I still believe, but apparently the World Wildlife Fund does not.
I found this comforting quote in the summer 2008 issue of Nature Conservancy:
“Some scientists believe the polar bears eyeing us now may be the last wild generation in the United States.”
Not sure I’d go that far, but it did make me do a search for “islands for polar bears.” WWF has apparently fielded many questions about polar bears from its membership, and it had this to say in response to the question, “Why is WWF not taking action to rescue individual polar bears that have been spotted swimming far from land or ice?”
Here’s the reply, from a Jackie (the thread goes on for quite a while, so check out the links provided).
We must also take into account that polar bears have been documented swimming up to 320kms (about 200 miles). A polar bear in the water, even one far from land or ice, is not always a polar bear that needs saving.
Some people have suggested that artificial platforms placed in the water could act as a home for the bears.
In reality, however, one must recognise the vast scale of the Arctic and the area normally covered by ice. It would not be practical to replace that with artificial platforms.
Such platforms are also no substitute for the role of sea ice in food production. Sea ice is part of a vital arctic food web, sustaining plants and animals from single-celled creatures all the way up to seals. Without this food web, polar bears cannot survive.
It’s all very logical, but if I ever win the lottery, I’ll spend some of it on islands for polar bears.