This year work on the stations of Yerkuta and Sabetta will allow scientists to understand functioning of terrestrial ecosystems, how they react to climate change and presence of human on the Yamal Peninsula and in the Arctic in general. According to the deputy director of the Arctic research station of the Institute of plant and animal ecology, the Ural branch of the RAS, a leading researcher on the regional center for study of the Arctic Alexander Sokolov, they will study relations between voles and lemmings, foxes and arctic foxes, moving of ravens and gyrfalcons to the North after human. The research is being fulfilled at the expense of grants from Russian and French foundations.
The scientists of Yamal also won the victory in the contest of the company “Ekoton”, which produces radio collars for terrestrial animals. The biologists plan to mark arctic foxes with radio collars to study daily movement of the arctic predators. The scientists will catch the arctic foxes inside burrows, put collars on them and then will track them. Due to this, the scientists will learn, on what areas the animals live during the breeding season, on what types of food they specialize, and how the number of rodents influences on their relocations.
Natalia Sokolova, a senior researcher of the Arctic research station and a leading researcher of the center for study of the Arctic notes that these are pioneer studies. The work will be quite time-consuming; the biologists on Sabetta will have to overcome several tens kilometers per day. These observations are important because of wide spread of predators on the area of the new arctic port and the plant “Yamal LNG”. Also predators on Yerkuta will be marked with the new collars.
Within the field season the scientists will put automatic cameras on waders’ nests to check up the suppositions that closed artificial nests are ravaged by the arctic fox, and open nests - by both the arctic fox and feathered predators. According to the scientific center for study of the Arctic, analogous studies will be conducted by French colleagues in Greenland. A senior researcher of the Institute of plant and animal ecology, the Ural branch of the RAS Vasiliy Sokolov is the head of the project in Yamal.
Also this year, the biologists of Yamal and their colleagues from the German University of Giessen will continue the project on study of long-tailed ducks.