Initial results of the Spring Trail 2014 campaign

Initial results of the Spring Trail 2014 campaign

31 March 2014

On 29 March, the annual Polar Bear Patrol campaign of the WWF, which is aimed at preserving the Polar bear population, was launched in the Russian Arctic zone. Four groups of researchers are working on the Arctic shore of Chukotka and Yakutia. Moreover, residents of the local Arctic villages provide scientists with information about the tracks of Polar bears, encounters with them and the location of their dens.


A patrolling group from the village of Pokhodsk (Nizhnekolymsky District, Yakutia) was the first to depart to the Bear Islands Archipelago in the Kolyma Gulf. After driving over 200 kilometres along the frozen Kolyma River and the gulf, they reached the Krestovaya base on 30 March. Their journey was not without its adventures: their AATV broke down on the way and the patrol members had to use snowmobiles and a tractor, which was carrying the fuel for the expedition, to get to the base. The patrol located a den: a female bear and two her cubs had left it several days before.


On 30 March, the patrol from Ryrkaypiy, which examined Cape Kozhevnikova, noticed the first bear tracks. For the first time, the group was accompanied by a dog named Umka, who found the fresh paw prints of a young bear and a female bear with a cub.


The Spring Trail campaign will last through April, Viktor Nikiforov, head of the Polar Bear Patrol project, said. The campaign is aimed at preserving female bears with cubs, who are now leaving their dens.


(Photos © by Tatyana Minenko, Viktor Nikiforov)