Polar bears are the largest predators on land, and they are the largest of all bears. Polar bears have fur and skin that allow them to absorb sunlight for warmth. Their blubber, or fat, insulates them in cold water. Polar bears have been known to swim 100 miles (161 kilometers) at a stretch.
Thanks to people, like me, whom wrote to the U.S. President, the Obama Administration has announced that it will propose an upgrade in international protection for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) at the next meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
If it passes, that increased protection under CITES will help end trophy hunting and stop the global trade in polar bear body parts.
This breakthrough is a major victory for NRDC BioGems Defenders, more than 100,000 of whom wrote to the White House asking President Obama to stand up for polar bears, in the weeks leading up to the administration’s decision.
Around the world, the Natural Resources Defense Council – NRDC – has played a leading role on this issue. The team recently traveled to Geneva to advocate polar bear conservation with the CITES Standing Committee, and partnered with allies in Norway and the European Union to build international momentum.
Most importantly, the NRDC helped secure the support of Russia — a key player in polar bear conservation — for the US proposal.
Over the next few months NRDC will be updating me as the CITES treaty talks approach — and asking you to take more action to maximize our chances of success.
Please do what you can to help Polar Bears. Thank you.