Scientists believe that climate change could cause polar bears to go extinct by the end of the century, causing more urgency to protect the current polar bear population. Increasing temperatures and the melting of ice in the polar bears' habitat leads to starvation when the animals are unable able to get enough food and provide for their children.

The polar bears' environment has been put under more stress with environmental protections that were rolled back under the Trump administration, including opening up the Arctic, a vital polar bear habitat, to oil drilling, as well as allowing trophy hunting to take place on 20 million acres of national preserve lands in Alaska. Manmade threats have had a massive impact on the planet and now specifically the latest species to be in need of protection is polar bears.

Another huge (while lesser-known) threat to polar bears is the commercial polar bear skin trade. People partake in polar bear hunting where often the strongest bears with the best pelts are hunted, disrupting the animals' natural selection. The Natural Resources Defence Council notes that “32,350 polar bear specimens (polar bears dead or alive, and their parts and derivatives) were traded internationally for all purposes between 2001 and 2010.”

Norway is One of the Largest Polar Bear Skin Importers

Norway is one of the largest importers of polar bear skins in the world despite signing the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears in 1973. Currently, Norway is considering a ban on the import of polar bear skins and would be the first European country to do so. If Norway does follow through with this ban it would send a strong message and inspire other countries that import polar bear skins and trophies to do the same.

The survival of the polar bears is dependent on governments all over the world addressing the climate crisis by strengthening animal protections.

Sign the petition here to encourage Norway to ban the import of polar bear skins.