7/31/2018 10:27:49 PM
2018 World Ranger Day Award
Every year, Polar Bears International recognizes an individual or team working on the front lines of polar bear conservation to reduce conflict between polar bears and people, a growing problem as more polar bears spend more time ashore in a warming Arctic.
This year we’re proud to recognize the hard work and dedication of Erling Madsen of Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland.
Madsen is the sole wildlife officer working in Ittoqqortoormiit, a coastal town of about 450 people bordering Greenland National Park—the largest national park in the world, where wildlife including muskoxen, walrus, and polar bears far outnumber people.
“Erling is our one-man army who spends a lot of his time, day and night, chasing polar bears away from town,” said Heidi Hansen, biologist and head of section for the Ministry of Fisheries, Hunting, and Agriculture in Nuuk, Greenland. “He is truly doing a great job, protecting the town’s inhabitants and the bears.”
Madsen has served as a wildlife officer since 2004. As sea ice conditions have deteriorated in the region, the community has experienced an increase in the number of polar bears approaching the town dump, making Madsen’s work more important than ever.
Polar Bears International’s World Ranger Day Award was initiated by Geoff York, our senior director of conservation. The award recognizes the courage and commitment of rangers like Madsen working in remote places and challenging conditions to keep polar bears and people safe. We presented our first award, in 2016, posthumously to Vladelin Kavry, who co-founded the Umky Patrol in Chukotka, Russia. Last year, the award went to the Polar Bear Alert team in Churchill, Canada.
The recognition includes an award certificate, online recognition, and a prize.