A polar bear on an ice field. By Anatoly Kochnev
Conservation, Без рубрики

Polar Bear Emergency State at Novaya Zemlya

Many news sources worldwide reported on the state of emergency declared on the Russian archipelago Novaya Zemlya. The reason for the emergency is that there are over 50 polar bears ‘terrorizing’ the township of Belushya Guba. The animals stay near residential buildings in spite of all attempts to scare them away. The local residents are afraid to leave their homes, and some bears even began to penetrate the buildings. Rosprirodnadzor (controlling body for environment protection) did not authorize killing problem bears. Instead, they formed a commission which was to fly to the islands Tuesday and make a decision on the spot.

The information presented in English-language news sources is accurate (although slightly incomplete), and there wouldn’t be any need in my comments on the issue, if it weren’t for the reaction of the hunting community. “Time to thin the herd”. “Weren’t the polar bears supposed to die because of global warning?”, “bad government won’t let good people kill bad bears”, and comments on these lines seem to fill the hunting pages in social media. And, I have to respectfully suggest that these commenters might be jumping to conclusion without first properly informing themselves of all aspects of the issue. Continue reading

Без рубрики

“Harvest and Use of Polar Bears in Chukotka”

If you have a real serious interest in polar bears, you must have this book – because this is about the only recent and reliable source of information in the English language on the Russian population of the species. For hunters and conservationalists, biologists and sociologists alike, the book provides tons of data. Its main question is “what do local people think of polar bears and what they do to them”, but it has answers for a whole lot more, from “Does introduction of a species in the endangered lists do anything to its survival?” to “Is global warming real?”.


Anatoly is my Livejournal friend, and perhaps the greatest living Russian authority on Polar bears. This book is the result of decades of field trips, biological and sociological studies.For a free download of the book in English click here.

Anatoly is also a fantastic photographer. See for yourself:



and visit his Livejournal page for more.