The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Medvezhyi Patrul (Bear Patrol, also Umky Patrol)

Reference work entry

Medvezhyi Patrul (Bear Patrol, also Umky Patrol) – in 2006, with the support of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of Russia, a team of volunteers who received informal name of Bear Patrol was formed in one of the coastal Chukchi villages. The team warned the villagers of approaching polar bears and takes measures for the expulsion of bears wandered into the village. Initially, the volunteers patrolled the neighborhood in October–December. During this period, polar bears that landed from the ice floes coming from the northeastern part of the East Siberian Sea walk along the coast from northwest to southeast. Attracted by remains of walruses on rookeries near the villages, polar bears inevitably used to visit the residential localities. Seeing the potential of the project, experts from WWF Russia and the Council for Marine Mammals offered Bear Patrol also to collect simple information: the place and time of meeting polar bears and their number, sex, and age. This information was reported by the observers to the experts in Moscow by phone. In subsequent years, WWF Russia began developing a network of similar coastal observation stations in the Russian Arctic. Currently, the network includes 15 settlements, 6 weather stations, and 7 natural protected areas (natural and resource reserves) from Kolguyev Island in the west of the Russian Arctic to the Bering Strait in the east. Currently, Bear Patrol activities include a coastal monitoring, involvement of the residents of the Arctic coastal settlements of Russia and personnel of coastal weather stations and protected natural territories; anti-poaching activities; and environmental education of the local population.

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© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016