Continued Cooperation between NSCMB FEB RAS and Research Institutions of Republic of Korea

Continued Cooperation between  NSCMB FEB RAS and Research Institutions of Republic of Korea

Cooperation of NSCMB FEB RAS and Korea Ecology Environment Research Institute (Taejon, South Korea) started three years ago with signing the Memorandum on Cooperation between the Korea Institute and the Primorsky Aquarium. In 2017, the same agreement was concluded between the Korea Institute and NSCMB FEB RAS with the Primorsky Aquarium affiliated.

Results of three-year’s study gained interest of ecologists from the South Korea Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs; group of specialists from the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service of Republic of Korea arrived in Vladivostok for establishing working relations. 

 During a three-day’s visit, areas of the cooperation, format of further relations, and prospects for collaborative work for the near future were discussed. Korean and Russian specialists visited Khanka Lake - one of the areas of the field study. In spring, an important migratory rout of sea and shore birds runs here and then Khanka Lake becomes a habitat area for numerous breeding colonies. These birds as a working object bring together Primorsky scientists, Korean ecologists, and the quarantine service specialists.   

 “The Quarantine Service of South Korea detects and controls spread of diseases to be dangerous for farm animals and so for human beings including transit of the diseases. In this respect, our mutual interests align,” Igor Katin, the NSCMB FEB RAS Senior Researcher says. “Migratory birds are potential disease vectors.     Preliminary studies found that Southeast Asia, Korean Peninsula, Peter the Great Bay, Khanka Lake, and Russian seashore are parts of the largest migratory path. In addition, there is a suspicion that sea birds can infest marine mammals – in particular, common seals inhabiting the Peter the Great Bay, which also migrate for long distances.

 We study the animals’ travel paths and space usage patterns using the coordinate registration censors that our Korean colleagues has developed and manufactured.

 Russian specialists have conducted the months-long preliminary research with choosing the study period and area depending on the various animals’ biological cycle. We capture animals (seals) or birds by one or another method and set up the censors. Then, we analyze information entering on a work computer.

A censor works until the battery is dead or an animal loses the device during molting.”

The Primorsky scientists and their Korean colleagues carried out trial tests setting the censors on common seals in 2015, on streaked shearwaters - in 2016, on slaty-backed gulls and grey herons - in 2017. The grey herons have been found to be  in Thailand. The “tagged” larga-seals were registered in Japan (Hokkaido) and Republic of Korea (Busan city). An important point is that they home to the Peter the Great Bay in the breeding season.

That needs no saying that exchange of the research results is provided as well as joint publications. All of this will be stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding that is now being prepared.

Researchers of the NSCMB FEB RAS together with specialists from Republic of Korea will continue work in the field of telemetering and studying migration of marine mammals and birds.