Use of Hair to Non-invasively Sample DNA from Polar Bears in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas

Develop and assess minimally invasive methods for sampling polar bear DNA, primarily through collecting hair at small, portable, hair sampling stations. Stations are deployed at Alaskan coastal villages by local hunters, and are checked at least twice a week. Genetic material from collected hair to be extracted, amplified, and genotyped (using microsatellites) to produce an individual ID and sex for each bear. Bear IDs over time will provide information on occupancy and movements, and will augment polar bear data being collected concurrently by the USFWS and USGS. Ultimately, if successful, these methods may be appropriate for “exporting” to Chukotka and Wrangel Islands for use in monitoring polar bears in the Russian portion of the Chukchi Sea subpopulation range. This information has implications for how the US-Russia Bilateral Agreement is implemented and how the Inuvialuit-Iñupiat Agreement may be affected.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
ISO Topics biota
Primary Contact Andrew Von Duyke (
Other Contacts Lori Quakenbush (Email:
Primary Organization North Slope Borough
Other Organizations Alaska Department of Fish and Game
Organization Types Local, State
Start Date 2016-03-01
Created April 5, 2017, 07:04 (AKDT)
Last Updated September 28, 2022, 13:31 (AKDT)