Scholastic News Online

Scholastic News Online is a free resource with breaking news and highlights from the print magazine.

Available for grades 1-6, Scholastic News magazine brings high-interest current events and nonfiction to millions of classrooms each week.

Additionally, our subscribers have FREE access to Scholastic News Interactive, an exclusive online learning tool featuring digital editions, videos, interactive features, differentiated articles, and much more.

Protecting Polar Bears

Global warming threatens population

By Karen Fanning | January 5 , 2007
A polar bear with its cub in the snow. (Photo: Stock Image/Jupiterimages)
A polar bear with its cub in the snow. (Photo: Stock Image/Jupiterimages)

The Bush administration took action last week to help the world's shrinking polar bear population, announcing that the animals may soon be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

"Polar bears are one of nature's ultimate survivors, able to live and thrive in one of the world's harshest environments," says Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne. "But we are concerned the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting."

While pollution and hunting continue to threaten the polar bear, global warming in the Arctic poses a real danger to its survival.

The world's remaining 25,000 polar bears make their home in the frosty climates of Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. Warmer than normal temperatures, however, have caused the sea ice there to melt—the same ice polar bears roam to hunt for seals and walruses.

Habitat loss has resulted in polar bears' losing weight, drowning, and starving to death. Fewer cubs have been able to survive the changing conditions. For example, the polar bear population in western Hudson Bay in Canada experienced a 22-percent decrease from 1987 to 1994.

Conservation groups are calling for the U.S. government to pass a law that would reduce greenhouse gases that cause global warming.

The Department of the Interior will take the next 12 months to determine the polar bear's fate. If the agency decides to list it as a "threatened species," the polar bear would be protected from activities that would hurt the species or its habitat.

The world's largest bears, polar bears can stand up to 11 feet tall, and some males weigh as many as 1,400 pounds. A four-inch layer of fat insulates the animal from harsh temperatures.


Are you interested in how environmental changes affect the world? Let Scholastic News Online be your guide! Learn about what Kid Reporters are saying about the changing climate by reading their articles in this special report

About the Author

Karen Fanning is a contributing writer for Scholastic News Online.

  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Underwater Life

    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Underwater Life

    This collection dives underwater to look at the spectacular animal and plant life in freshwater and saltwater habitats around the world.

    Help children succeed in school and in life by reading aloud for 20 minutes a day using these content-rich collections.

    Read the books in sequence to build vocabulary and knowledge around a topic. Each daily read-aloud provides one piece of the puzzle to help children on their knowledge quest to see the big picture!

    Choose recommended activities from the guidebook to suit your schedule and needs. Every guidebook provides:

    • Summary of prior knowledge
    • Content objectives
    • Vocabulary lists
    • Read-aloud guides
    • Activities that target Common Core
    • Supplemental book list
    • Reward certificate
    • List of collections for upcoming grades

    Knowledge Quest! helps you make learning fun, accelerate a child's vocabulary growth, and build skills that meet national standards. For complete information about this program, visit:

    Book Collection | Grades 1-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    Knowledge Quest! Read-Aloud Collection: Underwater Life
    Grades 1-2 $79.00
    Add To Cart
  • Teacher Store
  • The Teacher Store  
    1001 Things to Spot: 1001 Animals to Spot

    1001 Things to Spot: 1001 Animals to Spot

    by Ruth Brocklehurst and Teri Gower

    Each page of this colorful picture book teems with animals both familiar and new, exposing children to the rich diversity of the world's habitats.

    $5.21 You save: 25%
    Paperback Book | Grades K-2
    Add To Cart
    Educators Only
    1001 Things to Spot: 1001 Animals to Spot
    Grades K-2 $5.21
    Add To Cart
Privacy Policy




Here's something interesting from