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Alaska/Chukotka walrus and polar bear community exchanges

In early February, WWF and the US Fish and Wildlife Service partnered to facilitate community-based meetings between village conservation leaders from Chukotka, Russia and Alaskan communities along the Chukchi Sea coast. Although the people who live across the Chukchi Sea from each other are relatively close in miles, our Chukchi partners had to travel around the world to reach the other side and meet their neighbors for the first time. For WWF, this was also an opportunity to highlight the work of the Chukchi Umky Patrol Program we support in Russia, a grassroots effort to minimise negative polar bear human interactions. The Umky program has in addition cultivated efforts to eliminate poaching and manage a relatively new problem: walrus hauling out near villages in huge numbers.

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