Ukrainian Polar Explorers Study Whales with Drones

by Roman Cheplyk
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Ukrainian Polar Explorers Study Whales with Drones

Biologists of the Antarctic station "Academician Vernadsky" deepen knowledge about the largest animals on our planet 

The National Antarctic scientific centre reported that the Ukrainian station Academician Vernadsky continues its work despite the war. The project continues its exploration near the Antarctic peninsula. Scientists have begun to study whales with the help of modern technology in order to deepen knowledge and not interfere with their everyday life.

"Despite all the challenges of a large-scale war, Ukrainian scientists continue scientific research in Antarctica with the involvement of new research methods. Yes, this season our biologists started using drones to better study the planet's largest animals – whales," said the science centre.

Drones will help to learn the age and state of the whale population, interaction, and behaviour of animals among themselves. Whales are enormous, so it is almost impossible to measure them on a boat – too many mistakes. Drone photos help accurately determine the size of the largest animals (from 13 to 30 m in length). Researchers have already photographed humpback whales, fins, orcas, seals Weddell, and penguins near the Academician Vernadsky station. In addition, Ukrainian scientists managed to obtain acoustic records of marine mammals.

In addition, the Ukrainian program wants to research whales' reactions to boats. The data will help scientists to adjust the methods of mammalian research.

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