State company Rosneft spends more than 120 million rubles on studies of the Russian polar bear.
Company representative Pavel Rassadkin confirms that a total 53 million rubles (€69.000) are spent on polar bear studies in the period 2014-2015 and another 74 million rubles (€97.000) in the years 2016-2020, Tass reports.
Parts of the research will focus on satellite monitoring of tagged animals, as well as tests of fur, blood and speck, Rassadkin says.
The testing comes at the same time as Russian authorities cancel the country’s participation in a major joint polar bear inventory with neighboring Norway.
As previously reported, a long-planned joint mission to count the number of polar bears between Svalbard and Franz Josef Land had to be cancelledbecause the Norwegian researchers were not allowed to enter Franz Josef Land.
Rosneft has over the last year invested major sums in Arctic research expeditions, the latest of them the Kara Winter-2015 expedition.
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Study shows polar bears relocating to icier Canadian Archipelago, Alaska Dispatch News
Norway: Russia – Norway polar bear count nixed, Barents Observer
Russia: Submariners feed polar bears with garbage, Barents Observer
United States: Scientists seek cause of patchy baldness in some Beaufort Sea polar bears, Alaska Dispatch