Support for the polar bears

Global warming is threatening the polar bears of the Russian Arctic.

The Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is a region in the far northeast of Russia where many polar bears can be found living in close proximity to human settlements. Polar bears are threatened with extinction due to global warming, since their opportunities for hunting are rapidly dwindling because of the declining masses of ice. The pollution of the seas and the illegal hunting of these animals also contribute to the rapid decline of the polar bear population.

Zoo Berlin supports WWF Russia in the protection of polar bears

Zoo Berlin has been committed to the protection of the polar bears in the Russian Arctic with financial contributions for many years now. The project we support takes place within the cooperation framework between WWF Russia and the Marine Mammal Council.

A group of experts in the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug is researching the seasonal distribution of polar bears along the coast during the ice-free period. Experts additionally collect biological samples from each individual animal and mark them using satellite transmitters, to the extent possible. The research yields important results for the protection of this polar bear population and helps to improve the research methods.

WWF conservation project also mediates between humans and animals

Polar bears are increasingly looking for alternative food sources due to the changing environmental conditions, which sees them turning up in villages more and more frequently. In order to keep conflicts between polar bears and the human population to a minimum, the people living in these specific locations are informed about the behaviour of polar bears. They also learn codes of conduct in case of an encounter, and receive useful instructions in keeping polar bears out of their villages to the highest extent possible.

Local patrols have formed in the region to collect important information on polar bear sightings and to share such information with neighbouring villages as a warning. As a result, many of the polar bears can be prevented from entering a settlement in advance.