There are estimated to be between 22,000 and 31,000 polar bears worldwide. They live in the circumpolar north, and are found mainly in Canada (home to roughly 60 per cent of the world’s polar bears), the U.S.A (Alaska), Greenland, Russia, and Norway (the Svalbard archipelago).
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists the polar bear as a vulnerable species. Unregulated commercial and sport hunting was a major threat to polar bears in the 1960s and 1970s. Now, sea ice losses, habitat loss and access to prey is the biggest threat to wild polar bear survival. Increased commercial activities, disease, legal hunting and pollution are other challenges the polar bear faces in the wild.