World Wildlife Fund Nature Breaking

A polar bear walks towards the camera looking to the side against a white background

Polar Bears and Environmental DNA

  • Date: 13 May 2023

Perhaps no species on Earth has been more directly associated with climate change than polar bears. As Arctic sea ice melts, the habitat for these bears will continue to shrink. But did you know that polar bear populations have a complicated history? 



In this episode you’ll hear from Elisabeth Kruger, a manager for Arctic wildlife at WWF-US, about how conservation measures helped polar bears in the 1970s when commercial hunting was their primary threat (2:55), and what the future looks like for polar bears in the face of climate change (5:20). Then you’ll hear from Dr. Micaela Hellstrom, CEO and co-founder of MIX Research in Sweden, who is working with Elisabeth and others at WWF to collect environmental DNA from polar bear footprints in order to learn more about these iconic Arctic dwellers (22:55).



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