All three of our expeditions to the Kuril Islands were completed successfully. The season began with the “Abode of Thunder” research expedition to the seven islands of the Southern and Middle Kurils, from Iturup Island in the south to the beautiful Yankich Island in the north. The second research expedition “Kunashir” covered two islands of the Kuril Chain – Iturup and Kunashir. And the third – an informative mini-expedition “Unknown Iturup” passed through the southwestern part of Iturup Island. During the expeditions we managed to collect interesting information on the distribution and abundance, as well as on the behavior of marine mammals and some species of birds. Among the most interesting were the observation of the “farewell procession” of sperm whales and the unusual behavior of a pair of fin whales. During all the expeditions, the participants got unforgettable emotions from communication with the unique nature of the Southern and Middle Kurils.
More than 4500 kilometers were covered by the participants of the expeditions across Dagestan and Kalmykia on the expeditionary off-road vehicle. Unexpected snow in sunny Dagestan, heavy rains in arid Kalmykia became surprises, but did not stop the expedition members … We managed to complete almost the entire planned program and also to see a lot of new and unexpected things! As expected, Kalmykia pleased us with the beautiful flowering of tulips, irises and other flowers. We were pleasantly surprised by Burning Water Source, Buddhist temples and buildings. Dagestan was just great! The beautiful alpine lake Kezenoy-Am in spring flowers, the way to it along the field mountain roads … the wonderful Samur
liana forest with the incomparable singing of birds and many other places amazed the participants of the expedition …
From March 1 to March 5, the international online conference “Marine mammals of the Holarctic” was held in Moscow. 319 scientists from 20 countries of the world took part in its work. The “Finval” Research Center was represented by Andrey Semenov. He made an oral report: “Distribution and abundance of the
Laptev walrus in the coastal area of the Laptev Sea.” In addition to this report, we presented 2 poster reports: “Distribution and abundance of marine mammals in the coastal zone of Southeastern Chukotka, Eastern Kamchatka and the Kuril Islands in the summer of 2018 – 2019.” and “Marine mammals of the coastal zone of the Laptev Sea”.
In the Collection of Scientific Papers “Marine mammals of the Holarctic”, printed in 2018, 2 articles by the members of the “Finval” Research Center were published. The first article: “Haulouts of the Laptev walrus in the western part of the Laptev Sea” (by A.R. Semenov) is the result of the study of the Laptev subspecies of walrus during 3 research expeditions. For the first time since the description of the subspecies by Chapsky (1941), extensive information on the distribution, abundance, sex and age structure of this subspecies in the western part of the Laptev Sea has been collected. The second article: “Encounters of marine mammals in the coastal zone of the eastern part of the Kara Sea” (by A.R. Semenov A.R., S.S Evfratova) is the result of expeditions in 2016-2017, when the research routes covered 4083 km. of the waters of the Kara Sea. You can read the articles (beginning on pages 289 and 297) here: