What we do
Regions
Home / News and publications / News / Amur river /
Oriental storks settled down on an artificial support erected in the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve as part of the Russian-Korean project
Премия рунета 2017

Oriental storks settled down on an artificial support erected in the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve as part of the Russian-Korean project

29 april 2021
International cooperation between WWF Russia, the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve and the Research Center for Endangered Species of the National Institute of Ecology of the Republic of Korea is bearing fruit: Oriental storks have settled for the first time on one of the artificial supports installed in the reserve this year.

At the end of March, a part of the Russian-Korean project for the conservation of the Oriental stork, 5 metal supports for nests were installed in the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve. One of these new structures turned out to be the most “lucky” and was inhabited in April by new rare settlers.

According to Yury Sushitsky, director of the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve: “While checking the installed supports the inspector of the nature reserve Vasily Vashchenko has noticed that one of them was occupied by a pair of storks. The birds were actively carrying branches, building the base for the nest. After that, the storks were not disturbed, at the moment they are probably already sitting on eggs. Of course, this is the environmental success of our joint Russian-Korean project. Currently, a registration of occupied nests is being carried out on the territory of the reserve and in its buffer zone”.

Stork nest with 5 eggs on artificial support in Khanka Lake NR

The Oriental stork is one of the rarest birds in the Russian Far East. It is listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, IUCN, Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Due to the massive use of DDT, storks disappeared in Japan and Korea in the 70s of the twentieth century, and now these countries are making great efforts and funds to recover their populations.
The installation of artificial supports to increase the breeding capacity of the land is one of the main objectives of the Memorandum of Understanding on the conservation of the Oriental stork, which was concluded in November 2019 by WWF Russia, the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve and the Center for the Study of Endangered Species of the National Institute of Ecology of the Republic of Korea.
Erection of artificial supports for stork nests
Khanka Lake NR
Comments Dr. Jongmin Yoon, Research Center for Endangered Species, National Institute of Ecology: “Our NIE-WWF cooperative project for the conservation of oriental storks breeding in Russia and wintering in the Korean Peninsula has been providing artificial nest platforms in the wetlands of Khanka Lake and Tumen River since 2020. NIE worried if they would not use new nests, but we were finally pleased that WWF informed us of wonderful news on their recent settlement. The breeding habitat management for wintering birds is not very easy to conduct in other countries, but it becomes possible for NIE to work with WWF Russia, resulting in getting positive results. NIE's researchers hope to mark this as one of good conservation strategies with international cooperation to protect globally endangered, long-distance migratory birds”.
More than 80% of the Oriental stork nests are located in the Amur basin in Russia. Outside of our country, this bird nests in Northeast China, singly in Japan and South Korea. Most of the birds fly to the Yangtze River basin in China for wintering, some individuals have wintering grounds in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. It is noteworthy that this winter, specialists from WWF Russia and the National Institute of Ecology of the Republic of Korea monitored storks that arrived on the Korean Peninsula from Russia. The shortage of large trees suitable for building nests is one of the problems that are now being solved in Primorsky province thanks to the Russian-Korean project to preserve the Oriental stork.
Comments Anna Serdyuk, Ph.D., senior coordinator of protected areas at WWF-Russia Amur branch: “On the Prikhankaiskaya lowland and wetlands of the south-western Primorye, where the migratory routes of the Oriental stork use, there are not many trees on which storks can build their nests. The weight of the nest can reach about 200 kg, not every tree can withstand it. In this situation, an effective method of increasing the number of breeding pairs is erecting artificial supports. This practice, with the support of WWF Russia since 2004, has proven itself well in the Amur basin. And now, thanks to the cooperation of WWF Russia, the Khanka Nture Reserve and the National Institute of Ecology of the Republic of Korea, it is used in Primorsky province: 3 artificial supports have already been installed in the Khasansky Nature Park and 10 artificial supports in the Khanka Lake Nature Reserve in 2020-2021. It is also important that the supports inhabited by storks not only fulfill the environmental task. They can be attractive bird watching tourist sites. This is especially true for the Khasansky Nature Park.
For additional information please contact
Project Coordinator