Polar Bear Patrol finishes its work in the Kolyma Gulf

Polar Bear Patrol finishes its work in the Kolyma Gulf

19 November 2014

Observers from the Environmental Protection Inspectorate of Yakutia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment have spent over two months in the area of Krestovaya on the western shore of the Kolyma Gulf in Yakutia, watching the migrations of polar bears. On 12 November, when the sea was completely frozen, the bears left the coast and moved east, towards the Bear Islands archipelago. A female with two cubs born this year was the last to leave: she was waiting for the ice to become completely sound.


In early September, three inspectors came by motorboat to watch the polar bears. They had to make their way back on snowmobiles, going along the shore because of the huge ice drifts. The weather was not so good either: it was very windy and snowy most of the time. It took them two days to cover over 250 km on the way home.


“This autumn, inspectors saw up to 25 polar bears on the shore of the Kolyma Gulf. One day as many as 13 bears approached their base,” says head of the WWF Polar Bear Patrol programme Viktor Nikiforov. “The animals were in good shape, cautious and did not come near people’s dwellings. We think that the inspectors did a great job: they collected genetic material (fur) and protected this group of animals from potential poachers.”


(Photo © Ruslan Sleptsov)