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Премия рунета 2017

First storks fitted with GPS transmitters are back in the Amur Basin

15 may 2020
Three Oriental storks fitted with GPS transmitters in 2018 as part of the joint China-Russian research program studying birds migration routes are back to their homeland and built nests in the Russian part of the Amur Basin. Specialists of NGO AmurSEU keep monitoring the unique “residents”.

The work on studying flyways of the Oriental storks has become possible thanks to the MOU signed in 2018 between the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Honghe Nature Reserve, the Coordination Council of the directors of nature reserves of the southern Far East, the United Directorate “Zapovednoye Priamurye” and WWF Russia Amur branch.

Tracks of the stork from Amurskaya province that came back home and built a nest
WWF Russia / AmurSEU

According to Anna Serdyuk (Barma), PhD, senior project coordinator on protected areas at WWF Russia Amur branch:

«This is a unique joint study on stork migration from wintering grounds in Yangtze River to the breeding grounds in the Amur Basin and back. Similar research works were carried out 20 years ago. Now, it’s important to understand the changes in stork migration routes over these years. This work has already brought first results. Important stopover sites and bird concentrations areas were registered, and specialists are preparing materials to protect these wetlands. This year the tracks of three storks fitted with radio backpacks were recorded in Russia. The direction of their flights and long stops demonstrate clearly that they finally settled down in the Russian part of the Amur Basin. These birds are the baby chicks fitted with GPS transmitters in 2018. One chick is from the Amursky Wildlife Refuge in Amurskaya province has returned back home and already built a nest. Another chick tracked in Evreiskaya province is back home too. And one more chick from Evreiskaya province has moved to the neighboring Amurskaya province. Moreover, a nest of the bird fitted with transmitter in Khanka Nature Reserve was found in China in Jiangsu province.”
Another track of the chick from Evreiskaya province that returned and settled down in neighbouring Amurskaya province
WWF Russia / AmurSEU

According to Anton Sasin, coordinator of the Oriental stork conservation program of NGO AmurSEU:

«When we were putting transmitters on storks we supposed that young birds start building nests only 3-4 years later, after reaching breeding age. We supposed that our storks tracked in 2018 will only start building nests at least in 2021. However, the tracks showed that 4 chicks have build nests already on the second year of their lives. According to observations, one stork is feeding with the flock out of 15 storks and returns to the nest only for the night. There are no eggs in the nest. Most likely the bird uses the nest for sleep. We keep studying its behavior.”
2019: Anna Serdyuk (WWF Russia) and Anton Sasin (AmurSEU) tracking the storks in Amurskaya province
Evgeny Egidarev / WWF Russia
Over 2 years of observations, 128 chicks of Oriental storks were fitted with GPS transmitters with support of WWF partners. WWF Russia believes that the program will bring many discoveries and interesting results.
The stork from the Khanka Lake Nature Resurve settled down in Jiangsu province, China
Screenshot from sattelite image / WWF Russia
Tracks of the stork from Evreiskaya province that preffered to come back home
WWF Russia / AmurSEU
For additional information please contact
Project Coordinator