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Expedition to the Land of Ice Bears

It was almost at the exact moment of the northern solstice that we boarded the National Geographic Explorer for a week-long expedition to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard–the time of year when the sun reaches the highest point in the sky as seen from the North Pole. We were in the land of the midnight sun, and we would not see the darkness of night for the entire time we were there.

The First Look at Arctic Life on Ice Through the Eyes of a Polar Bear

Seals swim in a cold blue abyss. White paws paddle through the icy water, giving chase. Finally, morsels of frozen, skinned seal float into view as the hunter gnaws down on her meal.

It’s the first-ever glimpse of life on Arctic sea ice through the eyes of a polar bear.

Meet the Animals Behind the Mascots of the 2014 Winter Olympics

Organizers of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have picked the leopard, the hare, and the polar to represent the Games as mascots.

“World First”: Watch Polar Bear Cubs Open Eyes

Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo catches twin cubs opening their eyes—the first such video ever recorded.

Geography in the News: Polar Bears

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM Polar Bears on the Run The world’s polar bears are becoming more and more threatened, not from predation, as they have no natural predators except humans, but from global warming. A book entitled On Thin Ice: The Changing World of the Polar Bear by…

Polar Bear Mating: A Chance of a Lifetime

Paul Nicklen, a wildlife photographer for National Geographic, witnesses a male polar bear attempting to mate with a female in Svalbard, Norway.

Study Finds Condition of Polar Bears in Arctic’s Chukchi Sea Stable Despite Sea Ice Loss

By Emily Shenk   A recent study found that the condition of polar bears in the Arctic’s Chukchi Sea has remained stable despite sea ice loss, while the condition of another population in the Beaufort Sea has declined. The researchers studied the overall health and reproductive rates of polar bears in the Chukchi Sea, located…

Penis Fossils Show How Extinct Bear Mated

Penis bones offer the first hard evidence of how an extinct species of bear lived and mated, a new study says.

A Real-World Approach to Preserving Polar Bears in Alaska

Alaskan communities are working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to build community awareness around sustainable polar bear harvesting practices.

Best and Worst Animal Fathers

Just in time for Father’s Day, check out our roundup of most and least doting animal dads.

Geography in the News: Grizzlies’ Territory

By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com THE GRIZZLIES’ TERRITORY IS CONTRACTING At the end of July, 2010, a female grizzly bear with her three cubs in tow attacked three different tents near Yellowstone National Park in Montana. The middle-of-the-night maulings, the most brazen attacks in the area since…

April 28, 2013: Wingsuit Flight Through Caves, Saving Polar Bears in the Arctic and More

  Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend. Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend, or pick your favorite segments and listen now below! Episode: 1317 – Air…

Exploring the Natural History of Polar Bears

Icon of the Arctic, the polar bear thrives in the remote Arctic landscape of ice and snow. World-renowned polar bear scientist Ian Stirling offers his thoughts on the state of polar bears in the wild, the threats they face today, and insights from his recent book, Polar Bears: A Natural History of a Threatened Species.

Did Polar Bears Really Lose at CITES?

Delegates at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species 16th Conference of Parties held in Bangkok in March rejected a proposal to ban international trade in polar bears and their parts. The decision caused a stir because polar bears face a precarious future. While some non-governmental organizations were deeply disappointed by the failure to uplist polar bears from Appendix II to Appendix I, which would have banned all international trade in the species and their parts, Steven Amstrup—a renowned polar bear scientist—believes that limitations on trade don’t address the real challenge facing the iconic animals.

Help Decelerate Polar Bears’ Rapid Decline

Polar bears are not souvenirs. They are an iconic, beautiful species that is rapidly disappearing. Starting this week, countries from around the world will gather at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), where protection for polar bears will be an important topic of discussion.