Polar bear hunt may start on Russia`s Chukchi Peninsula in 2011
Polar bear hunting, with an annual quota of 29 animals per year, may begin on Russia`s Chukchi Peninsula next year.
The annual quota was set in early June at a Russian-U.S. Polar Bear Commission meeting in Anchorage, Alaska.
"The beginning of the hunt depends on how fast the bureaucratic work is completed. It may begin in the second half of 2011 or even 2012," biodiversity program coordinator at WWF-Russia Vladimir Krever said.
Deputy Director of State Natural Reserve Wrangel Island Nikita Ovsyannikov said the decision could be a serious threat to the local bear population.
"I believe that this decision will lead to an accelerated reduction of the remaining Chukchi-Alaskan population," he said.
The illegal trade in polar bear hides, a species in steady decline throughout the Arctic, is on the rise in Russia.