On Vaygach Island scientists are protected from polar bears. But the hosts of the Arctic are still curious | Север-Пресс



On Vaygach Island scientists are protected from polar bears. But the hosts of the Arctic are still curious

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Equipment that will allow protecting employees from meetings with polar bears was set on the meteorological station named after Fyodorov on Vaygach Island.

4 specialists live and work permanently on the sea hydro-meteorological station. One of migration routes of polar bears passes here, on the northern tip of Vaygach Island, between the Kara and Barents seas. Beasts of prey quite often become uninvited guests of polar explorers. Thus, in August and September of this year, the hosts of the Arctic visited the station almost every day, sometimes — single individuals, often — she-bears with cubs.

Fortunately, as a result of such meetings, neither people nor animals listed in the Red Book suffered on Vaygach. However, such “visits” significantly complicate work of the specialists – sometimes the station personnel were literally under the siege and were afraid to go outside during several days.

“Prevention from conflicts between humans and polar bears is one of the most important directions of our work”, as Oleg Sutkaitis, the director of the Barents Sea Branch of the WWF Russia notes. – “It is obvious that due to climate change and reduction of ice cover in the Arctic in the future beasts of prey will come to people more often. I hope that our project will help to avoid negative consequences of such meetings”.

“The polar station on Vaygach Island stays one of the most attractive for polar bears”, Roman Yershov, the head of the Federal state budgetary institution “Northern department for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring” said. – “Measures taken by the establishment together with the World Wildlife Fund on this station should show effectiveness in terms of protection of polar bears and safety of employees of the station. In the future it is planned to use the experience of the station named after E. K. Fyodorov on other polar stations as well”.

The grant of the World Wildlife Fund given to the Northern department for hydrometeorology and environmental monitoring allowed equipping the building of the meteorological station. All windows are equipped with strong bars – a curious bear will not get inside. The perimeter is equipped with floodlights and video surveillance system. Thus, the polar explorers can see all the territory around the station and, going outside, will not be afraid of a sudden attack of a beast of prey.

The system is already giving the first results: immediately after installation the camera caught a polar bear that was standing right at the entrance to the building. The meteorologists are sure that this animal is not the last “uninvited guest” on the station – long winter is ahead.