During the first week of November, people all over the world will observe Polar Bear Week. The timing of this annual holiday is not arbitrary — it falls during the annual polar bear migration in the town of Churchill, located in northern Manitoba, Canada, along Hudson Bay.
To learn more about Polar Bear Week 2022, and for a few exciting ways you can celebrate these iconic Arctic animals, keep reading.
Polar Bear Week is all about protecting these important animals.
Polar Bear Week is presented by Polar Bears International, a conservation organization with a goal of protecting polar bears and their habitats. In alignment with its goal of protecting the Arctic creatures, Polar Bears International is also committed to fighting the climate crisis, which is a large part of the polar bear’s demise in recent decades.
This year, it will be observed from Sunday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 5, 2022.
“Polar bears have captured the human imagination and become icons of climate change,” Polar Bears International Chief Scientist, Dr. Steven Amstrup, told Green Matters in a statement in 2021.
“If greenhouse gas emissions continue as-is, the trajectory polar bears are on is not a good one… we predict most will disappear by the end of this century," Dr. Amstrup continued. "But it is clear that we have time to protect polar bears, in turn benefitting the rest of life on earth, including ourselves.”
Between rising global temperatures (and therefore melting sea ice) and Arctic drilling, polar bears need our help more than ever — here are a few ways you can get observe Polar Bear Week, plus organizations you can donate to.
Tune into the polar bear live cam.
Polar Bears International has a livestream of the polar bears migrating in Churchill, Canada, all throughout Polar Bear Week (and in the days leading up to it, too — it’s already live, as of Oct. 28). The livestream is free to watch via explore.org.
As explained by Polar Bears International, an important part of the migration is the polar bears’ stop in Churchill, where they eagerly await cold enough weather for sea ice to freeze. Once it does, they are able to get out onto the water and hunt for seals, after not having eaten for a while.
Tune into a live scientist chat to learn more about polar bears.
In honor of Polar Bear Week, Polar Bears International is hosting several live scientist chats online, as part of the Tundra Connections series. The first one, titled "Storytelling in Culture and Conservation," will air on Oct. 31, at 12 p.m. CT/1p.m. ET. It will feature Churchill resident Georgina Berg and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance's CEO Paul Baribault, and will focus on the power of storytelling when it comes to understanding other cultures and protecting wildlife such as polar bears.
Donate to protect polar bears and their habitats.
Polar Bears International, which we mentioned above, has a 94.62 percent rating on Charity Navigator. The charity uses donations to help protect polar bears, the sea ice that is integral to their survival, and preserve the climate that has allowed humans to flourish. You can also symbolically adopt a polar bear from Polar Bears International — in exchange for your donation, you’ll receive an adoption kit with some bear-y cute swag.
Additionally, international environmental charity Greenpeace uses donations to help a variety of causes, and the Australian division of Greenpeace’s website has a specific donation page to help polar bears.
This article, originally published on Oct. 28, 2021, has been updated to reflect Polar Bear Week 2022.