By Maria Vasilyeva
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Scientists in northern Russia have discovered a giant hippocampus on the coast of the Kara Sea, where their habitat is threatened by shrinking ice and human activity.
The shelter, a place of hippocampus that gather, breed and exchange, is located in a remote corner of Russia’s Yamal peninsula, and scientists say they counted more than 3,000 there in December. before.
The hippocampus paths are often located on icebergs or on islands in the arctic, scientists say. But warmer climate cycles mean that sea ice is shrinking and habitat is under threat from more oil exploration and transport in the Arctic.
Aleksander Sokolov, a senior Arctic researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, said: “This escape is unique because there are both male and female hippocampus, as well as calves of different ages. “.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed this species as “nearly threatened”; in 2016, estimating the total number of mature Atlantic hippos in the world to be 12,500.
Before commercial hunting was banned worldwide in the mid-20th century, their populations were threatened by overexploitation for ivory and heroin.
Andrei Boltunov, from the Center for Marine Mammal Research and Exploration, said the Yamal Sea Route was first discovered last year but was only accurately recorded last month, showing populations of the Great hippocampus The Atlantic is recovering.
“We want to believe that is a positive sign,” Boltunov said, but at the moment there is too little information to draw a broad conclusion.
According to Boltunov, the ice-free season of the Kara Sea has become longer in recent decades.
Scientists took DNA samples and satellite tagged several walruses to track their movements for several months.
But Boltunov says a lot needs to be done to determine what makes this particular Arctic beach so appealing to the thousands of walruses and possible steps can be taken to protect them.
(Reported by Maria Vasilyeva and Anastasia Adasheva; Written by Maria Vasilyeva; Editing by Andrew Osborn and Raissa Kasolowsky)