SibFU scientists to head to the Arctic

Scientists of Siberian Federal University will participate in expeditions to study the key species of the Arctic ecosystems. A large-scale research project designed to have eight research expeditions in the Laptev, Barents and Kara Seas until 2023, was announced by Rosneft.

The program continues the research of polar bears, walruses and reindeer, carried out by Rosneft in 2014–2018, and resulted in the collection and systematization of unique scientific materials on the current state of the Arctic animals.

Since 2014, Siberian Federal University has been implementing a large-scale project “The Evenki deer” to study the status and territorial distribution of the wild reindeer population in Evenki municipal district of Krasnoyarsk Territory. The study became possible thanks to the support of JSC East Siberian Oil and Gas Company, a subsidiary of Rosneft.

‘Although the wild reindeer have long been the subject of study, the global changes that are deploying on the planet today bring up completely new questions for researchers,’ said Alexander Savchenko, head of the project for the study of wild reindeer, Doctor of Biological Sciences, head of the Department of Game Resource Studies and Reserve Management and Studies, professor of Siberian Federal University. ‘Any data being obtained, especially using modern technologies, in no small way allow to puzzle out and understand what is happening with the northern species and the underlying reasons.’

The scope of upcoming research will be unprecedented in the history of the study of the region. As part of the study, they are planning more than 170 hours of aviation research, including using unmanned aerial vehicles. The aerial survey will be carried out on an area of more than 500 thousand sq.km. During more than 200 days of the field observations, the researchers are going to tag and ring more than 100 animals and birds and gather more than 1000 biological samples for subsequent laboratory analysis. After the field studies, 10 laboratories of the country, including the regional ones, will analyse the obtained materials.

Elena Lebedeva, deputy director of the Department of Industrial, Occupational and Environmental Safety for Exploration and Production at Rosneft: “In 2020, we are planning to conduct research on polar bears, walruses and deer, as well as Ivory gulls. Three expeditions will be in 2021: two will be on deer, and one — on bears and walruses. Two expeditions in 2022 will be on deer, bears and walruses. All the results which we will receive will be published in separate information booklets, which will enable using these results, and will also be included in the periodical print publications by the company.”

Arctic Biodiversity Conservation Program

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