Olga Filatova


Olga Filatova is a research fellow in the faculty of biology at Moscow State University in Russia. All whales, dolphins, and porpoises—also called cetaceans—move across large areas of ocean, making it difficult to protect their entire range. Instead, conservation efforts focus on habitat essential for their survival. Whales and their habitat in the Russian Pacific are no different, but they are increasingly threatened by industrial activities, severe overfishing, and hunting and live capturing of some smaller species such as beluga and orcas. To better understand the Russian Far East seas, Filatova is using her Pew fellowship to provide a more complete picture of vital habitat for a number of cetacean species, including orcas, humpbacks, Baird’s beaked whales, and North Pacific right and sperm whales. Filatova, who has studied cetaceans in the area for 15 years, will seek to identify important foraging and breeding areas and any places in the region used to socialize or raise calves. She will also investigate the distribution, abundance, and population structure of various species, using surveys, photo and acoustic identification, behavioral observations, and genetic analysis. The new information she gathers will provide officials with documentation on rare and endangered species of marine mammals that could lead to cetacean protected areas. To learn more about Filatova, visit her bio online: http://www.rufford.org/rsg/projects/olga_filatova.

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