Polar bears are large Arctic brown bear species that have a natural range that includes the Arctic Ocean and its neighboring waters, which span both land and water. Polar bears are the world’s largest bear species, with males weighing around 770-1500 pounds.
They are closely related to brown bears, but their name means “Sea Bear” because they spend so much time near the coast. Polar bears are strong and well-adapted swimmers who have been seen up to 100 miles from the nearest ice or land.
But since there’s only one icy nation in North America, many of us wonder if polar bears live in North America even though they’re not native to Alaska. Let’s find out!
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Do Polar Bears Live in Alaska?
Yes, polar bears live in Alaska. The northern state has the only populations of these Arctic creatures in the Americas.
The number is around 4,000 to 7,000. Two national park units, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve and Cape Krusenstern National Monument are the only ones most likely to host polar bears with home ranges that extend within park limits.
What Do Polar Bears in Alaska Look Like?
Polar bears are animals that live along frigid shores, such as those of the Arctic Circle. Thus, Alaska is one of the countries where these gigantic bears thrive. Polar bears can be found in northern Canada in large numbers, with exceptions made for Greenland and Russia.
They prefer to stay near the ocean and travel vast distances across the ice fields. It’s been shown that polar bear populations have dwindled worldwide due to global warming, with incredibly low numbers confined to the Arctic Circle. Polar bears can be seen as far south as St.
Lawrence Island in Alaska during the winter, and they frequently migrate down to St. Matthew Island and elsewhere into the Canadian Beaufort Sea. We’ve revealed 19 distinct populations of polar bear discovered for Alaska alone, including those in Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea.
The fauna of Chukchi Sea is often spotted along Alaskan coastlines, most notably on its northside coasts where it takes hold near southern parts of Kuskokwim Delta (Canada)|Kuskokwim Delta.
Where Are Polar Bears Found in Alaska?
Polar bears, the world’s largest bear, are a striking symbol of endurance and strength. The Kodiak bear is the only other species that is as big, though they belong to a different category.
Adult polar bear females are usually lighter than males by more than half their weight while they’re still under 4 feet long. Female polar bears are particularly well-adapted to life in freshwater, so that their fur traps heat from the sun and brings it directly to the skin for absorption.
It’s also difficult for predators to sneak up on them since their clear guard hairs are hollow tubes filled with air, which gives off that black-on-black look.
What Do Polar Bears Eat?
As a result, the two types of polar bears – the Southern Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea groups – are largely found in different locations. In fact, the Chukchi Sea group mainly reproduces on Wrangel Island and southeastern Siberia, and St Matthew Island in the Bering Sea, with pregnant females coming out of dens on land.
Most male polar bears remain near the pack ice during the summer season melting period, as it recedes north to allow them to hunt seals until late October when they come ashore along the Beaufort Sea coast to rest onshore along North America’s continuing ice cover.
Are Polar Bears Dangerous in Alaska?
Polar bears are among the largest, strongest, and heftiest carnivorous predators on the planet. They consume a wide range of meat sources from small mammals to prey as huge as reindeer, such as seals and walruses. Marine mammal carcasses, such as those whose come from whales or seals, provide a constant food supply for polar bears.
With shrinking sea ice and increasing human-bear encounters, it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into before going out into the territory. If you must be working in or traveling through polar bear territory, stay vigilant with constant scanning of the horizon with binoculars as well as with your eyes. When necessary, travel during the day and in groups; this helps avoid bears.