This spring, WWF-Russia's annual polar bear monitoring expedition uncovered 14 dens and the tracks of 23 cubs near the communities of Vankarem and Nutepelmen. The region's bear patrol, led by the community, surveyed a vast area stretching from west to east for almost a hundred kilometers.
The patrol has noted an increase in both dens and cubs over the past five years. However, this doesn't necessarily mean that there are more bears, says Mikhail Stishov, head of the WWF-Russia's Arctic Program. "It could simply be a matter of redistribution. More research is needed so we can draw more accurate conclusions."
The Bear Patrol was established by WWF-Russia in 2006. This year, the patrol has deployed new technology, like drones, to track the distribution and movement of polar bears and expand the patrol area.
The expedition takes place every year in late March and early April, when polar bears and their cubs are emerging from their dens.
Summer wildfires in the Arctic exceeded last year’s records for CO2 emissions, according to scientists from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS). The wildfires that raged across the Arctic Circle also saw smoke plumes covering the equivalent of more than a third of Canada, scientists say.
Melanie Lancaster, Senior Specialist, Arctic species, WWF Arctic Programme, states the following: