A research expedition to study polar bears and the processes occurring in these predators during the spring season has ended on the shores of the East Siberian Sea.
Over two weeks, researchers covered more than 1,000 kilometres in snowmobiles and an off-road vehicle along the Kolyma River and the frozen Kolyma Bay. They documented the bear tracks spotted along the way, their encounters with polar bears, as well as the maternity dens they could find, and collected biological samples for subsequent DNA tests.
Polar bear research and protection efforts have been conducted on the Medvezhyi Islands for a decade since 2007.
“This year, we registered five maternity dens. The tracks and the encounters show that at least 20 polar bears, including cubs, visited the islands during the spring season,” said Viktor Nikiforov, the expedition’s head.
The expedition in the Kolyma Bay was co-sponsored by the Four Seasons company. Taking part in it were inspectors of the Environmental Protection Ministry of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and experts from Moscow.
(Photo © Viktor Nikiforov)