Aurora Expeditions is passionate about conserving the world’s threatened wildlife. That’s why we want to raise awareness about the threats facing polar bears this February 27, which is International Polar Bear Day. The polar bear is the world’s largest land carnivore and inhabits some of our planet’s most extreme areas, including Svalbard, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic.
There are currently between 22,000 and 31,000 polar bears roaming these areas according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but these numbers are likely to decrease significantly in the coming years. This is why International Polar Bear Day is so vital to our efforts to conserve these animals. Let’s take a look at what we’re doing — and, more importantly, what you can do — to address this crucial issue.
Listen to Assistant Expedition Leader Dot Robertson as she recounts a ‘pinch me’ moment on a Svalbard expedition.
The Expedition Team was able to follow a majestic polar bear as it roamed the island, culminating in an extraordinary moment of witnessing it feasting on eggs from a seabird’s nest.
Every moment in the polar regions is like a page from a storybook, but some are truly spine-tingling.
What is International Polar Bear Day?
International Polar Bear Day aims to raise awareness of the plight facing polar bears and educate the general public about what we can do to prevent their diminishing numbers.
In previous decades, hunting was the main cause of the depletion of the polar bear population. Capturing and killing the animals was outlawed by the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears, but this has not prevented their numbers from dwindling.
The cause of this is the melting of the Arctic ice caps. Sea ice is vital to the hunting tactics of polar bears, and without it they are forced to swim greater distances to obtain food for themselves and their cubs. If action is not taken soon, the IUCN predicts that by 2050, the world’s polar bear population will have decreased by 30 per cent.
Read more: Why do Arctic polar bears need sea ice?
How does Aurora Expeditions support the plight of polar bears in the wild?
Exploring the Arctic with with Aurora Expeditions is truly unique. While introducing you to the Arctic region, our team of experts will ensure that you are conscious of your environmental footprint and respectful of Arctic flora and fauna. You will be fully briefed on Arctic environmental guidelines and taught how to minimise the impact you have on the Arctic environment.
We are proud to be a leader in sustainable expedition travel, committed to protecting the world’s wild places. Our purpose in taking adventurous travellers to the world’s wildest and remotest destinations is to create lifelong ambassadors for the planet. On all of our voyages, we prioritise education and enrichment, through informative lectures, our participative Citizen Science Program, clean up initiatives and more.
Aurora Expeditions has been dedicated to sustainability since its inception and is now honoured to be a Certified B Corporation™ or ‘B Corp’. Not only do we care about reducing our footprint environmentally, we are taking real actions for the care of the planet and are doing more to help make a positive impact on the planet.
How to maximise your chances of seeing a polar bear
On our Svalbard expeditions, you will have the best opportunity to encounter diverse wildlife in their natural environment, including the elusive polar bear alongside other Arctic wildlife including fluffy arctic fox, lounging walrus, and diverse seabirds. Our onboard experts will help you maximise your chances of seeing a polar bear, however, due to their dwindling numbers, we cannot guarantee that you will spot a polar bear on an Arctic voyage.
Check out our picks of the best voyages to spot polar bears on below, download our latest brochure for our full range of Arctic itineraries. To find out more about visiting Svalbard, read our blog on the best time to see polar pears in Svalbard.
Arctic & Beyond 2024-25 Season Brochure
Explore our brand-new 2025 Arctic & Beyond season, which features 18 unique itineraries across Svalbard, Greenland, the Northwest Passage, Iceland, Scotland and Latin America. With four new itineraries and a mix of more shorter length adventures alongside longer Ultimate Adventure voyages, it is our most comprehensive exploration of these wild places to-date.
Every adventure has to start somewhere. Start your adventure to the world’s wild places by accessing our new brochure today.