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Премия рунета 2017

Research workers announced the results of sea otter counting conducted in May in the north Kurils

20 july 2020
Another stage of sea otter population study started in May in the framework of the joint WWF-Russia and Kinder® project.

The counting was conducted on Paramushir Island in May and June. The territory under survey was wider this time than in April. Researchers observed sea otters both from land and from water. More than 200 sea otters were spotted. Scientists emphasize that the report is preliminary and the numbers provided by the report cannot be extended to the whole region of the north Kurils.

“It would be absolutely wrong to compare the numbers which we got after a month or two of observation and the numbers provided after a year of research. The results of observation in April, May, and June demonstrate seasonal dynamics on a certain part of the islands,” said Sergey Kornev, a member of the Council on Marine Mammals, Ph.D.

The results which scientists have at hand resemble those of the same timeframe of 2017 when a previous observation was conducted. The local population of sea otters does not show any fluctuation.

The researchers also managed to collect sea otters’ biomaterial for analysis in order to determine the composition of animal nutrition. Experts on mollusks and invertebrates are already studying the samples in the laboratory in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Monthly monitoring is important for the protection of marine mammals, animal death detection. The next stage of counting will take place approximately in the first half of August.

“In August, we plan to study Shumshu, Paramushir, and other small adjacent islands entirely in a short period of time. The animals will not have time to move significantly around the islands in 1-2 days, and therefore the data will reflect the real situation with the number of sea otters at the present time. There are no formulas or coefficients to extrapolate the data. Only those individuals are taken into account, meetings with which were confirmed directly by the surveyors. After the general calculation, the situation will become clearer,” said Sergei Kornev.
© photo in the preview and the head – Sergey Marshuk
For additional information please contact
Head of WWF Kamchatka/Bering Sea Ecoregional Office