Test aerial surveys of polar bears will be conducted in the Arctic
Test aerial surveys of polar bears will be held from August to September, 2020 in the Russian Arctic. According to the website of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, the relevant agreement was signed on Wednesday.
The document was signed between The Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources Management ( Rosprirodnadzor ), NPO“Center for Polar Initiative” and the International Ecological Fund “Clean Seas”. The agreement provides research of coastal areas from Yamal to Taimyr and conducting test aerial surveys of the polar bear. The data collected will help assess the magnitude of the threats to the polar bear, develop a detailed plan for protecting these animals and generally evaluate the environmental situation in the Russian Arctic.
According to Svetlana Radionova, the Head of Rosprirodnadzor, there are several threats to the polar bear today, including poaching, global warming and human activities. “Garbage appeared in the diet of this predator and this is a frightening fact. Moreover, we still don’t even know the exact number of the three main populations of these animals”, said Svetlana Radionova.
Aerial surveys will be carried out with the help of the La-8 and L-42 amphibious aircrafts, as well with the drones. In 2019, a similar experience was successfully applied to account marine mammals of the Black Sea. The total length of the scientific expedition route will be more than 10 thousand km. The program provides a visual survey of polar bears and marine mammals, oil spills and trash. These studies will be carried out using cameras and infrared equipment.