Arctic narwhal research expedition set off for Franz Josef Land

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MOSCOW, June 10. / TASS /. The second research expedition to study the narwhal, a rare marine mammal in the Russian Arctic, was sent from Arkhangelsk to the Franz Josef Land archipelago. This was reported by Gazprom Neft, which organized the expedition.

The examination will take place on the Mikhail Somov vessel equipped with a helicopter and drones. Such studies of this animal have not yet been carried out in Russia.

“The narwhal is a symbol of the fragility of the Arctic and an indicator of the state of its ecology. It is more susceptible to the ecological state of its habitat than other cetaceans. Therefore, observations of the narwhal make it possible to track the state of the Arctic ecosystem,” the company noted.

A team of scientists is studying the population of narwhals, as well as their neighbors – beluga whales and bowhead whales. This study will make it possible to adjust the assessment of the state of the population and begin work on a program for the protection of the species and its habitat.

“The results of the first scientific expedition of the Narwhal project have become extremely successful for all of us. We hope that during the second expedition we will be able to carry out the planned research and make a documentary about this unique Arctic animal,” said Alexander Dybal, a member of the Gazprom Neft board.

Narwhal is a rare cetacean species with a characteristic tusk. The narwhal lives in high latitudes – in the waters of the Arctic Ocean and in the North Atlantic. Main places: Franz Josef Land, waters around the Northern Island of Novaya Zemlya and Svalbard, the Canadian archipelago and the shores of Greenland. The body length of an adult narwhal usually reaches 3.8-4.5 m. Males weigh up to 2-3 tons, females weigh about 900 kg. Narwhal is listed in the Red Book.

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