Polar bear sample collection

Hunters obliged to collect samples from Polar bears

Foto: Erik W. Born
Foto: Erik W. Born
Fig. 1: the huntes are obliged to take a sample of the tongue tissue and secure a small tooth situated behind each canine tooth
Fig. 1: Fangerne skal skære et lille stykke af tungespidsen og tage en lille tand, der sidder bag hver hjørnetand.
Fig. 2: cut a small piece of the tip of the tongue (approx. 1 x 0.5 cm)
Fig. 2: Der skæres et lille stykke tungespidsen (ca. 1 x ca. 0.5 cm)
Fig. 3: Secure one of the small tooth situated behind each canine tooth.
Fig. 3: Tag en af de små tænder ud, der sidder lige bag hver hjørnetand. Tanden tages ud ved at presse spidsen af en lommekniv ned langs tanden til den løsner sig af sig selv. pas på ikke at brække roden.
Fig. 4: the small tooth
Fig. 4: Sådan ser den lille tand ud
Fig. 5: Put the tooth and tongue samples in the test tube and hand it to the local government office.
Fig. 5: Tand - og tungeprøver puttes i prøveglasset med saltvand og afleveres til kommunens erhvervskonsulent.

After January 1. all hunters in Greenland are obliged by decision of the Minister for Fisheries, Hunting and Agriculture Ane Hansen, to take a small sample of the tongue and a small tooth from all Polar Bears brought down. The samples are a very important tool in the efforts to keep our agreements about the joint management of the population of Polar Bears shared with Canada/Nunavut. The goal is to secure make sure the hunt is sustainable.  

The tooth shows the polar bears age and the overall age distribution in the population can tell of the conditions of the whole population. The sample from the tongue will be used for DNA tests to establish how the different polar bear populations are connected. The tests will also be included in estimates of the number of polar bears in the Baffin Bay and Kane Basin populations, which Greenland share with Nunavut.

Greenlands Institute of Natural Resources has sent out test tubes and a leaflet in Danish and Greenlandic to the hunters containing information on how to take the samples.  

Download leaflet Isbjørne - indsamling af undersøgelser

For further information contact scientist Malene Simon, Greenland Institute of Natural Resources Tlf 36 12 50 e-mail: masi@remove-this.natur.gl

Updated 06.06.2019