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Some animals don't make too much noise. Polar bears, who for the most part live solitary lives roaming vast icy tundras, are generally quiet animals so if you are ever lucky enough to hear the voice of the polar bear, savour the moment. Play the sound clip above to hear recorded grunts of wild polar bear. Animals are only thought to vocalize in the presence of other animals - in the context of wild polar bears, these types of grunts are usually made between family members or between mates. Polar bears can also make other sounds; namely, 'moans', 'chuffs', 'purrs', 'growls', and likely more.
The largest carnivores on the planet have long been shrouded in mystery for us humans, calling the most distant north tundras home and only very infrequently interacting with humans. Despite not living social lives, polar bears are highly intelligent animals as apex predators and there is much to be uncovered about their vocal language. Much of what has been discovered on polar bear communication has been done in captivity - wild bears likely exhibit entirely different behaviors.
Listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List, the polar bear is facing a much steeper slope toward extinction than may appear by its conservation status. As we continue to lose a larger amount of sea ice each year - the habitats on which polar bears depend are vanishing and this is driving them south, into forests and temperate climates which they are simply not suited to survive in. There may not be a more iconic animal to meet the eye than the polar bear, and similarly may not be any animal more affected by the warming of the global climate.
Whilst with other threatened species such as the Bengal tiger and the chimpanzee, there is hope for recovery as long protected regions of habitat remain; the polar bear's world is simply melting away, protected or not protected. For this majestic animal, one of the species most beloved of all to us, survival is dependent on the life choices of each and every one of us. Whether this means cycling to work instead of driving or reducing our meat consumption to cut down on our carbon footprint, the polar bear's existence is closer in touch with our daily lives than we may think.
With a wide historical distribution spanning nearly 5% of the globe, the global polar bear population is still spread far across the arctic circle yet continues to lose critically important connectivity between sub-populations. This is a direct result of habitat loss around the North Pole, limiting movement and ultimately hurting the genetic health of polar bears worldwide. Despite a significant portion of conservation funds being directed toward polar bear conservation, it still suffers from data deficiency as polar bears remain elusive in a remote and difficult-to-navigate terrain. As the sub-populations begin to reach more southern regions, funding conservation organizations and research teams remains critical for monitoring of the remaining bears and the success of their adaptation to the ever-changing climate.
Listed as a vulnerable species by the IUCN Red List, the polar bear is facing a steeper slope toward extinction for each year that sea ice loss continues. Climate change is quickly forcing the world's largest carnivore to seek asylum in forests further south, where it is not suited for survival.
Climate change forces polar bears in closer contact and conflict with human communities to the south - conservation efforts have had success focusing on educating locals in order to protect both. Help us continue to support important efforts such as these by ordering your SoundBites t-shirt today!
With a 25% donation to wildlife non-profits, every SoundBites Designs T-shirt helps endangered animals.
So wear the shirt. Scan the code. Let's make some noise about wildlife conservation!