Alaskan Polar Bears

Alaskan polar bears are one of three species of bears that reside in Alaska. As some of the most easily recognized mammals in the Western world, polar bears are distinguished by thick white or yellowish coats, long necks, and smaller heads and ears compared to other bear species. Polar bears depend on sea ice for their hunting habits and therefore live exclusively in the northern polar region of the world, migrating along the coastlines and ice packs of Canada, Alaska, and Siberia. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game recognizes two polar bear populations as being specific to Alaska, with the Southern Beaufort Sea population living in the north and the Chukchi Sea population located along the western coast of the state and out into the Bering and Chukchi Seas. Roughly 3,500 polar bears call Alaska home and belong one of these two groups.

Alaska polar bear
Large male Alaskan polar bears can weigh in excess of 1700 pounds! Photo courtesy of Alaska Department of Fish and Game (www.adfg.alaska.gov)

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, The movements and migrations of polar bears are driven by the regional ice dynamics and therefore the future of these magnificent creatures has been jeopardized by volatile climate conditions and other factors. Polar bears were listed as a threatened species in 2008 and the species’ dependence on sea ice for hunting is likely to cause population declines in the future as ice caps slowly melt and water levels rise.

The population of polar bears in Alaska is stable, however, and the Arctic’s largest carnivores continue to provide exciting opportunities for wildlife viewing in the northern and western regions of the state, attracting adventurers and tourists from across the globe.

The state of Alaska is home to some spectacular wildlife. We encourage guests to spend time in different parts of Alaska before or after their stay at the lodge. We are also happy to set up sky trekking for you during your stay at the lodge. Visit our Dates & Reservations page to learn more about the different seasonal sessions available at Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.