Polar Bear Habitat
Polar bears are to be found only on the sea ice and neighboring areas of land of the Arctic
Dependant on seals as their primary source of food, Polar Bears are compelled to follow the
migratory movements of their prey. The polar bears' most commonly used hunting technique is
to lie in wait for seals at gaps in the ice, used by the seals when coming to the surface for
The optimum conditions for hunting seals in this manner are to be found on annual sea ice - ice
that melts during the summer. The melting of the ice forces the bears to retreat either on to
land or further north on to ice that remains intact all year. Because these environments do
not lend themselves well to the hunting of seals, polar bears are sometimes forced to live for
long periods without food during the summer months.
The five major areas of land where polar bears can sometimes be found are Northern Canada,
Greenland, Svalbard (an Arctic island territory of Norway), Russia and Alaska.