The polar bear population is at its lowest in history, according to the latest official figures.
In fact, according a new report, the population is now down to the smallest number of animals on record, at just 12,000.
The report is based on satellite observations and shows that the population has declined by almost 20 per cent in just four years.
The number of polar bears has dropped by 80 per cent since the start of the century.
The report comes just days after the UK’s Environment Agency published its latest annual report, which showed the population of polar bear in the UK has fallen by nearly 90 per cent over the past 25 years.
This follows a fall in numbers of polar cubs that coincided with warmer winters, a fall from the highest numbers ever recorded and a decline in the numbers of animals released into the wild.
A polar bear pup at a nest in the South Polar National Park.
(Photo: The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)The Royal Society of the Prevention and Treatment of Cruelties to Animals (RSPCA) is calling on the Government to do more to protect polar bears.
It said: “The recent fall in polar bear numbers has serious implications for the protection of polar animals and the environment, which is why we are calling on Government to act now to protect their habitats and reintroduce polar bears to their old ranges.”
The report also highlighted the decline of polar mammals in the wild, with the number of species at its smallest since the 1960s.
According to the RSPCA, the UK polar bear is now in a very precarious situation.
“We are now in the middle of a global warming crisis, and the impact of climate change on polar bears will not be mitigated by CO2 emissions alone,” it said.
“If the UK government doesn’t act now, polar bears are set to become extinct within the next 40 years.”
Polar bears are not endangered in the United Kingdom, but the UK is no longer an island in the world.
We have been left in a precarious position.
“The number of UK polar bears in captivity has fallen to less than 5,000 since 2010, and with the polar bear being removed from the list of endangered species, it is now unlikely that we will ever see a reintroduction.”
It is imperative that the UK Government act now on its responsibility to protect the UK Polar Bear.
“These polar bears must be able to continue living in the natural habitats that exist on our shores and that they are able to enjoy the natural rewards of being part of the British economy.”