International Polar Bear Day

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International Polar Bear Day
DateFebruary 27
Next time27 February 2024 (2024-02-27)

International Polar Bear Day is an annual event celebrated every February 27,[1][2] to coincide with the time period when polar bear mothers and cubs are sleeping in their dens, and to raise awareness about the conservation status of the polar bear.


International Polar Bear Day is organized by Polar Bears International to raise awareness about the impact of global warming and reduced sea ice on polar bear populations.[3] The day encourages people to find ways to reduce their carbon output, such as by turning down their thermostat or driving less.[4] The day has also been used to encourage the installation of energy efficient insulation in houses.[5]


Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) in the drift ice region north of Svalbard

Many zoos use the day to educate about polar bear conservation and to encourage visits to polar bear exhibits.[6][7] It has also had some political impact. Jack Shapiro, the deputy climate campaign manager under American president Barack Obama, used the day to argue for the need for Congressional action on the issue of climate change.[8] The University of Saskatchewan announced in 2014 that it would be turning its thermostats up two degrees in the summer and down two degrees Celsius in the winter to honor International Polar Bear Day. The decision is expected to reduce the university's carbon emissions by two-thousand tons and save the university over two-hundred thousand dollars per year.[9] International Polar Bear Day has been noted to be effective in raising awareness online about polar bears through information search.[10]


  1. ^ "International Polar Bear Day". Polar Bears International. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  2. ^ "International Polar Bear Day". World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2021-05-02.
  3. ^ "Bundle Up: It's International Polar Bear Day". CBC. 2012-02-27. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  4. ^ Netburn, Deborah (27 February 2014). "It's International Polar Bear Day: What you can do to help". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  5. ^ Yandell, Inga. "International Polar Bear Day 2013". Wildlife Warriors. Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  6. ^ "International Polar Bear Day". Denver Zoo. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Celebrate International Polar Bear Day at the Zoo". Milwaukee County Zoo. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  8. ^ Shapiro, Jack. "What humans and polar bears have in common". Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  9. ^ "SENS and U of S celebrate International Polar Bear Day". University of Saskatchewan. Archived from the original on 28 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  10. ^ Chua, Marcus A.H.; Tan, Audrey; Carrasco, Luis Roman (2021). "Species awareness days: Do people care or are we preaching to the choir?". Biological Conservation. 255: 109002. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109002. S2CID 233836573.