habitat. Along with the ice, they also leave the coast depending on the movement of sea ice.
Some mother polar bears build maternal dens on land adjacent to the coast. From the birth of the cub to the age of two to three months, the mother bear lives in the maternity den with her cubs.

Where do polar bears live?

Polar bears live in the vast northern ice kingdom of the world. It is known to us as the Arctic region. Considering the country, polar bears live in five countries across the Arctic region. Some polar bears are seen in zoo captivity.

Countries Where Polar Bears Live

There are 19 types of polar bears are seen. These 19 types of polar bears are distributed, in five countries near the polar region. These countries are-

  • Greenland
  • Canada
  • Russia
  • Alaska (United States)
  • Norway

Related Post What color is a polar bear’s fur?

Country Wise Polar Bear Distribution

One third of polar bear are seen in Canada. Here is a list of polar bear distribution by country.

Country NameNumber of Polar Bear
Alaska (USA)4000-7000
Greenland6600
Canada17000
Russia3000
Norway2650

Distribution of Polar Bears

The polar bears and the Arctic ice are interconnected. The ice in the polar region is ever-changing. In winter, the amount of ice-covered area increases, and in summer the amount of plain ice decreases. So the potential distribution area of the polar bear is also variable. Since polar bears’ habitat is dependent on ice, so polar bears have no distinct territory. They live in large areas. The habitat of polar bears also determined by the presence of seals in the sea. Polar bears are more common in areas where seals are more prevalent in ice-covered areas.

When the amount of ice decreases in summer, they follow the ice and change their habitat. During this time, they can change their habitat for hundreds of kilometers. The presence of polar bears is generally very low in low ice and sealed areas. For this reason, polar bears have distributed over a large area. The smallest range of polar bear homes can be 50-60 thousand sq km, and the size of a large home can be 350,000 sq km.

Where do polar bears live in Greenland?

Polar bears can be seen on the west coast of Greenland. The number of polar bears on the West Coast, approximately 2,200. Polar bears that live on the ice of the Labrador Sea off the west coast of Greenland share a border with Canada. There are about 4,400 polar bears approximately.

Although there is no information about the exact number of polar bears on the east coast of Greenland, polar bears can be seen in the southeast. There are no cities in this part of Greenland. In winter, when the coastal areas of the region covered with ice. That’s the time polar bears seen in the southeast region. These bears can be found 1,800 miles from the southeast. When the ice melts at the end of winter, the polar bears also leave. So the polar bears of this region can be considered as guests. Because when the ice melts in May, the polar bears leave.

Researchers estimate that about 400 polar bears may be present in the Green Land southeast. These polar bears are completely different from the polar bears of 19 subspecies. Their genetic structure, size, shape, movement, way of life, and catching methods differ from other polar bears. The polar bears of Greenland are smaller than the polar bears of other regions, and the breeding process is quite slow. Some even consider them as distinct subspecies.

Where do polar bears live in Canada?

One-third of the world’s polar bears live in Canada. Of the 19 subspecies of the polar bear, 14 subspecies are found in Canada. More than 17,000 polar bears live in Canada.
Polar bears are present in seven of Canada’s 13 provinces. These include the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, northern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Labrador.
The presence of polar bears on Baffin Island in Canada is widespread. The polar bears live in James Bay to the south; Ellesmere Island to the north; the Yukon, the Beaufort Sea to the west, and Newfoundland and Labrador to the east.
The city of Churchill, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, known as the capital of the polar bears. In autumn, When the polar bears move towards the shores of Hudson Bay, many of them gather at Churchill. An estimated 1,200 or more polar bears gather in the region in  the autumn. For this reason, people call it the capital of polar bears. In winter, the ice spreads over a large area and the polar bears spread their habitat area.

Where do polar bears live in Russia?

Five of the 19 subspecies of polar bear are found in Russia. In Russia, polar bears live in the Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, Chukchi Sea, Central Arctic, and Severnaya Zemlya. Polar bears of the Kara Sea, the Laptev Sea, and the central arctic regions are native to Russia. The polar bears found in the Barents Sea share borders with Russia and the Siberian part. The Chukchi sea area polar bear shares borders with Russia and Alaska. There are 3,000 polar bears that may live throughout Russia.

Where do polar bears live in the United States?

In the United States, Polar bears are found only in Alaska. Two subspecies of polar bears live throughout Alaska. Alaska’s polar bears live on sea ice, starting off the coast of the Chukchi Sea and the Beaufort Sea. Most polar bears found in the Chukchi Sea area. Due to ice melting, the number of polar bears is declining in the Beaufort sea area. There are approximately 4,000-7,000 polar bears in the Alaska region.

Where do polar bears live in Norway?

Polar bears live in the Svalbard Islands of Norway. Norwegian polar bears live on the shores of the Barents Sea near the Svalbard Islands.  About 270 polar bears are in the Svalbard Islands. Some of the polar bears that live on the ice of the Barents Sea share a border with Russia.
There are approximately 2,650 polar bears living on the ice of the Barents Sea.

Polar Bear Population

The natural environment of the polar region is different from all other regions. Where the ice accumulates all year round. Polar bears live on the ice of the Arctic Ocean. So it is very difficult to determine the exact population of polar bears.

Polar bears are solitary animals. They roam alone in the vast sea of ​​ice. As a result, the boundaries of their habitat are huge. Due to that, it is almost impossible to count their exact number of population.

Even then, scientists have tried to calculate their exact population in various ways. According to the IUCN, there are about 26,000 polar bears in the Arctic.

But, according to biologists who have studied polar bears, the number of polar bears in the Arctic region will be around 22,000 to 31,000.

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