Polar Bear Patrol raid completed

Polar Bear Patrol raid completed

27 April 2015

A Polar Bear Patrol team has covered more than 2,000 kilometres in snowmobiles as part of a bear protection raid in the Nizhnekolymsky district of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia). Wildlife inspectors together with environmentalists from Moscow and Yakutsk explored the coast of the Kolyma Gulf and the Medvezhyi Islands archipelago.


Braving the harsh conditions of a cold Arctic spring, with strong winds and temperatures as low as minus 25-30 degrees Celsius, the patrol almost immediately was caught in a severe snow storm that lasted for several days. As soon as the weather permitted, the team split into groups and managed to inspect all of the six islands of the archipelago. Fresh bear tracks and signs of mother bears emerging from their coastal dens were found.  At least ten females with cubs were under the patrol’s protection and surveillance during the mission.


“This year, in addition to our traditional polar bear protection raid, we put up a stopover camp for inspectors on Leontyev Island,” Viktor Nikiforov, head of the Polar Bear Patrol programme, said. “We need to strengthen the protection of the Arctic zone of Yakutia. More and more people are coming here every year, which leads to polar bear poaching.”



(Photo © Viktor Nikiforov)