They are not officially endangered. They’re listed as ‘threatened’. This might soon chane though. A hearing on the proper status for polar bears will be held on 23 February 2011 in Washington DC. A change of listing status could have wide implications: environmental groups hope that an ‘endangered’ listing means that the ESA can be used to protect the bears’ sea-ice habitats by enforcing the regulation of greenhouse-gas emissions.
Polar bears are considered threatened due to climate changes which affect their sensitive polar habitats. Warmer climates have cause the ice fields to melt sooner, which cuts the polar bears off from their main food source: seals. Polar bears hunt seals mostly in the winter, where they can wait at breathing holes and ambush the seals when they come up to breathe. After the ice melts the seals are largely inaccessible to the polar bears.
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