SLIDESHOW: International Polar Bear Day

We all know that polar bears are threatened by climate change — but what's less well-known is just how much we'll lose if these magnificent creatures disappear. Check out our International Polar Bear Day slideshow to learn more about these magnificent creatures, and share your favorite facts with your friends!

As smart as apes

Polar bears are remarkably intelligent — just as smart as apes, according to research scientist Alison Ames.

White fur, black skin

The polar bear's signature white fur provides camouflage in surrounding snow and ice. But, under their fur, polar bears have black skin to help warm them in the sun's rays.

Use 2X the energy

Polar bears expend more than twice the energy of most other mammals. Their slow, plodding gait helps conserve energy.

Largest land predators

Polar bears are the world's largest land predators and play an important role in the Arctic ecosystem — Arctic foxes and other animals scavenge on polar bear kills.

Protect these polar bears and other wildlife by becoming a monthly donor today

Thanks to the support of dedicated people like you, we can continue to make a difference.

Where ice meets water

Polar bears hunt seals where sea ice meets open water. As the sea ice retreats, polar bears are forced to spend more time on land waiting for the ice to refreeze.

Photo © kevinschafer.com

Surviving days at sea

Polar bears are strong swimmers and can survive for days at sea. But, before recent sea ice shrinkage, researchers believe polar bears did not need to swim such extreme distances.

Polar bear cubs dying

A study of polar bears from 2004-2009 found that 45% of the observed polar bear cubs died in long-distance swims.

Populations declining

With a population between 20,000 and 25,000 and declining, the IUCN labels polar bears as vulnerable and predicts a population decline of more than 30% over the next 3 generations.

Protect these polar bears and other wildlife by becoming a monthly donor today

Thanks to the support of dedicated people like you, we can continue to make a difference.