We have this idea that polar bears are teetering on the brink of extinction. But the story isn’t that simple. To find out why, we talk to environmental lawyer Kassie Siegel, wildlife biologist Dr. Karyn Rode, and sea ice expert Dr. Ignatius Rigor. With a little help from Payton, a polar bear at the Memphis Zoo.

Check out the full transcript here: http://bit.ly/2qv9n1t

Selected readings: This map of polar bear populations around the ArcticOn the Endangered Species Act and global warmingKaryn’s tale of two bear populationsThis paper on Arctic sea ice

This episode was produced by Wendy Zukerman, senior producer Kaitlyn Sawrey, and Heather Rogers, will help from Rose Rimler, Shruti Ravindran, and Meryl Horn. Extra help from Saidu Tejan-Thomas. We’re edited by Blythe Terrell, extra editing help from Caitlin Kenney. Mix and sound design by Emma Munger. Music written by Bobby Lord and Emma Munger. Recording help from Peter Frick-Wright, Amber Cortes and Katy Sewall. A huge thanks to all of sea ice and polar bear researchers that we contacted for this story, including: Dr Walt Meier, Professor Kent Moore, Dr Ian Stirling, James Wilder, Anthony Pagano, and Dr Peter Boveng. And more thanks to Danielle Brigida, Frank Lopez, Gerald Thompson, the Zukerman Family and Joseph Lavelle Wilson.

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