• Plant and animal ecology.
• Arctic ecology and dynamics.
An example of a particularly important activity is the U.S.-Russia Polar Bear Agreement of 2007, which aligns plans for managing a shared population of bears between the countries. It has guided the conservation and management of an iconic species. A joint survey of walrus populations throughout the Bering Strait was also a successful joint effort, with important implications for species management that could not have been carried out without support from both nations.
Lessons learned during the decades of interaction have demonstrated importance of the following approaches:
• Scientific collaboration between specialists who have devoted their careers to similar passions can persist despite political differences between the two countries.
• Small FWS grants to upgrade Russian conservation infrastructure can lead to substantial improvements because of the relatively inexpensive cost of improvements in Russia, particularly when compared to the costs of similar work carried out in the United States.
• Open and regular dialogues between scientists have been more important in maintaining effective collaborative relationships than simply adhering to strictly defined respective roles of scientists from the two countries.
SOURCE: Information provided by Fish and Wildlife Service, April 2012.