Elephants munch on Christmas trees in their enclosure at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo on January 4, 2013 in Berlin, Germany. Traditionally, the animals get in the first week of the year leftover Christmas trees. (Photo by Andreas Rentz)
The polar bear — a charismatic icon in the struggle against climate change — faces a precarious future along with other ice-dependent species as its Arctic habitat rapidly continues to melt away.
With camera in hand, wildlife photographer Steven Kazlowski has dedicated over eight years of work to bring to life the immediate reality of this most pressing environmental crisis — the devastation of the Arctic ecosystem through global warming.
A large bull walrus returns to the shores of Prins Karl Forland after diving and feeding on clams. (Photo by Paul Nicklen/National Geographic). Svalbard, Norway, 2011
The sea leopard. The Antarctic Peninsula. (Photo by Paul Nicklen)
A leopard seal feeds Paul Nicklen a penguin. (Photo by Paul Nicklen/National Geographic). Antarctic Peninsula, 2011
Walker the polar bear on his third birthday at the Highland Wildlife Park on December 7, 2011 in Kingussie, Scotland. (Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images)
Two chimpanzees share a piece of watermelon at Taronga Zoo on December 23, 2010 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Rick Stevens/Taronga Zoo via Getty Images)
Talini (R), a 9-month old 160-pound polar bear cub, swims with her mother Barle at the Detroit Zoo's Artic Ring of Life exhibit August 25, 2005 in Royal Oak, Michigan. Talini's birth was the first polar bear birth at the Detroit Zoo in fifteen years. Her mother Barle was wild born and was rescued by the Detroit Zoo from a circus in Puerto Rico in 2002. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)