These giant white bears are as much at home in the Arctic Ocean and surrounding seas as they are on land and ice.
This vulnerable species lives within a very narrow ecological niche. As the climate warms the very existence of these large predators is challenged. Polar bears have adapted over hundreds of thousands of years to their harsh environment. The rapid pace of climate change is moving many times faster than evolution will allow them to adapt. This is why scientists report at least three of the nineteen polar bear subpopulations are currently in decline.
Polar bears spend most of their time on the sea ice. Because of this fact, their scientific name means "maritime bear". Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice. Because of their interdependence on sea ice for hunting their primary prey, polar bears are classified as marine mammals.