World Fish Migration Day celebrated online in the Amur River Basin
On 14 May, Olga Cheblukova, protected areas coordinator of WWF Russia Amur branch, has become the Amur Ambassador and presented the Amur Ecoregion at the online Global Swimways Marathon, the first ever 24 hour webinar uniting people from all over the world, giving the opportunity to exchange the best practices and inspiring knowledge about the rivers and fish, as well as successful cases of resolved problems in migratory fish conservation. More than 50 presentations of local, national and international experts were showcased at the webinar.
World Fish Migration Day is a great opportunity to bring people together and draw the attention to preserve fish diversity. A wave of bright events united by a common theme of saving free-flowing rivers for people and fish took place in social networks in Khabarovsky, Primorsky, Zabaikalsky, Amursky and Evreiskaya provinces.
Khabarovsky province: the Komsomolsky Nature Reserve and Anyuisky National Park in their groups on social networks organized an online exhibition of drawings and a quiz on the topic “Migratory fish”. And the Bureinsky Nature Reserve is hosting a social competition Golden Fish: photos of homemade biscuits on social networks. It is planned that while children are engaged in cooking bisquits, adults tell them about migratory fish.
Amurskaya province: Zeyisky Nature Reserve has launched an online competition of Japanese wind kites – koinobori art. Participants are invited to make koinobori in the form of salmon with their own hands and fix it on their balcony or window.
Evreiskaya province: Berkut student nature protection brigade from Birobidzhan will launch a contest of poems and stories “Go Salmon!” On the Vkontakte social network in defense of migratory salmon fish with the hashtag # Salmon2020.
Zabaikalsky province: On May 16, in the Sokhondinsky Nature Reserve conducted a virtual online quiz “The Amazing Underwater World of the Sources of the Amur”. Answers to 15 questions will determine the best expert on underwater inhabitants.
The Amur is one of 10 largest rivers in the world, the only river in Asia that flows in a West-East direction. Its length is 4444 kilometers from the sources of the Argun river to the Amur estuary. The Amur River Basin forms the basis of the Amur-Heilong Ecoregion. It is recognized by WWF as one of 200 most important ecoregions in the world. The area of the Amur Ecoregion is more than 2 million square kilometers covering the territories of three countries: Russia, China and Mongolia, that’s why the Amur river needs to be protected in a transboundary aspect.
The westernmost part of the Ecoregion is the Daurian steppes. This is the habitat of such rare species as the Mongolian Gazelle, the white-naped crane and the demoiselle crane, the tarbagan and predatory birds.
The middle and lower reaches of Amur river are huge floodplain territories inhabited by about 400 bird species. This territory is home to 80% of the world's population of Oriental storks and to 65% of red-crowned cranes. They are listed in the International and Russian Red books.
The uniqueness of the Amur River is determined by the fact that its basin is located in very different natural and climatic zones. This explains the huge biological diversity of the land and water ecosystems of the Amur Ecoregion. The Amur river is home to over 130 species of fish, including six species of salmon and two species of sturgeon – Amur sturgeon and Kaluga sturgeon. The Amur basin is the only habitat of the world's largest freshwater fish – Kaluga, whose weight can exceed a ton.
Salmon are an important part of the ecosystem. Bears, small predators, river dwellers, and birds feed on salmon. Also, salmon is a traditional food resource for indigenous peoples. Chum salmon and pink salmon are extracted on an industrial scale in the lower reaches of the Amur and the Amur estuary in Khabarovsky province of Russia. However, there is a serious problem of reducing populations of these fish in certain years which is caused by overexploitation as a result of legal and illegal fishing.
World Fish Migration Day is a young holiday having its goal to tell
people about the value of freshwater ecosystems, migratory fish and
free-flowing rivers. Back in 2014 WFMD was initiated by
WWF Netherlands, «The Nature Conservancy» organization, IUCN, Wanningen Water
Consult jointly with LINKit Consult. Since that time the holiday is celebrated
once in 2 years.