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Yakutia organizes nature reserve to protect polar bear population

  • Published in Nature
polar bear
© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

Yakutia’s Ministry of Ecology plans to organize in 2020 in the region’s north a federal nature reserve to protect the polar bears’ population. The new reserve’s base will be the existing Bear Islands National Park, which is the animals’ main area for reproduction, the ministry told TASS.

Scientists say it is practically impossible to count polar bears due to the wide area and migration. The main criterion is how many times scientists "meet" polar bears during their autumn and spring monitoring sessions. For example, in 2018, they registered 31 meetings, a year earlier - 15, and in 2016 - 50.

The national park, organized in 2014, takes almost 14,000 hectares. The group of Bear Islands is in the East Siberian Sea, some 130 km north from the Kolyma’s estuary. The distance to nearest shore is 35-90 km.

The national park was created to preserve and protect highly productive wetlands, Arctic birds’ nesting sites, areas, where rare and endangered species of animals live. The rocky coastal cliffs are bird bazaars, and the islands are well-known for being "maternity homes" for polar bears.