Keepers of Stork nests got certificates
Oriental stork flew into the city right on the day of the seminar, on March 28. The news was delivered by volunteers arrived from remote villages who have been protecting rare birds’ nests and taking fire prevention measures for several years.
Oriental stork is an indicator for the Amur River basin. The state of the stork population and its number directly depend on the state of the ecosystem. About 70 stork nests were found and researched by Evreiskaya Province Directorate on Fauna Protection and Protected Areas. Unlike its European “fellow” Oriental stork nests far from humans on vast bogs and in groves building massive two meters in diameter nests on tree tops. Annual forest fires often destroy trees and the flame can reach the birds’ nests.
«About ten years ago at the initiative of WWF Russia Amur branch a grassroots movement was born. At its dawn, members of Keepers of Stork Nests were only school kids. But the job has proved to be difficult. Then grown-ups have joined the ranks. In fall, when storks left for the south the grass under each nest bearing tree is cut, the tree itself is treated with fire-prevention chemicals, and the soil is spudded. Then in spring time these nests will surely accept their hosts even if everything is burnt out. Environmental NGO Bagulnik is taking an active part in this work in Evreiskaya Province, notes Svetlana Titova.
The meeting hosted members of Bagulnik, volunteers who help the birds. Among them there were people of different professions working in agriculture and forestry industries as well as retired persons living close to the storks’ nesting grounds. Ten newcomer keepers received authorization documents. All keepers got special field anti-encephalitis clothing and name plates with warning information that will be attached to the nest bearing trees.
This spring the nests built in the recent years will be taken under supervision, and new territories will be searched for new nests not found before. Terms of references have been signed by volunteer.
Financial assistance to the WWF’s project Keepers of Stork Nests was provided by The Boeing Company.