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What's Being Done Legally to Save the Polar Bears?


Are there enough laws and regulations to save the polar bears from extinction? Or is the time running out? Let's find out.

International Legal Framework for Polar Bear Protection

Five countries share the polar bear’s icy stomping grounds; believe it or not, they’ve all agreed on how to protect these majestic furballs.

  • 1. Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears (1973):

    This is the golden rulebook for saving polar bears. It establishes a legal framework for conserving and managing polar bears and their habitats. The agreement regulates hunting, establishes protected areas, and mandates research and monitoring.

  • 2. Other International Agreements:

    But wait, there's more! Polar bears are also protected under various other international conventions, including the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the Convention for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). These agreements prohibit or regulate the international trade of polar bear products and aim to protect their habitats.

National Legislation for Polar Bear Protection

Each of the five range states has developed its own legislation and regulations to protect polar bears within their borders.

  • 1. Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) (United States):

    This document provides comprehensive protection for marine mammals, including polar bears. The Act designates polar bears as a "depleted species," prohibiting the importation of polar bear trophies and products.
  • 2. Endangered Species Act (ESA) (United States):

    The ESA classifies polar bears as threatened due to climate change and habitat loss.

  • 3. Wildlife Act (Canada):

    Up in the Great White North, they're so serious about polar bear safety that they've got a whole act dedicated to wildlife protection, which includes setting hunting limits and creating bear-friendly zones.

  • 4. Polar Bear Act (Norway):

    Think of it as a fortress of laws built to keep polar bears safe. It regulates hunting, establishes protected areas, and addresses other conservation measures.

  • 5. The Conservation of Polar Bears and their Habitats Act (Russia):

    Russia's national legislation outlines measures for the conservation of polar bears, including protection of their habitats and regulations for hunting and trade.

  • 6. Conservation of Species Act (Greenland/Denmark):

    Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, has its own legislation for polar bear conservation, governing hunting quotas and protection measures.


Wow, what a journey through the legal landscape of polar bear protection, right? But are they enough? The truth is, while these laws help, they're just part of the solution. It's up to us to ensure these amazing animals are around for future generations to see.