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Siberian scientists examine more than 70,000 sq km in areas of Nornickel's operations

It is reported that over recent 30 years, an expedition had such a scale practically for the first time

MOSCOW, December 22. /TASS/. The Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch conducted practically the only in recent 30 years biodiversity survey at more than 70,000 square kilometers near Nornickel's industrial assets, the expedition's press service said.

"Together with the reference areas, the territory, where we collected the material, made about 71,300 square kilometers, and the work involved a very big number of people," said the works' leader, Director of the Institute of Systematics and Ecology of Animals (the Russian Academy of Sciences' Siberian Branch) Viktor Glupov. "We worked with great tension, and next stage - post-field studies - began parallel to field works. To date, we have not processed and analyzed fully the collected material. However, the results we have received already give many opportunities for evaluation, so that we could already present a certain general picture, details of which we will disclose and confirm in the future."

Before the expedition, scientists studied archived data to realize the biodiversity data for most territories had been incomplete. They could not see data on flora and fauna near Norilskgazprom and Norilsktransgaz or near enterprises in the Trans-Baikal Region. The ecological state of soils' assessment and its relation to biological diversity has not been carried out earlier.

During the expedition, the scientists surveyed 31,400 square kilometers near assets of the Norilsk and Energy Divisions on the Yenisey's right bank, 11,300 square kilometers - in the Kola Division's Nickel-Zapolyarny and Monchegorsk, and about 7,800 square kilometers around plants in the Trans-Baikal Region. Additionally, about 5,600 square kilometers near Norilskgazprom at the border between the Krasnoyarsk Region and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region, and 1,260 square kilometers near the Krasnoyarsk and the Lesosibisk river ports.

"Over recent 30 years, an expedition had such a scale practically for the first time," the scientist said. "Such vast territory surveys at a time and in different seasons have practically never been conducted."

The basic biodiversity survey continues the work, which the Norilsk Nickel Company (Nornickel) and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch began in 2020. Since the Great Norilsk Expedition, this work has extended into another three regions. The survey’s purpose is to identify Nornickel’s impact zones and to assess biodiversity in areas of Nornickel’s operations. The research results will be used in building out a corporate biodiversity management system and biodiversity monitoring and conservation programs.