The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family.

 Print

Overview

Order: Carnivora

Family: Ursidae

Species: Ursus maritimus

IUCN Status: vulnerable species

Distribution: northern polar regions occurring in 5 nations - Greenland, Norway, Canada, United States and Russia and also on Arctic sea pack ice usually within 300km of land. Some individuals wander up to 200km inland.

Population:  22,000 to 31,000 with 60% living in Canada.

Habitat: favourite habitat is a combination of pack ice, open water and coastal land.

Polar BearDescription: coat colour varies from pure white to shades of yellow. Small ears; black eyes and nose.

Height: 1.6m to shoulder

Length: 2.2 - 2.5m.

Size of feet: 30cm long, 25cm wide.

Weight: male 400 - 650 kg, female 300 - 350kg. Polar bears have actually shrunk in size compared to their predecessors in the early 20th century.  This could be because of pollution and shrinking sea ice making it harder for them to find food and therefore grow.

Life span: about 30 years.

The polar bear is the world's largest land carnivore and one of the largest of the bear family, alongside with the omnivorous Kodiak bear which can sometimes weigh over 900 kg.

Read More: Polar Bear Habits

Related Resources

Please donate £1 to help YPTE to continue its work of inspiring young people to look after our world.

Donate £1 X