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Scientists to develop a methodology to assess state of Arctic ecosystem using data on polar bears

The project for the study of polar bears, which is being implemented by the Russian Academy of Sciences, will make it possible to assess the state of the Arctic ecosystem and threats to it. The scientists have started to develop a methodology that will establish correlation between the data on the polar bear population and on other components of the Arctic ecosystem, Vyacheslav Rozhnov, the director of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said today.
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«The task before us is to find correlates (parameters of correlation) showing the relationship between the state of ecosystems and animals that are indicators of the state of the ecosystem, such as polar bears,» the scientist said.

The RAS Polar Bear Research Programme started in 2010, he explained. To study the bears and their behaviour, collars with sensors are attached to the animals, in order to track their movements. Also, the Institute carries out hormonal, genetic, isotope, and other studies based on the results of the expedition, which makes it possible to understand what the bears feed on and how they adapt to the climate change.

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