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Scientists to use drones to watch polar bears on Wrangel Island

May 15, 2018, 16:44 UTC+3 TASS

By using drones, researchers will be able to see how many new cubs appear in winter

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© Artiom Geodakyan/TASS

TASS, May 15. Russian scientists will use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to watch polar bears on the Wrangel Island. UAVs will be bought during the current year, and scientists will begin using them in spring, 2019, Director of the Wrangel Island natural reserve Alexander Gruzdev told TASS.

"Drones will be bought and delivered to Chukotka this year, and we shall begin using them in March-April, 2019, at the time when mother-bears and cubs are leaving dens," he told TASS. Drones will let scientists watch more carefully the dens, which sometimes are difficult to see from the ground. By using drones, researchers would be able to see how many new cubs appear in winter.

The researchers will take training courses to work with drones. Russia’s several natural parks have been using drones - for example, the Russian Arctic in the Arkhangelsk Region, or Beringiya in Chukotka. Besides, scientists will start using thermographic cameras.

Currently, the Chukotka-Alaska population of polar bear is the biggest in the world. Scientists say it unites 3,300 animals.

The Wrangel Island national reserve’s area is 2.2 million hectares. The reserve is located in the Chukotka Autonomous Region.

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