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Премия рунета 2017

Oriental stork will become a symbol of 2018 in the Amur ecoregion

22 december 2017
Peter Osipov, director of WWF Russia Amur branch, hosted a New Year reception for mass media in Vladivostok. The discussion was focused on the results of 2017 - the year of protected areas in the Amur ecoregion and forthcoming census of the Oriental stork in the Amur River basin - in Russia and China.

Traditionally in December WWF Russia Amur branch hosts a New Year reception for journalists, and sums up the results of the year and outlines points of contact for the future. The year of 2017 was remarkable as the year of 100th anniversary of the Russian system of protected areas and the Year of environment in Russia. And, of course, nature reserves and national parks have become the main heroes and participants of many events.

By the decision of the Coordinating Council of Nature Reserves and National Parks in the Southern Far East and WWF Russia, an interregional photo exhibition "Sacred  Necklace of the Amur" was launched in January about the unique wildlife of 23 reserves and national parks in the Amur ecoregion. The exhibition traveled all year round through towns and villages of the region. In March, the staff of protected areas started the Marathon "Protected Wave", and in June they gathered in Khabarovsk for the festival "Protected Mix", where they presented their protected areas. This year Sikhote-Alin Nature Reserve with WWF support has opened a new route for tourists - the trail "Along Arsenyev’s trail", and an unusual research project "Four Treasures of the Sikhote-Alin" on studying the tiger, goral, fish owl and rhododendron Fori. In October, with support of WWF-Russia Sredneargunsky Wildlife Refuge was established in Zabaikalsky province in the upper reaches of the Amur River.

At the press meeting on December 20, Petr Osipov, director of WWF-Russia Amur, noted such milestones of the past year as introduction in Primorsky and Khabarovsky provinces KEDR forest monitoring system to stop illegal logging and the opening of the Center for Forestry Innovation in the Primorsky State Agricultural Academy. WWF supported the first Taiga Festival in Primorye to form positive attitude towards the taiga treasures and to make non-timber forest products the brand of the region. Taiga with its great resources became the subject of discussion in the Provincial Legislative Assembly in November: officials adopted the recommendations of WWF experts and started to consider amendments to the law "On the use of forests", which should protect taiga from excessive load from the pine nuts collectors.

The year was, as always, full of "tiger" events, which were carefully monitored by WWF Russia experts together with the Amur Tiger Center assisting Wildlife Departments of Primorsky, Khabarovsky and Evreiskaya provinces. This is the death of the rehabilitated tiger Uporny in Khabarovsky province, and the release of the tigress Filippa into the wild to the territory of Evreiskaya province and the tiger Vladik in Bikin National Park under the supervision of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Russia. However, this protected area has not become a new home for Vladik: the striped "tourist" from Vladivostok returned, bypassing the infrastructure facilities, to the south of Primorye, and the wildlife experts continue to "follow" the signals of his radio collar. Another important milestone of this year is the joint project of WWF and VTB Bank for the conservation of rare big cats. Thanks to this project Bikin National Park constructed and equipped the cordons, purchased boats, snowmobiles and camera traps. The Amur tiger photomonitoring on the territory of Bikin National Park was started: 10 tigers left their photo portraits. In general there are more than 30 striped animals on this territory.

At the meeting with journalists the Oriental stork was announced the symbol of 2018 in the Amur basin. This is due to the large-scale census of Oriental stork after 10 years in the whole range in Russia, where it nests, and in China, where the stork is wintering. A bilateral meeting of Russian and Chinese experts from the agencies representing the interests of a rare bird was already held in November in the Bolonsky Nature Reserve. It was organized by the initiative of WWF Russia, joint directorate “Zapovednoye Priamurye” and Honghe Nature Reserve, which is on the Chinese bank of the Amur River. It was agreed that the events of the Year of the Oriental Stork would start on February 2, on the World Wetlands Day. In April-May, Stork's Day will be widely celebrated in all protected natural areas of the southern Far East, where this rare bird nests or stops during migration.

"The amount of work is enormous. The census of the Oriental stork will begin in February, when the nests can be easily seen from snowmobiles and will continue in the spring-summer months by cars, ATVs, as well as with helicopters and drones, - says Peter Osipov. – Besides the census, the tracking of birds is planned. This will allow experts to specify migration flyways of storks, how many of them reach the wintering grounds, and most importantly how many return to the nesting sites. The work will continue after 2018 ".
A scientific and practical conference in Blagoveshchensk with the invitation of specialists from Russia, China, Japan, the USA, Korea and other countries will become the final event of the year of the Oriental stork-2018.
For additional information please contact
Director of WWF-Russia Amur branch