First ever total polar bear population count to be held in Russia

First ever total polar bear population count to be held in Russia

7 February 2020

The decision to carry out a compete count on the territory of the Russian Federation was taken following a meeting of experts from the working group on the preservation and restoration of the polar bear population at the  Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. The meeting was chaired by Amirkhan Amirkhanov.


The key item on the meeting’s agenda was scheduling events to organise a polar bear count and monitoring with the aim of conserving and restoring their population in Russia. In accordance with the project’s roadmap, preparatory steps will be taken in 2020 such as drafting and approving a detailed plan for an aerial count, holding training sessions for the project participants, procuring equipment and drafting and approving recommendations for holding the count.


The aerial count of polar bears is to be held in the Chukchi Sea and the East Siberian Sea in 2021, in the Laptev and Kara seas in 2022, and in the eastern part of the Barents Sea and around Franz Josef Land in 2023. This will allow for complete data on the polar bear population to be collected on the territory of our country for the first time in history.


“The presented roadmap is a document that sets the foundation for the work of our department. It not only envisions the realisation of the strategy for the preservation of polar bears in Russia but also of important international agreements: the 1973 Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears between the USSR, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the USA, as well as the 2000 Agreement on the Conservation and Management of the Alaska-Chukotka Polar Bear Population, which was signed by the governments of Russia and the USA,” Amirkhan Amirkhanov said.  


Rosneft will fund the project. As part of this public-private partnership, scientists will be able to count the populations of the polar bear and the number of their habitats as well as derive information on current threats to the species.