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Scientists and WWF-Russia staff members set camera traps for sea lions
25 december 2019
One of the rookeries of marine mammals located within the boundaries of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky falls into the lenses of two camera traps. For the day, cameras take 480 images each, which will help researchers in assessing the state of the rare animal population.
WWF-Russia donated two camera traps to scientists. The cameras are installed on a Steller Sea lion rookery at Cape Chavycha. This is one of the three rookeries of the endangered marine mammals within the boundaries of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and the most numerous one. According to scientists, up to six dozen animals can gather here. And in past years, researchers managed to count up to 250 individuals here.
Researchers are constantly monitoring the number of animals in the rookery and their gender and age composition. For this purpose, experts travel to the cape for field observations once or twice a week. Such short visits have a number of predictable limitations: scientists have the opportunity to observe animals only during a certain period of their daily activity.
The installed cameras are configured in such a way that allows them to take one picture of the rookery per minute for eight hours, while the daylight hours last. Thanks to this mode, researchers can observe the rookery during the day in dynamics, which significantly expands the possibilities of analysis and assessment of the state of the population.
The data obtained using camera traps after processing will form the basis of scientific articles and reports. The cameras will stay on the rookery until the beginning of summer - in June Steller's Sea lions migrate from the “urban” rookeries and to reproductive rookeries in the Kuril and Commander Islands.
WWF employees have repeatedly participated in cleaning up rookeries on Cape Chavycha from debris.