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The amount of polar bears near Ryrkaipiy village increased to 61

06 december 2019
The volunteers of WWF-Russia Polar Bear Patrol are continuing to control the situation around the Chukotka village Ryrkaipiy which has been visited by polar bears recently. The amount of bears in Ryrkaipiy increased.

“ There are 61 bears at the moment here. Volunteers and local residents with snowmobiles are patrolling the surroundings, - says Tatyana Minenko, the head of Bear Patrol on Ryrkaypiy. - We want to thank the administration of the village, local residents and the frontier guards for their help and well-coordinated work"

Due to warm weather ice is still not thick enough to let the bears travel further north. 

This week more than 50 polar bears got on Kozhevnikov Cape on Chukotka close to the village  Ryrkaypiy looking for food. Now they have found corps of the walruses which have left the Cape in November.

Polar bears visiting the Cape is quite a typical story for this place, but such a massive gathering of polar bears is quite unusual. But it only confirms the trend: the number of human and predator encounters in the Arctic is increasing. The main reason is the decline of the sea ice area due to the changing climate. In the absence of ice cover, animals are forced to go ashore in search of food. 

"If there is enough ice, the bears would go further north to hunt the seals. Until the ice is not thick enough, they will stay ashore and can visit the village due to curiosity and hunger. Spontaneous waste deposits can attract the animals: bears will go for the smell of food waste, regardless of the availability of other food',- says Mikhail Stishov, Arctic biodiversity projects coordinator, WWF-Russia. - Gathering of polar bears are becoming more frequent, and we have to adapt and find ways to avoid conflicts between people and animals."

Polar bear patrols in Russia were started in 2006. They operate in 8 regions. Their work is to monitor polar bears, to educate people, and they do not have weapons. They are volunteers from local communities.

For additional information please contact
Biodiversity Programme Leader