WWF Russia and WWF China jointly monitor the migration of Oriental white storks released into the wild after rehabilitation
GPS-transmitters and rings with numbers that WWF-Russia put on the birds before being released into the wild, allows tracking the movement of storks.
Let’s recall that in early July, these two chicks were found in boxes on road in the Khorolsky district of Primorye and taken to the rehabilitation center “TIGR” in an extremely weakened condition. With the support of WWF Russia, the staff of the Center managed to bring the birds back on their feet. The release into the wild took place on August 13 in Evreiskaya province, near the Russian-Chinese border. Here, in the floodplain of the Middle Amur rich in forage resources, the storks gather before leaving for the wintering grounds. And, starting from mid-September, until the end of October, they fly south in small groups.
WWF Russia and WWF China are conducting joint observation of these birds. Right after receiving information that they were in the area of Suibinliangjiang Nature Reserve, Heilongjiang Province, WWF China contacted the specialists of the reserve and now, together with the staff of protected area, are monitoring the storks to feel safe during migration.
Both protected areas Suibinliangjiang Nature Reserve in China and the Sheremetyevsky Nature Park in the Khabarovsky province of Russia are part of the Sino-Russian network of bordering protected areas in the Amur River basin. A memorandum on its creation was signed in 2016 between 16 Chinese and 12 Russian protected areas located directly along the border of Russia and China along the Amur and Ussury. Most of these protected areas are important habitats for Oeriental storks. Protected areas of the Amur basin on both sides of the border are the most attractive and safe for rare birds and other animals. It is no coincidence that they were chosen for life by the rehabilitated storks.
According to Anna Serdyuk, radio tracking materials show that during migration the storks slowly roam along the floodplains of the Ussury, Amur and Songhua Rivers, before a long stopover in the Momoge Nature Reserve in Jilin province, China. And then they fly in a narrow corridor between the Gobi Desert and the Bohai Bay. Wintering sites already begin from the Yellow River Delta, but most birds winter in the Poyang Lake in the Yangtze River floodplain. The total migration route can reach 5 thousand kilometers! At the same time, Oriental storks, unlike cranes, do not make long flights. Therefore, it is critically important for birds to have places suitable for stop overs and feeding on the entire flight path, especially in the “bottleneck” in the Baidahe - Tianjin region.