Scientists found unique Ice Age ecosystem near Norilsk

Scientists found unique Ice Age ecosystem near Norilsk

December 02, 2022

A large-scale scientific study was carried out with the Nornickel’s support.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. Nornickel and scientists from the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (SB RAS) summed up the preliminary results of the Big Scientific Expedition (BSE), a large-scale study of biodiversity in the territories of the company’s operating enterprises in Transbaikalia and Taimyr.

 “Research of such a scale, when multidisciplinary expeditions are carried out with the involvement of experts from different institutes, is a rarity in Russia, since today such work in the regions is not sufficiently structured. Thanks to the company’s interest, the scientists were able to carry out the complex work that will allow them to create an objective picture of the environment state”, said Victor Glupov, the research head, the Russian Academy of Sciences’ corresponding member.

As a reminder, the Great Scientific Expedition is a continuation of cooperation between Nornickel and the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, which started in 2020 with the Great Norilsk Expedition and expanded to three regions where the company operates.

This year, scientists determined the company’s impact areas and assessed the current state of ecosystem biodiversity in the regions where Nornickel operates.

Scientists conducted field studies of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems – visual observations, sampling with their physical, chemical and physico-chemical analysis, study of the flora and fauna, avifauna and hydrobionts representatives’ composition.

Unexpected observations were made by ornithologists – they found in the Norilsk Industrial Region (NIR) several species of birds listed in various Red Books.

“During the work on the NIR territory, three species listed in the Russian Federation Red Book were noted: the white-tailed eagle, peregrine falcon and gyrfalcon, and the whooper swan was listed in the Krasnoyarsk region’s Red Book. Also, scientists recorded a large number of birds in the areas of the main water systems of Taimyr. Among them are the golden plover, black-throated diver, bean goose and many others”, said Victor Glupov.

In addition, the researchers found a site with an ecosystem – a relic of the Ice Age from the time of the mammoth megafauna. This site is of great scientific interest as a living witness of past eras and a valuable species resource in the context of global climate change. Such a unique ecosystem was found only in the region of Norilsk.

“Incredibly important and interesting work has been done. Discussing the parameters of the future study at the beginning of the year, we relied on the most stringent international standards. Therefore, I am sure that the results of the research will not only be useful to us and scientists, but will also form the basis of many scientific works that will expand knowledge about the amazing northern territories of our country. We do not plan to stop at this year’s results”, said Stanislav Seleznev, Nornickel vice president for Industrial Safety and Environment.

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Text: Anzhelika Stepanova, Photo: Marina Peshkova and Nornickel Press Service

December 02, 2022

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