The official instrument for threatened species in Russia is The Red Data Book. This is a document established for listing rare and endangered species of wild animals, plants, and fungi, as well as some subspecies and separate populations. The book is considered important for organizing investigations and monitoring programs on such species and their habitats, and for developing and implementing special measures to their protection and rehabilitation.
In 1978 the species was listed in the first issue of the Red Data Book, and the current Red Data Book was updated in 2001.
Ranges of two subpopulations (the Kara and Laptev subpopulations) have been distinguished by the PBSG to entirely lie in the Russian Arctic, while the other two (the subpopulations of the Barents and Chukchi seas) are under Russian-Norwegian and Russian-US jurisdiction correspondingly. The Red Data Book distinguishes only three populations of polar bears in the Russian Arctic, as it considers that the Kara and the Barents are the same population, in addition to the Laptev and the Chukchi-Alaskan populations.
The national status table as presented in The Red Data Book is shown below.
|Kara-Barents||4 (Uncertain status)||Taxa and populations which apparently belong to one of the above categories but there are considerable gaps in knowledge on them or they do not exactly meet the criteria for the other categories.|
|Laptev||3 (Rare)||Taxa and populations with low number of individuals inhabiting limited territory (marine area) or sporadically distributed over extensive territory (marine area).|
|Chukchi-Alaskan||5 (Rehabilitated and rehabilitating||Taxa and populations whose number and distribution is recovered or recovering due to undertaken protective measures. They are close to the state of stable existence without any urgent measures on protection and rehabilitation.|