The International Polar Bear Day. Rosneft continues researching the largest beast of prey
14:34 27 февраля 2019
Категории: News in English
The International Polar Bear Day is on the 27th of February. The purpose of this holiday is to draw additional attention to protection of the largest terrestrial beast of prey on the planet.
Rosneft considers preservation and protection of polar bears as one of priorities of its activity in the sphere of ecology and environmental protection. Since 2014 the Arctic research center, which is part of the corporate research and design complex of Rosneft, together with the Marine Mammal Council has been studying polar bears, using modern technologies.
The work is fulfilled with involvement of aviation, research vessels, icebreakers and terrestrial transport, as the department of information policy of Rosneft informs. Field studies include registration of polar bears and traces of their stay, collection of biological samples from encountered individuals and remains of objects of their nutrition – other mammals. In addition, they include a set of zoological studies with temporary immobilization of animals that include taking of measurements, taking samples for following laboratory processing, as well as marking with a tattoo with an identification number and attaching of a satellite transmitter.
According to the results of annual arctic expeditions, the data set unprecedented by the amount was collected, it not only updates previous scientific studies, but also significantly complements current understanding of distribution, key habitats and population relations of the polar bear. In particular, during expeditions of Rosneft the duration of field research of polar bears made more than 6 months, the duration of air surveillance — more than 200 hours. More than 500 meetings with both single individuals and groups of several animals were registered. More than 70 autonomic photo recorders were installed on key habitats, more than 30 animals were examined in detail, and about 500 biological samples were selected and analyzed in the laboratory.
Since 2013 polar bears have been under the care of Rosneft in all Russian zoos. Now in 15 zoos of the country the company provides maintenance (feeding, veterinary service and enrichment of habitat) of 32 polar bears. Among them there are 15 grownup females, 13 grownup males and 4 bear cubs up to two years old. Last year an orphan polar bear cub was rescued in wild nature in Krasnoyarsk Oblast and brought to the zoo of Krasnoyarsk. The young female bear was named Ursula.
Now on the planet, according to experts, there are from 22 to 31 thousand animals. The polar bear inhabits the entire arctic basin, including its coasts and islands. There are no geographical boundaries for the species. Sea ice, availability of places suitable for making of birth dens by female bears and availability of food are the main factors determining its distribution.
The polar bear usually stays near pack ice, swims well and makes seasonal migrations. Under optimal ice conditions some individuals can reach the North Pole. However, the zone of the continental shelf on the periphery of the Arctic Ocean is their main habitats. The polar bear is a skilled hunter. It has very well developed vision, sense of smell and hearing. Two of the numerous species of arctic seals — the ringed seal and the bearded seal (sea hare) – are the main prey.
The polar bear can weigh up to 700 kilograms and reach 3 meters in length. The polar bear’s fur is actually not white, but transparent, hair inside is hollow, filled with air — it helps animals to keep warmth better. Newborn cubs are about the size of a Guinea pig. They come out of the lair four or five months later. The cubs stay with their mother during about two years, within which they learn the skills necessary for survival in the Arctic.