As Varvara Semyonova, coordinator of the Russia WWF Arctic biodiversity conservation projects, noted, that at this time it is possible to determine how successful the reproduction of these rare Red Book predators is: how many cubs are born, what their physical condition is, and to determine the important areas for the dens formation.
“In the last decade, this has become especially relevant against the background of global climatic changes, when abnormally warm winters shift the timing of females’ ancestral dens creation and increase the risk of their melting, which in turn may affect the survival of offspring”, RIA Novosti quotes the expert.
The publication also writes that on Wrangel island, an annual survey of polar bear maternity dens has started. The task of the reserve staff is not only to count the number of shelters and assess the state of the population, but also to test a new monitoring method – using unmanned aerial vehicles. Scientists hope that aerial observations will allow census in places where ground work is not available, and at the same time practically not disturb the animals.
According to the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve director Alexander Gruzdev, one of the groups managed to find five dens and meet more than ten she-bears with cubs. The second group was able to see a bear and a cub at lunch.
It is also reported that, although the sea is completely covered with ice, especially curious animals come out to settlements. So, in the coastal villages of Chukotka Ryrkaypiy and Billings, where bear patrols work, the first ‘guests’ have already been noticed. The patrolmen of Ryrkaipiya were forced to drive away a well-fed male, who came straight to the school.
Recall that in the summer of 2019, a polar bear wandered in the vicinity of Norilsk. She was caught, sent to the Krasnoyarsk park of flora and fauna Roev Ruchey, where she successfully underwent rehabilitation and was named Martha. It is curious that a snapshot of the predator wandering around the northern city was included in the Top 100 best photos of the year according to Time.
Text: Mikhail Tuaev, Photo: open sources