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

Greenlandic village has 21 bear encounters

It has been a busy season for the WWF polar bear patrol in Ittoqqortoormiit. At least 21 polar bear encounters were recorded this year in this village of 450 people on the east coast of Greenland.

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Shocking bears

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

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