Franz Josef Land, a remote Russian archipelago, harbors a wild Arctic ecosystem that includes polar bears, walruses, whales, seals, and large nesting colonies of seabirds. But global warming may be affecting this remote ecosystem in ways we still do not fully comprehend.
In July-August 2013, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Enric Sala led a Pristine Seas expedition to Franz Josef Land in collaboration with Russkaya Arktika National Park, the Russian Geographical Society, and National Geographic. An international group of scientists and filmmakers assessed how pristine the ocean-land ecosystem is and compared its current state with historical scientific baselines and photographs obtained by explorers in the late 1800s.
The scientific results of the expedition will inform the management and conservation of this Russian Arctic jewel. In addition, National Geographic will produce a documentary film to showcase the natural wonders of Franz Josef Land and the efforts of Russian authorities to preserve this unique area's globally significant biodiversity and historical value.
Pristine Seas Blog Posts
- The Future of the Past in Palau
- Tourism Not Tuna
- Pristine Seas: Southern Line Islands Set Bar for Healthy Reefs Everywhere
- Our Ocean Conference: A Turning Point for Ocean Conservation?
- Missing Mozambique: The Final Dive
- Beauty and the Seas
- Tracking the Lives of Nonstop Swimmers
- Africa’s Submerged Savannas
- Sharks, Rays, and (Finally) a Break in the Weather
- Here Today, Dugong Tomorrow!
Facebook Live Interview: Pitcairn Islands
Last year Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala phoned in from the South Pacific to give an update on the Pitcairn Islands expedition and answer questions from Facebook fans around the world.
Pristine Sea Expeditions
National Geographic and Oceana, in collaboration with the Chilean Navy, travelled to the remote Salas y Gómez Island, some 200 miles (about 323 km) east of Easter Island, Chile.
In September 2009, Enric Sala, Sylvia Earle, and a team of scientists gathered in Costa Rica to document the pristine waters of Cocos Island and study the Gemelas Seamounts.
During the spring of 2009, Enric Sala and a team of scientists returned to the central Pacific-this time to the southern Line Islands, a province of the Republic of Kiribati.
In 2005 and 2007, Dr. Enric Sala and a team of scientists traveled to the northern Line Islands in the North Pacific.
Pristine Seas Videos
Video: NG Live! Pitcairn Islands
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala dives deep into the waters of one of the most pristine places on Earth—the Pitcairn Islands—only to discover its delicate ecosystem is not as unspoiled as it may seem.
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- Ocean Overview
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