Russia Adds Polar Bear Hunting Quotas

Russia Voice, Bear Hunting Magazine

The latest meeting of the Russian-American commission in Anchorage, Alaska has adopted a decision to issue polar bear hunting quotas. The indigenous residents on the Chukotka Peninsula in the Russian Far East will be allowed to hunt the polar bear in the future.

Polar bear hunting was completely banned in Russias polar region in 1956. The polar bear is listed in the Russian Red Book of Rare and Endangered Species. Meanwhile, Eskimos and the Chukchi in Alaska have officially been allowed to hunt up to 38 polar bears a year to help feed their families.

The latest decision of the commission equalizes the possibilities of the indigenous people in Chukotka and Alaska who are now issued an annual polar bear hunting quota of up to 58 animals.

This allows Russian hunters from among indigenous people to hunt half of this figure annually to maintain their traditional lifestyle, Andrei Boltunov stated after the meeting.

At present, the commission is working out rules for hunting polar bears, issuing licenses and using the animals skins. The documents will be ready by December, and once the rules are there, hunting will be allowed. The hunting season will start in December and run until April. This is the most suitable time because bears give birth to cubs in spring and pregnant bears prepare for wintering in autumn.

According to the commissions experts, the permission to hunt up to 58 bears will not affect the polar bear population and their reproduction. With the opening of the hunting season, a monitor will be appointed to each village in the Chukchi region. They will register the bears, measure the animal and take samples, then give this information to scientists.

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