The Year of Oriental stork is launched in the Amur-Heilong ecoregion
WWF Russia and the Amur Coalition of environmental NGOs announced 2018 the year of Oriental stork. This rare beautiful bird is called the winged symbol of the Amur River – the Oriental stork is nesting only in the Amur River basin: in Amurskaya, Evreiskaya, Khabarovsky and Primorsky provinces in Russia and in the Northeast of China. Its wintering grounds are located in the Yangze River valley in China.
Compare to the European white stork the Oriental stork is larger in size and has a black bill. It has a discrete character: Oriental storks never build nests on the roofs of houses, this bird is used to build nests far from humans in the remote areas in groves or on the trees near lakes, rivers and wetlands. The main problem of the Oriental stork conservation is the habitat loss due to human activity impact. Reclamation of marshlands in China, fires on the territory of Russia destroys trees with stork nests, depriving it of food resources.
The Oriental stork is WWF’s flag species because this bird is an indicator of pure freshwater ecosystems of the Amur ecoregion. Being on the top of food pyramid, the Oriental stork is very sensitive to water and soil pollution, draining of flood plains, changes in climate conditions. Due to wide use of DDT, storks disappeared from Japan and South Korea last century.
The working meeting of Russian and Chinese experts engaged in conservation of this rare bird already took place in November 2017 in Bolonsky Nature Reserve in Russia. It was decided to launch the year of Oriental stork on February 2, on the World Wetlands Day, because wetlands play a key role for waterfowl populations. In April-May, 2018, the Oriental Stork Day will be celebrated in protected areas of the Amur basin – the habitat of this rare bird.
The scientific conference in
Blagoveshensk will sum up the results of the year of Oriental stork – 2018.
It will gather the experts from Russia, China, Japan, USA, Korea and other