Autonomous walrus observation point established on the Greater Oransky Islands
© RIA Novosti. Andrej Shapran

Autonomous walrus observation point established on the Greater Oransky Islands

Equipment for a new Atlantic walrus observation point was unloaded and installed on Eastern Greater Oransky Island of the Novaya Zemlya archipelago. The ship Mikhail Somov delivered the house for scientists as part of the annual summer navigation.

The observation point will be located in the southern cluster of Russian Arctic National Park. It is an autonomous house for four people with the necessary amenities for cooking, rest and work. Scientists will be able to continuously monitor walrus rookeries. Previously, their work schedule was highly dependent on the current weather conditions on the island.

"It is very important to organize the continuous long-term observation of walruses in order to study changes in numbers, the timing of gathering in rookeries, the influence of various factors on the animals, and their relationship with polar bears. The observation point is needed for tagging walruses, and studying their behavior and diet. All this requires conditions for scientists," said Ivan Mizin, deputy director of Russian Arctic National Park.

In turn, project coordinator of the WWF Russia Barents branch Margarita Leskova emphasized that the entire international community is focusing on the Arctic, so it is necessary to understand, among other things, what is happening with the population of Atlantic walruses, which humans almost exterminated a couple of centuries ago. "Thanks to the stationary observation point, every year we will be able to see if all is well with the walruses, and we will be able to take action in time," she added.

Along with the autonomous house, camera traps were also brought to the Oransky Islands, which will help scientists monitor walruses and their behavior.