Polar bear
© Staffan Widstrand / WWF

Conflict

How northern communities are keeping polar bears and people safe from conflict

As Arctic sea ice thins and retreats, increasing numbers of polar bears are spending longer periods in the summer open-water season resting along Arctic coastlines.

Here, their powerful sense of smell attracts them to human waste, stored food, dog teams, and animal carcasses—bringing them into greater conflict with Arctic people.


As powerful predators, polar bears pose a major risk to human life and property. Throughout the polar bear’s range, attacks on humans and property continue to rise. In recent years, more than 20 direct attacks on humans have been reported within the polar bear’s range.

WWF is helping communities live safely alongside the Arctic’s top predator.

How we work

Living side by side with polar bears

As climate change causes summer sea ice to dwindle in the Arctic, hungry polar bears increasingly come into conflict with local people.

Read more

Shocking bears

One constant in the world of bears is that people and bears are increasingly getting in each other’s way.

Read more

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