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Trekking to Kamchatka in August and September 2019

Kamchatka is truly wilderness without crowds of hikers or signs of civilization. We saw eight bears during trekking in August and sixteen in September. Weather was different, from warm sunny days to chilly rain. The coldest temperatures were about zero degrees.

The Arctic ground squirrel lives on the tundra and is prey to the Arctic fox, the red fox, wolverine, lynx, the grizzly bear, and eagles. It is one of the few Arctic animals, along with their close relatives the marmots that hibernate. In the summer it forages for tundra plants, seeds, and fruit to increase body fat for its winter hibernation. By late summer the male Arctic ground squirrel begins to store food in its burrow so that in the spring it will have edible food until the new vegetation has grown.

The black-capped marmot (Marmota camtschatica) is a species of rodent in the family Sciuridae. It is endemic to the Russian Far East, but its range is discontinuous and divided into three main parts, each with its own subspecies. The black-capped marmot lives in arctic tundra and alpine habitats from near sea-level to an altitude of 2000m. It is a relatively small marmot (weight 1.655.4 kg) with a short tail and a distinct brown-black top of the head. Depending on exact subpopulation, they hibernate for 68 months each year, which is long for a marmot. Black-capped Marmot hibernates from September to mid-May. It is a diurnal and sedentary mammal.

Bolshaya Udina volcano

Rhododendrons are blossoming in late August

Sunlight after few days of overcast

Mother bear with cub

Bear watching - new outdoor activity

Tolbachik volcano in autumn colors

Bolshaya Udina volcano

Pika is small animals which looks like a hamster. Nevertheless it is said it is close to hares. Usually they are busy collecting grass for winter stock.

The stoat (Mustela erminea), also known as the ermine or short-tailed weasel.

Rock ptarmigan

Buff-bellied pipit (Anthus rubescens), or American pipit. We met small flock of these birds on hills near Ovalnaya Zimina volcano

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