Our people in the Antarctic!
We received personal greetings, and our T-shirt advertising the protection of xerothermic grasslands travelled over 14 thousand kilometres to the place where the average annual temperature is minus 2 degrees, that is, to the Henryk Arctowski Polish Antarctic Station on King George Island at the South Shetland Islands. The participants of the 41st Antarctic expedition have been working there for six weeks. The team includes Damian Czajka, an ornithologist from the MOST Association, who worked with us on carrying out projects regarding the protection of Gliridae species and bats. Damian Czajka participates in the expedition as a paramedic, and he is also helping with the environmental monitoring to estimate of the size and condition of the population of sea birds and pennipedians. As he wrote in his email to us, “During our daily observations in the field we gather information about the location of bird nesting places, the number of nests, that is, nesting pairs, and the number of fledglings, which allows us to estimate the size of the population and their breeding success. In order to determine the condition of the birds in due time we weigh and measure eggs and fledglings. Every 10 days we monitor 9 km of the coast to estimate the number of seals and sea lions. In the breeding season, we record the number of the young animals born of these species, as well as their survival rate”.
The meteorological, glaciological and ecological monitoring conducted in the area of the Station allows them to track climate changes and transformations in the sea ecosystems. Based on this information, e.g. fishing limits are determined. At present, in the Antarctic, there are 40 all-year-round stations and 41 stations only open in summer. More information about work at the station can be found at www.arctowski.pl