November 22, 2007 13:31 ET
WWF Launches Polar Bear Tracker Website
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 22, 2007) - Climate Change is putting polar bears at risk, and now you can see first hand how the world's largest land carnivore is coping with vanishing sea ice. WWF-Canada's new Polar Bear Tracker at wwf.ca allows visitors to watch the movements of six polar bears in the Hudson Bay region.
The six mother bears featured on the Polar Bear Tracker website were fitted with satellite radio collars in October. Dr. Peter Ewins, Director of Species Conservation for WWF-Canada, was part of the expedition to collar two of the bears in Wapusk National Park. This area is critical habitat for the western Hudson Bay population of polar bears as it contains the world's largest known polar bear maternity denning area.
In late December, the US Government will announce its decision on the listing of polar bears as a "Threatened" species. Today, fewer than 25,000 polar bears remain in the wild.
"The Hudson Bay research has confirmed that polar bears are one of the first victims of a global climate crisis that will soon affect us all," said Dr. Ewins. "But there is still hope for these bears. It's not too late to join the fight against climate change."
The data collected by the satellite collars will help to determine where polar bears are travelling in their range, how climate change is affecting them, and how they are adapting to the melting of sea ice. In addition to the tracker, visitors to the website can access a gallery of Canadian video and photos of polar bears, polar bear and climate facts, and a blog about Dr. Ewins' experience in the field.
Until December 10th, WWF-Canada is running a contest to name two of the bears. Viewers can submit their choices online for a chance to win a polar bear adoption kit.
Visitors are also invited to submit questions to Dr. Ewins through the interactive "Ask Pete" section.
To help raise awareness about what people can do to reduce their impact on the planet, WWF-Canada is running a national print, TV and radio advertising campaign. The ads demonstrate that as times change so do people, opinions, and actions. We now know better than to smoke on an airplane or in an office, drive without seatbelts, or to drink and drive; in the future people will wonder why our generation didn't do everything it could to help protect our planet, including polar bears. See the campaign and find out more at wwf.ca - The World Has Changed. You can too.
1. Never before seen B-roll from the tagging expedition is also available (see below for more information.)
2. Find WWF-Canada's polar bear factsheet online at http://wwf.ca/NewsAndFacts/NewsRoom/factsheet_polarbears.asp
This news release and associated material can be found on wwf.ca.