#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. The first Polar Bear Census research expedition stage has ended on the Wrangel island. As part of the study, scientists used a new monitoring method – unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) Orlan.
According to the Russian Federation Natural Resources Ministry’s press service, the aircraft monitoring of the bears was carried out in the first half of September, when the ice strip off the coast is minimal and all the Wrangel polar bears are concentrated on the island.
As a result of the work performed, almost 23 thousand photographs were taken.
“The UAV total flight time was over 103 hours, and the total route length was 8317 kilometers. In addition, various territories were examined: the coast, plains, mountains. The animals detection places were mapped with a coordinate-temporal binding (358 white bears)”, the department specialists explained.
According to the expedition head, the Russian Natural Resources Ministry’s Reserves Cente’ deputy director Olga Krever, the polar bears monitoring method using UAV Orlan is planned to be widely introduced in the Arctic zone.
“In addition to counting the polar bears on Wrangel island, their distribution was clarified, condition and habitats were assessed. The polar bear’s fodder objects are also under research – walruses, whales, seals, lahtaks, as well as musk oxen and water birds. Information about animals’ death on Wrangel island and cases of eating the fallen animals by white bears is collected”, added Olga Krever.
Based on the archive of the collected materials, scientists have to calculate the number of bears on Wrangel island by Nikita Chelintsev’s method data extrapolation.
Earlier, we told about a wounded polar bear salvation from the Dikson island. Nornickel took an active part in the rescue operation, and now the Red Book animal is undergoing rehabilitation at the Moscow Zoo.
Text: Ekaterina Elkanova, photo: Denis Kozhevnikov