Kamchatka scientists will observe seals and sea otters using camera traps

Scientists of the Kronotsky Reserve installed photo traps on one of the rocks of the archipelago in the waters of the South Kamchatka Federal Reserve.

They will monitor the seals and sea otters of Utashud Island.
According to the press service of the reserve, Kam 24 news agency, camera traps and related materials were delivered on an Anisifor Krupenin boat. Reserved area security officers have installed a structure that will protect equipment from strong winds and curious bears. A photorecorder is a box in which an automatic camera and a battery are placed, which is powered by a solar panel and takes pictures every hour. Using photomonitoring, changes in the state of marine mammal populations over the course of a year will be monitored.

Occasionally, these predators swim to Utashud, located four kilometers from the shores of Vestnik Bay, to ravage the nests of seabirds, to obtain seals and sea otters weakened or killed during storms.

“Previously, we could monitor the condition of marine mammals only when visiting the island during the field season. But this was impossible to do from November to May, when navigation for small vessels was closed. Now the data is written to the memory cards every minute and with each visit we will be able to receive information about the real situation at the rookery. It is very important to know what happens in Utashud in the winter, how many animals are here during this period. So far, we have not had the opportunity to receive such information. And most importantly, we will conduct monitoring remotely without causing concern to marine mammals, which are sensitive to the presence of people, ”said Ivan Usatov, senior researcher at the Kronotsky State Reserve, marine biologist.


On the island of Utashud in the Pacific waters of the South Kamchatka Federal Reserve, a unique population of larg is reproduced for the Far East. Every year on the island in April, more than 30 squirrels are born – this is the name of cub larg, whose “children’s” fluff is snow-white. In addition, colonies of 10 species of seabirds with a total number of more than 22 thousand pairs are concentrated in Utashude, including one of the largest settlements of Pacific gulls in Kamchatka and a colony of hatchets.

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