It is because of expected habitat loss that the polar bears are classified as a vulnerable species. At least three of the polar bear subpopulations are in decline at this time, and there are nineteen. However, at least two of those subpopulations are currently increasing, while another six are still stable. For decades, large-scale hunting raised international concerns about the future of the species.
The US Endangered Species Act listed polar bears as a species threatened by extinction due to global warming, which negatively affects their natural habitat. Other threats to polar bears include pollution, poaching, and unregulated hunting. The animal depends upon ice to catch prey and survive. The US Fish and Wildlife Service identified the rapid decline of sea ice as being the primary threat to polar bears.