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Премия рунета 2017

«Stork nest keepers» protect the nests of the Oriental stork from fire

25 october 2018
While the Oriental storks have migrated to their wintering grounds in China, the work on fire prevention is being carried out in the Russian part of the Amur River basin with support of WWF Russia and HSBC Bank. Public organizations and provincial Directorates of Protected Areas Management carry out fire preventive treatment for trees with nests. So that the birds could come back home in spring!

In 2004, WWFRussia initiated a social movement “Stork nest keepers” in Amurskaya and Evreiskaya provinces. It unites organizations and people who take care of one or a number of trees with stork nests and protect the nests from forest fires. Traditionally, fire preventive measures are taken in autumn. They include cutting down the grass and creating firebreaks around trees with nests. Practice shows that trees treated in September – October successfully survive fires both in autumn and in coming spring. 

It's time to save the nests from fire, so that the birds could come back home in spring!
Anton Sasin / WWF Russia
At present 40 individual nest keepers and 5 organizations are taking care about 130 stork nests. Many nests are equipped with individual signs about the nest number and the name of the keeper. WWF Russia provided the keepers with grass trimmers, fire preventive equipment and field outfit. Over 10 years the Directorate on Protected Areas Management of Amurskaya and Evreiskaya provinces, public organizations AmurSEU, Bagulnik, Bars student brigades gained a lot of experience in building artificial tripods for the nests. 28 artificial tripods with 20 baskets for nests were installed. It’s important that we have our partners as HSBC Bank that supports this work over 4 years,” - comments Anna Serdyuk, coordinator on protected areas of WWF Russia Amur branch.
AmurSEU and Bars student brigade at fire preventive work in Amurskaya province
Evgeny Lisitsin / AmurSEU

Fire preventive measures for trees and artificial tripods nests have been done in three “stork” wildlife refuges of Amurskaya province. The staff of directorate treated 11 nests and several uninhabited tripods in Berezovsky Wildlife Refuge and 3 nests and 3 tripods in Muravyovsky Wildlife Refuge. The students of Bars brigade and AmurSEU staff conducted treatment for 21 nests and a tripod in Amursky Wildlife Refuge and 4 more nests in Muravyovsky Refuge. It took 4 days to do this work.

Fire preventive treatment is the most efficient method to protect stork nests from annual seasonal fires. The impact from the fires is the main reason of nest destruction and it seriously restrains the potential of stork population growth in the Amur River basin. This method was launched since 2004 by the staff of Khingansky Nature Reserve, in 2008-2009 it was replicated in provincial protected areas of Amurskaya province. Fire preventive treatment resulted in sharp decrease in destroyed nests numbers after forest fires. Before this method was introduced, the annual average number of nests destroyed by fires was estimated at 5-10, at present the loss of nests because of fires is completely stopped. , – comments Yury Gafarov, director of NGO AmurSEU.
NGO AmurSEU and Bars student brigade at fire preventive work in Amurskaya province

NGO Khingan Keepers is involved in stork conservation in the area of Khingan-Arkhara lowland. According to Mikhail Parilov, researcher of Khingansky Nature Reserve, fire preventive treatment was already conducted for 30 stork nests, this activity is still in process.

With the beginning of fire season, stork nests in Evreiskaya province are threatened as well. The staff of the Directorate of Wildlife and Protected Areas Management together with NGO Bagulnik and Berkut student brigade have launched the fire preventive treatment for trees with stork nests since September. This work was carried out with support of WWF Russia that provided funds for fuel for field trips and wear parts, as well as modern equipment such as grass trimmer, air blower, shovels and rakes.

Fire preventive work in Evreiskaya province is carried out by the efforts of Directorate of Protected Areas Management and NGO Bagulnik
NGO Bagulnik
For additional information please contact
Project Coordinator