Arctic Research Station in Labytnangi (Part 2)

The Arctic Research Station has been engaging in work since 1954, located on the bank of the Ob’ river, Yamal Peninsula. It separates Labytnangi from the city of Salekhard, and 50 km to the West the Ural mountains are located, they are the natural barrier that fenced us off from the European part of Russia. The research station is department of the Institute of Plant and Animal Ecology. It was established to conduct comprehensive research on the nature of the North. The Yamal Peninsula is a unique geographical region with rich biodiversity and many ethnic groups.

The Arctic Research station team is on a visit to Konstantin Serotetto family (Photo: the Arctic Research Station)

Long-term observations on rodents, Arctic foxes and a huge number of bird species are conducted on numerous field sites of the Yamal Peninsula, which is also unique in its bright latitudinal zoning. The study site Kharp is located in the subzone of forest tundra, sites on the banks of the Erkuta locate the Southern (shrubby) tundra subzone, Sabetta is placed in border between typical and arctic tundra, and Beliy Island represents Arctic tundra.

The 2020 field season spring a lot of surprises, one of which was the appearance on Erkuta of the water vole (Arvicola amphibius), it is a new species for this research area! The highest number of rodents in the last 20 years was also recorded. The number of voles and lemmings increased, it affects the rough-legged buzzard (Buteo lagopus) nesting density. In these field sessions our ornithologists have found 5 eggs in a clutch, it is the maximum that specialists have ever recorded in Yamal.













Natalia Sokolova is keeping in hands the Arctic lemming; the water vole near the Erkuta camp (Photos: the Arctic Research Station)

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