Experts advise on marine mammals in August for the first time managed to install a satellite tag on the Atlantic walrus Vaigach Island in the Barents Sea, said on Wednesday the head of the "Polar Bear Patrol" of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Viktor Nikiforov.
"For the first time in the history of the study of this type of marine mammal animal was tagged in the southern part of the Barents Sea, and the label is used in Russia. Tagged walrus Tivat got a nickname that in Nenets means walrus" — Nikiforov told RIA Novosti.
Leaving a couple of days after tagging rookery on the west coast of the island, Tivat Vaigach walked from the south, passed through the Strait Yugorsky and headed east to the Yamal Peninsula. Contrary to the expectations of experts he came ashore in Yamal, and before reaching the peninsula a few miles, turned around and went north. Ten days journey by sea Tivat went to the eastern shore of the North Island of Novaya Zemlya, breaking a total of about a thousand miles.
"Walrus — the most vulnerable species of marine mammals that inhabit the western sector of the Russian Arctic, which turns the exploration, production and transportation of hydrocarbons. Expert Advisory Group on the Atlantic walrus, established in 2009 with the support of WWF, to evaluate the current status of walrus in the south-east Barents Sea and formulated research priorities. Through cooperation with OAO "Gazprom Neft" Marine Mammal Council was able to start a very important work on the seasonal distribution and migration of Atlantic walrus — Atlantic walrus is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Now we have objective evidence that walruses southeastern part of the Barents Sea related to the walrus of the Kara Sea, "- said the deputy chairman of the Council of the Marine Mammal Andrew eggs.
This is not the first achievement of Russian scientists to study the Red sea mammals made the departing summer. Previously, employees "Polar Bear Patrol" WWF Russia discovered a new Atlantic walrus rookery Kolguev Island in the Barents Sea, which helped to better understand the seasonal distribution of walruses. Found that, along with the island Vaigach and islands in the Nenets reserve Kolguev island plays an important role in the preservation of walruses in the southern part of the Barents Sea, where, according to experts, home to about two thousand animals.
"This work shows that for the Atlantic walrus habitat is very important except the south and the Barents Sea is the Kara Sea — it means that you need to develop and adopt a set of preventive measures in these waters to ensure the safety of the Red Book species before starting the development of the Arctic shelf oil and gas companies "- said the coordinator of the environmental policy of the fuel and energy complex of Russia Alexei Knizhnikov WWF.
Atlantic walrus — a unique view of the Barents Sea Ecoregion. These pinnipeds mammals are in the Red Book of Russia. Of particular concern is an acute shortage of specialist information on population — not the number of walruses or their exact habitat is still unknown. There are only scraps of information about the rookeries brought scholars of the few expeditions, and stories of local inhabitants of the coast.