(c) Chris Weston   

Wildlife Media's first production focuses on the world's wild places through the eyes of bears.

The world's eight bear species live in the wildest places on earth. Meet the needs of bears and we will meet the needs of countless other species; including our own.

What is good for bears is good for people. Protect bear habitat and you will protect fresh water, healthy forests, and clean air. No other species captures the human imagination like bears. They amaze us with their power, appearance, intelligence, and adaptability; attributes that have led to human admiration and respect for millennia.

Bears offer exciting and charismatic inspiration. Their world is rich in wild creatures, plants, colorful people, and cultures. They live in the most amazing places on earth and help us to generate enthusiastic interest about wild ecosystems and conservation globally. A thousand untold stories are waiting to be unveiled. Until now, they have been enjoyed only by those who study bears and live among them.

From the Arctic to the Andes, the eight bear species occur in some of our planet's wildest places. As barometers of ecosystem health, they remind us that there is still room for wildness, as long as we are sensitive and smart. For example, polar bears have become the icons of the Arctic as we consider the potentially devastating effects of climate change. Scientists agree that there will be no summer ice by the year 2050. This will have a profound effect not just on polar bears, but on the many unique species that share polar bear habitat.

Sun bears occupy the most biodiverse habitats in Asia. They are found in a few shrinking reserves that are surrounded by logging activities and oil palm plantations. If we protect the sun bear, by default, we protect countless other tropical species in sun bear habitat. At one time, there were 100,000 grizzly bears in the lower 48 United States. That number has dwindled to around 1,000. Their range and numbers have been reduced by 99% and they are now found only in the wildest northwest pockets of the USA.

Bears and their habitats need our help. Six of the eight species of bear in the world are officially classified as facing extinction. The smallest, the sun bear, is the latest to be classified as vulnerable on the Red List of Threatened Species. Of the other species, four are also listed as vulnerable: the Asiatic black bear, sloth bear, Andean bear, and polar bear. The giant panda is facing the greatest threat and remains in the endangered category. There is least concern over the American black bear.

(c) Chris Weston   

The world needs a little optimism. A film that brings a message of hope in a way that offers drama, intrigue, and passion could change the way we look at our planet, its wild creatures, and the common thread of the human spirit that runs through diverse cultures.