Wildlife and environment
Yakutia surveys polar bear population
© RIA Novosti.  Mikhail Uspenskiy

Yakutia surveys polar bear population

A survey of the polar bear population and a study of the processes the predator experiences in the spring have been carried out on the East Siberian Sea coast, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) website reports.

Specialists from the republic's Ministry of the Environment covered over 1,000 kilometers on snowmobiles and in an all-terrain vehicle along the Kolyma River and on the ice of the Gulf of Kolyma. They recorded traces, sighted polar bears, found birthing dens and collected biological samples for genetic testing.

Five dens were found on the Medvezhiye Ostrova Archipelago. Presumably, there was a sixth den, but it was located very high and the inspectors couldn't reach it.

"We have recorded five birthing dens this year. Judging by the traces and sightings, there were no fewer than 20 polar bears, including cubs, on the islands in spring," expedition head Viktor Nikiforov said.

The survey team included employees from the Lower Kolyma Inspectorate of the Yakutia Ministry of the Environment and experts from Moscow.