Yakutia is the world’s leader in the remains of the mammoth fauna, where 90 per cent of discoveries have been made on the territory of the perennially frozen soils. That is why a consortium of Russian and foreign experts in mammoths will be organized there to study the prehistoric fauna, which was announced by the Yamal Governor Aisen Nikolayev.
Every year, up to 120 tonnes of mammoth tusks are found in the region. As reported, the permafrost layer thickness reaches 800 metres in those areas of Yakutia where the remains were found. Palaeontology objects are well preserved in such conditions.
“In June 2022, Yakutsk will host an international mammoth forum, where agreements on a new mammoth consortium in the region may be signed. The consortium will consolidate and integrate resources of scientific and educational institutions, involved in studies of the mammoth fauna, and thus it will become a single scientific and educational space for sustainable development of Yakutia and the Russian Arctic zone,” the Governor said.
According to the Governor, the World Mammoth Centre could be a base for systematic approaches to the sector, including for making mammoth fauna catalogues. By using such an approach, specialists will obtain new knowledge about the climate and ecology of the late Pleistocene period, will structure ancient genomes, cellular tissues, biocenoses, and will also promote the Arctic.
“The centre’s scientific concept will have a complete cycle, including organization of the mammoth fauna objects, their original preservation, comprehensive studies and presentation of the objects to the wide audience,” the Governor added.
The region plans to build five key infrastructure facilities. The main facility will be a cryo-storage, which will be organized in line with traditions the locals have been using for centuries (they usually build ice storages, where the ice remains deep-frozen even in the hottest summer months).
The mammoth centre will have a laboratory complex of three sectors: a palaeontology sector for traditional studies, a sector for radiography and isotope studies to learn ages, migration routes, and also a paleo-genomic sector to study ancient genomes, including cloning methods.
In addition, the centre will have the Ice Age Park, a scientific site to study the global climate changes in the late Pleistocene and in the Holocene, to reproduce major climate factors in those periods. The centre will organize a network of stations to monitor expeditions in Yakutia’s Arctic districts. The stations will be used to make decisions regarding mining or preservation of found materials.