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Author Topic: Effects on Arctic Wildlife  (Read 9264 times)

b_lumenkraft

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Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
« Reply #50 on: February 20, 2019, 08:02:29 PM »
Ha! Good news for once.

Keep them coming, please.

vox_mundi

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Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
« Reply #51 on: April 29, 2019, 12:39:14 AM »
Russian Navy Beluga Whale
http://www.hisutton.com/Russia_Navy_Beluga_Whale.html

Fishermen in Finnmark in northern Norway recently found a Beluga whale wearing a tight harness for external equipment. The whale was first sighted near the island of Ingøy early in the week of 22nd April 2019, with photos taken and the harness removed on 24th April. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the whale escaped from a Russian Navy program, most likely during an exercise.

The location is on the edge of the whale’s natural arctic habitat, but the whale has clearly escaped from captivity. It was tame and returned to the local fishermen on several occasions until they were able to remove the harness. When removed, the harness was found to include the label “Equipment of St. Petersburg”. It is not thought that Russian scientists (nor Norwegian scientists!) use harnesses in this way during research, and all fingers are pointing to the Russian Navy based nearby on the Kola Peninsular.

... The harness was reported to be for a camera, likely similar to a go-pro. This implies use in underwater reconnaissance, possibly of objects on the sea floor.

The Soviet Navy operated a marine mammal program in the Black Sea but this was subsequently closed. This discovery demonstrates that the Russian Navy is still working with marine mammals, this time in the Arctic.

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Whale with harness could be Russian weapon, say Norwegian experts 
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/apr/29/whale-with-harness-could-be-russian-weapon-say-norwegian-experts

... A 2017 report by TV Zvezda, a station owned by the defence ministry, revealed that the Russian navy has again been training beluga whales, seals and bottlenose dolphins for military purposes in polar waters.

The recent research and training was done by Murmansk Sea Biology Research Institute in northern Russia on behalf of the navy to see if beluga whales could be used to “guard entrances to naval bases’” in arctic regions, “assist deepwater divers and if necessary kill any strangers who enter their territory”.

Dolphins and seals meanwhile were trained to carry tools for divers and detect torpedoes, mines, and other ammunition which has sunk to depths of up to 120 metres. Government public records records show that the defence ministry purchased five bottle-nosed dolphins, aged between three and five, from Moscow’s Utrish Dolphinarium in 2016 at a cost of £18,000.

During their research the Murmansk sea biology research institute concluded dolphins and seals were much more suited to the training and arctic climates than the beluga whales. The whales were deemed too sensitive to the cold and did not have the same “high professionalism” of seals, which had a far better memory for remembering oral commands
« Last Edit: April 29, 2019, 08:46:39 AM by vox_mundi »
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late

vox_mundi

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Re: Effects on Arctic Wildlife
« Reply #52 on: May 23, 2019, 01:40:07 PM »
Study Predicts Shift to Smaller Animals Over Next Century
https://phys.org/news/2019-05-shift-smaller-animals-century.html

Researchers predict the average (median) body mass of mammals specifically will collectively reduce by 25 per cent over the next century. This decline represents a large, accelerated change when compared with the 14 per cent body size reduction observed in species from 130,000 years ago (the last interglacial period) until today.

In the future, small, fast-lived, highly-fertile, insect-eating animals, which can thrive in a wide-variety of habitats, will predominate. These 'winners' include rodents, such as dwarf gerbil—and songbirds, such as the white-browed sparrow-weaver. Less adaptable, slow-lived species, requiring specialist environmental conditions, will likely fall victim of extinction. These 'losers' include the tawny eagle and black rhinoceros.

... "The substantial 'downsizing' of species which we forecast could incur further negative impacts for the long-term sustainability of ecology and evolution. This downsizing may be happening due to the effects of ecological change but, ironically, with the loss of species which perform unique functions within our global ecosystem, it could also end up as a driver of change too."

Findings are published in detail in the journal Nature Communications. 

Open Access: R. Cooke, et.al., Projected losses of global mammal and bird ecological strategies, Nature Communications (2019)

Quote
... The future defaunation explored here also shows parallels to historic extinction events, such as the late Quaternary extinctions, which likely disrupted species interactions, reduced long-distance seed dispersal, and fundamentally restructured energy flow and nutrient cycling through communities. Moreover, a growing number of studies support the hypothesis that the late Quaternary extinctions had cascading effects on small vertebrates and plant community biodiversity and function, resulting in ecosystem shifts comparable in magnitude to those generated by climatic fluctuations   
“There are three classes of people: those who see. Those who see when they are shown. Those who do not see.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Insensible before the wave so soon released by callous fate. Affected most, they understand the least, and understanding, when it comes, invariably arrives too late