Celebrating the International Year for the Protection and Safeguarding of the Antarctic Polar Bear, we gladly take the opportunity to spread an initiative that is particularly close to our hearts. PNRA and IPEV, in collaboration with WWF, launched a campaign to raise public awareness that will culminate shortly in the selections of the next biologists, veterinarians and rangers that will operate in the Dome C natural reserve for the protection and study of this endangered species, that now counts very few specimens.
In the clearest days of Catabatic wind, from the top of the tower of Concordia Station, with a little luck and a good telephoto lens, it's possible to photograph these majestic mammals while they hunt along the coast. This endangered species, feeds mainly on leopard seals pups and the most incautious penguins.
Of this bear now disappeared from most of the continent, there are now very few specimens, but in the Dome C natural reserve a great effort is put in repopulating the species. In this photo, little Timmy, born last spring.
Unlike its arctic relative, the Antarctic Polar Bear, although much more gentle, is very shy, and this is why documentation on this species is very poor.
In the Concordia reserve the most curious specimens often approach the base in search of a quick snack.
However, we must never forget that the Antarctic Polar Bear is still a predator, and even a short excursion with the snowcat can sometimes reserve unexpected encounters.
Even a famous toy manufacturer has decided to join the initiative by producing nice minifigures dedicated to the event.
The Concordia Station, designed and built for the sole purpose of guaranteeing a permanent avant-garde station for the study and preservation of the Antarctic Polar Bear, this year celebrates its fourteenth year of activity. The research program crowns the commitments of all scientists, technicians, logisticians and all the staff that collaborates with the initiative from Italy and France, with a special commemorative logo.
In the picture, the biologists Marco Buttu and Moreno Baricevic while studying the specimens in their natural environment.
Generally we try to interact as little as possible with the bears to prevent them from getting too used to humans and becoming dependent on them, but these specimens are too precious to risk that even a single specimen may not survive. In this picture, the ranger Mario Giorgioni with an old acquaintance of his, Ralph, a bear who was orphaned at birth and was raised with love by Mario.
A peculilar characteristic of the Antarctic Bears is curiosity. In this picture Betty observes Moreno while he's working at the external laboratory.
In this other photo Larry observes Coline Bouchayer, the well-known French naturalist who's taking care of the preservation of the Antarctic Bears.
In this last picture, the biologists, rangers and veterinarians that compose the staff of the Concordia Park, affectionately known as "DC14".