Geneva, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) - Russia has decided not to use its quota to hunt 29 polar bears but the decision is probably due to a lack of means to survey the situation, a WWF official in Russia says, according to the Moscow Times. Russia and the United States agreed in 2010 to a culling quota of 58 polar bears that could be hunted by natives for traditional and cultural purposes.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said 8 April on his website that the culling will no go ahead.
Russia had previously banned polar bear hunting but it agreed to the quota system as a means of stopping poaching. The WWF’s Russia office told the Moscow Times that it believes about 30 animals, out of a Bering Straits population of some 2,000 bear, are killed illegally every year. The US estimates that 100 are killed illegally in Alaska.
The Russian programme to end poaching has strong support from Putin, reportedly a wildlife fan.
WWF Umky Patrol, polar bears, in Russia