Bear Awareness Week

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From Yogi to Smokey to Teddy, few animals are as beloved as America’s bears. And few animals are as misunderstood.

All three of North America's bear species - the polar bear, grizzly bear and American black bear - are threatened by habitat loss and human-caused mortality. Bear Awareness Week (the third week in May) is a time to recognize how vital these large mammals are to the ecosystems in which they live, and how important it is to protect their habitat.

Use the links below to learn about these wonderful animals, the role they play in ecosystems, the work we do to protect them, and what you can to do help.

Florida Black Bear, © Eve SilverbachLearn about Black Bears Grizzly bears, © Marcia WattsLearn about Grizzly Bears Polar bear, © Tom SchneiderLearn about Polar Bears

Bears have been a vital part of the North American landscape for thousands of years, and protecting them is everyone's responsibility.

Living in Bear Country
If you live in bear country, there are some simple, common-sense steps you can take to keep bears away from your property and out of trouble. With so many bears killed or relocated each year because of conflicts with humans, you can make a real difference just by changing some basic practices and sharing what you learn with others in your area.

Got Grizzlies?
Defenders works with landowners who live in bear country to limit conflicts by providing tools to keep these still-recovering bears out of garbage, livestock, or other attractants. If you live in an eligible county and would like help with bear-proofing, learn more about this program here >>

Sea Bear Under Siege: Polar Bears and Climate Change in Alaska
With climate change transforming their habitat and impacting their prey species, polar bears are in serious need of help. Learn more in Defenders’ comprehensive report about the threats these bears face and the steps that we can take to secure their future.
Read the Report >>


You may also be interested in:

Habitat Conservation
For all its unique beauty, the Arctic Refuge is under assault. The oil industry and its political allies continue to launch attacks to open this national treasure to destructive oil and gas drilling, while climate change threatens to disrupt its habitats faster than wildlife can adapt.
Polar Bears, © Joan Robins
Win for Wildlife
On October 17, 2011, a federal judge struck down a Bush administration rule that exempted greenhouse gas emissions from regulation under provisions of the Endangered Species Act.
Polar Bear, © Elisa Hoelzeman
Success Story
In March 2012, in its first vote on the issue since 2008, the U.S. Senate decisively voted down a measure to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration.