Protection of endangered species: the walrus

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Photo: Varvara Semenova
Photo: Varvara Semenova

The project "Walrus" 

Supported by the Russian Geographical Society since 2013. 

The purpose of the project: to study and preserve various subspecies of walrus in the conditions of intensification of economic development in key habitats of the walrus. 

The project is being implemented in collaboration with FSBI "National Park "Russian Arctic". 

The project of monitoring the population status of the walrus in reserve "Franz Josef Land" is carried out using satellite imagery RDC ScanEx. This method has proved to be promising for monitoring spices in difficult and remote locations. The total number of walruses in the area of 9 studied rookeries is not big - about 2,700 individuals. Biopsy samples were taken from 10 individuals at 3 different rookeries. Assessment of genetic intrapopulation diversity of the Atlantic walrus from the northern and southern parts of the Barents Sea revealed no significant differences between the groups. Previously it was thought that they are isolated from each other. 

This year it is planned to assess the current number of walruses on 4 rookeries in the Chukotka rayon of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, the level of seasonal mortality of animals and factors (anthropogenic, climate, etc..) that affect the state of their populations.