- Issue: Spring 2015
Polar bears don’t recognize national borders. In the frigid waters of the Chukchi Sea, they travel freely between the US and Russia, moving with the ice as they hunt seals. The US Fish and Wildlife Service has conducted capture-recapture surveys of polar bear populations in the region since 2008. They shared their techniques with Russian biologist Natalia Illarionova in April 2011, during a research exchange aiming to strengthen both countries’ understanding of the bears. Elisabeth Kruger, of WWF’s Arctic field office, served as translator for the team.