March 27, 2016
First Atlantic Walrus research results obtained
During the meeting with the 2015 expedition participants held in the Darwin Museum, Andrey Boltunov, the Marine Mammal Council Executive Vice President, shared preliminary results of the Atlantic walrus research.
The first data have been already obtained from the satellite tags installed on the walruses in 2015 on Vaygach Island. The tracks of the tagged species indicate that the majority of animals remained, like in previous years, in the Pechora sea for four months – the lifespan of a tag. The animals preferred onshore haulouts of Vaygach and Matveev Islands, and only standalone species “designed” more complicated routes. For instance, a blind walrus with an installed tag covered a large distance in the Pechora sea first, and then headed to the Kara Sea, to the shores of Yamal.
The data of the GPS trackers installed on walrus tusks in 2015 arouse the curiosity of the researchers. The Marine Mammal Council experts are looking forward to a new fieldwork season to head off to Vaygach Island and receive data of the walrus routes from special receiving stations installed on the island.
Apart from the tagging work, microbiology and toxicology samples are being actively researched. It is currently difficult to announce the results of the work, as the samples have been handed to the laboratories not long ago.
The provided illustration to the “Research and preservation of the Atlantic walrus in the eastern part of the Barents Sea” publication features tracks of ten walruses, researched in 2014.