#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Participants of the Pyasina-2022 integrated research expedition, which was carried out from July 15 to August 22, shared the preliminary results of monitoring the musk ox population in Taimyr.
According to Mikhail Bondar, deputy director of the Taimyr Reserves federal state budgetary institution, in the western part of the peninsula, musk oxen were practically not found, in the central part, the researchers noticed only single individuals and small herds.
“In the eastern part of Taimyr, in the places of its acclimatization: in the rivers Bikada-Nguoma, Bolshaya Balahnya basins and the lake Taimyr vicinity, the musk oxen population density was quite high, and the animals were found everywhere here in groups of an average number of 14–17 individuals. However, no large aggregations were encountered, the most numerous herd consisted of 29 individuals”, Mikhail Bondar said.
The musk ox Taimyr population counting was carried out mainly in the specially protected areas and adjacent areas of almost ten thousand kilometers using amphibious aircraft, as well as on the area of more than 15 thousand square kilometers on a single-engine aircraft Sterh.
Now scientists determine the total number of animals, their sex and age structure and herding. To assess the impact of climate change on the musk ox habitats, the researchers process weather parameters over the past 50 years, aerial photographs and available satellite images, as well as study the animals’ diet and their parasite fauna.
Experts believe that in the long term, a population of many thousands of musk oxen may appear in Taimyr.
Recall that the Taimyr musk oxen got on the pages of the Arctica-2035 publication, in 2021 in the Taimyr village of Volochanka, at the Tucker nomad farm, they received the first giviut – musk ox fluff, and in Norilsk they presented a book about the musk ox Grishka by name.
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Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko