Getting up north to see polar bears in their natural habitat can be difficult: it's costly to get that far north, and you may not want to risk interfering with the animals once you arrive. Luckily, there's another way to see the bears without making the long trip. Check out this site: it's called Polar Bear Cam, and it just went live. It features a video feed from the tundra outside of Churchill, Manitoba, a town that calls itself "the Polar Bear Capital of the World".
Each year around this time, hundreds of polar bears congregate on the tundra shore and wait for the water to freeze so they can head out on the ice to hunt for seals. The Polar Bear Cam showcases the bears in their natural environment, as they wait for the ice to form. It's mounted on Buggy One, an observation vehicle stationed near the bears' habitat. The Cam is a collaboration between explore.org, Frontiers North Adventures, and Polar Bears International, and it's designed to raise awareness about declining conditions in the polar bears' habitat.
As climate change causes the sea ice to form later and later in the season, the bears struggle to find food. And the problem seems to be getting worse each year - in 2010, ice formation was about three to four weeks behind schedule. You can learn more - and find ways to get involved in initiatives to reduce the impact of climate change - at this website.
Last season, we went up to Churchill to see the polar bears first hand, and talk to the experts about what's happening to their habitat. You can watch that special right here.