Ursus maritimus - Paula Kluukeri
As the worlds largest land predator in the arctic, the polar bear has always captured my imagination. An adult male weighs around 350–700 kg, while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Classified as a vunerable species, polar bears are facing hard times from habitat loss due to the climate change and oil drilling. Recent studies have predicted that two-thirds of the polar bear population might disappear by 2050.
As an important cultural icon for the indigenous peoples of arctic, polar bears have inspired a rich folklore that can still be seen in todays fiction, particularly in books aimed for children and teenagers. (One notable example is Philip Pullmans "His Dark Material" series which inspired the 2007 movie "Golden Compass")
I hope that the species will survive to the future, as polar bears have rightfully earned it's place on the list of charismatic megafauna and the crown as a king of the arctic circle.
As the author of illustration I have given permission and consent to be loaded in Wikimedia Commons with Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0.