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Polar Bear Patrol may be organized in Krasnoyarsk Region's Dixon

The region could form such a team, and the authority's staff will train the people, Svetlana Radionova noted

MOSCOW, January 10. Russia's natural resources watchdog, Rosprirodnadzor, initiates "polar bear patrols" to prevent encounters between people and polar bears, listed in the Red Data Book. Such a patrol may be organized in the village of Dixon, the Krasnoyarsk Region, the authority's leader Svetlana Radionova said at a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

"We would like to organize a Polar Bear Patrol, it is very important for us: we teach people how to behave in a conflict situation. Sure, the residents in Dixon are scared, they fear for themselves, for their children. And this training and this work at our level, at the regional level seems to us very important. And we ask you to support us," she said.

The region could form such a team, and the authority's staff will train the people, she added.

"In fact, we have many conflict situations right in Dixon. It is hard-to-reach, getting there is a long helicopter flight, and there are not many specialists there. <...> Every time we are bringing there a specialist, a vet from Moscow, from the Moscow Zoo. <...> Besides, we have an idea to make a polar bear a symbol. We are aware of the panda diplomacy - what China does with its Red Book animal. We believe we have a similar right: 30% of the polar bear population lives with us, and we do not hunt them. We do not issue hunting licenses unlike our neighbors do," she said.

TASS reported earlier, the Compass Foundation, together with Rosprirodnadzor, is launching the Bear Route project in Chukotka in the spring of 2024 to prevent polar bears from entering villages and to prevent encounters with people.

The polar bear is listed in the Russian Federation's Red Data Book and on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. The population is steadily decreasing. The main threats being poaching, the reducing sea ice due to climate change, and the pollution of the Arctic environment. Chukotka is home to the world's largest Chukotka-Alaska polar bear population.