Moscow State University
Leninsky Ave, 14, Moskva, Russia, 119991
Russian Academy of Sciences
(Profiling the harsh conditions of the Arctic world of sno...)
Profiling the harsh conditions of the Arctic world of snow and ice, a photographic introduction to the lives of Arctic foxes describes such aspects as how a mother fox cares for her pups and how the fox changes its coat color.
(A Russian researcher details his observations of polar be...)
A Russian researcher details his observations of polar bear behavior after spending four years living among them in the High Artic
Ovsyanikov graduated from Moscow State University with excellence, obtaining his Master of Science degree in 1974. He also attended Institute of Animal Evolutionary Morphology and Ecology. Finally, he received Doctor of Philosophy degree from U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences (now Russian Academy of Sciences) in 1985.
As a professional wildlife researcher, Ovsyanikov spent a great part of his life living among wild animals, at the beginning of his field work among Arctic foxes, later among polar bears in the High Arctic. Witnessing the drama of their everyday lives, social collisions, and struggles for survival, he simply could not remain a ‘dry scientist’ who would be recording events without any trace of empathy in his soul.
Since 1977, Ovsyanikov has carried out Arctic research on the behavior and ecology of arctic foxes, and polar bear population organization and behaviors. He also advanced safety methodology for preventing and managing conflict encounters between polar bears and people, which was successfully used in the Wrangel Island nature reserve, where such encounters are frequent. Nikita has studied the dynamics of the polar bear population and their behaviour on Wrangel Island for decades. He has also spent one season on Herald Island especially for this research. He has visited polar bear habitats and populations in most other areas of the Arctic, from Hudson Bay to Svalbard, Franz Joseph Land and the North Pole. He was living alone for a month when studying polar bears at Cape Blossom on the island.
Now Ovsyanikov is a Principal Investigator in Research Project On Wolf Re-Colonization at the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve.
Nikita is the author of more than 60 scientific articles, a scientific monograph on arctic foxes, 2 books on polar bears, and the documentary Polar Bears: Life on the Field of Bones. In addition, he holds lectures concerning polar bears.
Quotations: "Learning about the real life of wild animals was a new spiritual experience, and it was giving me a new, very special understanding of humans. This may be the most important result of the originally scientific experience. Animals are other folks than we humans are, but they are also very similar to us in many respects. People who have not gained this knowledge by themselves cannot understand the extent to which we all—living things inhabiting this planet—are similar. The prime motivation behind my writing was to send this message to humans. I was hoping that, through learning about the life drama of wild animals, humans (at least some of them) might start thinking more carefully about their own nature, ways of life, and role on the Planet Earth. I was also hoping (and still do) that this might help to prevent humans from destroying life on our planet."
Ovsyanikov is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
Ovsyanikov married Irina Menyushina on January 29, 1982. The couple has a daughter Ekaterina.