Bear patrols resume work

Bear patrols resume work

1 April 2013

Operation Spring Trail 2013 along the coast of Chukotka and Yakutia, part of the Bear Patrol programme, will begin in late March and last until the end of April. The objective is to monitor the spring movements of polar bears.


“Late March and April is a very important time for polar bears. Female bears with cubs start leaving their winter dens to set out on the long journey across vast expanses of ice. It is good news that more and more Arctic settlements and polar stations are getting involved in the project every year. Making people environmentally conscious is an important part of our job,” said head of the Bear Patrol project Viktor Nikiforov.


Volunteers from Arctic villages and wildlife inspectors will examine the coastline and record any polar bears they encounter, as well as their tracks and their birth lairs. To find these birth lairs observers will pay particular attention to finding the tracks of polar bear mothers with young cubs. Observers not only have to record the bears’ tracks, but most importantly protect the animals from poachers.


Four groups will work along an area from the mouth of the Indigirka River (Yakutia) to the Bering Strait (Chukotka), communicating by satellite phone.


The Polar Bear Patrol programme has already been in operation for five years under the auspices of WWF Russia. These patrols are made up of special groups of local residents, who fight against poachers, monitor the bear populations, protect the breeding grounds of walruses and provide environmental education to the general public.