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Russian Squirrels cross 14KM of ice to colonize remote island
(translation from Russian) In the northwest part of the national park “Beringia”-the island of Kolychin finished the field season. The main surprise of 2018-regular meetings in different parts of the island longtailed Gopher-Evrazhek. This usual for continental Chukotka species is marked on the island for the first time in 16 years of monitoring. To move to a new place of residence, Evrazhkam had to overcome on the ice of the strait Sergievsky distance of 14 kilometers, separating the island of Kolichin from the mainland.
According to the residents of Nutepelmen village, many of whom were born in Kolycin in the time of existence of the village, before Evrazhki never lived on the island. The same is confirmed by the former employees of the polar station operating on the island until 1992.
“We are faced with the fact of settling the gopher of a remote Sea island and can confidently infer the ability of these rodents to cross large spaces of sea ice. Most likely, such changes in the ground fauna of the island of Kolichin are connected with the modern period of warming of the eastern Arctic, “said the leading member of the National Park Anatoly Kochnev, who led the field group on the island. The scientist also expressed fear that the increase in the number of Evrazhek in Kolichina can have a serious impact on the plant communities of the island and on the conditions of nesting birds.