Nests of Oriental storks protected from bears
The first cases of beaks attacks of nesting trees were recorded here in autumn 2015, and in 2016 precedents repeated. To assess the situation, from January to March 2017, the staff of the Khingansky Nature Reserve conducted a large-scale survey of nests and found out that out of 71 nests of the rare bird, 45 (and this is 63%) were ‘raided” by bears.
«In Arkharinsky District of Priamurye, where the Reserve is located, now about 50 pairs of Oriental stork live. From bearish tyranny, the offspring of this rare bird die, storks abandon ruined nests, trying to find new housing. This has a negative impact on the population - the number of birds in the reserve are getting smaller», comments Mikhail Parilov, a researcher at the Khingansky Nature Reserve.
To reduce the damage from the bear's predation, work was carried out to find ways to protect the nesting trees. The most suitable method was developed by Vladimir Masterov, an employee of the Moscow State University, in his attempt to preserve the nests of the Steller's sea eagle from the bears. It implies the installation of a clamp of sheet iron on a nesting tree trunk, preventing the predator from climbing up the tree and ruining the nest. «Protective» measures - the installation of 16 devices in February-March 2017 - were agreed with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation and approved by the Regional Scientific Council of the Amur Reserve.
«The Oriental Stork is a symbol of the Amur River, an indicator of the quality and purity of its water. There are about 4000 individuals of this rare bird in the world. The bear »raids« the nest of storks not only in the Amur Province, but also in Evreiskaya Province. WWF has supported the work on protecting rare birds in both areas. The nearest nesting season will show how effective the measures have been, and we will be able to correct the applied methodology if this is required, »says Anna Barma, Ph.D., coordinator of protected areas projects at WWF Russia Amur branch.