WILD REINDEER DAY WILL BE CELEBRATED IN POMORYE FOR THE THIRD TIME
Scientists and ecologists are alarmed: the population of wild reindeer in Pomorye and in the whole territory of the Russian North is rapidly decreasing. Even in the recent past, the deer inhabited almost all regions of the European part of Russia, but to date it has only survived in Arkhangelsk and Murmansk Regions, and the Republics of Karelia and Komi. In Pomorye, the deer population has decreased 11 times in the last 30 years and is the lowest among the neighboring regions, i.e. less than 1,500 animals. Due to the menacing population decline in 2015, wild reindeer was listed in the Red Data Book of Arkhangelsk Region.
Poaching and reduction of suitable habitats, such as old coniferous forests, increase in the number of wolves, as well as the climate change, are considered the main threats to the deer by the experts. Moreover, they note the natural connection between the felling of coniferous forests and the increment in the number of predators. The number of mice, hares and moose is on the rise in harvest areas, young stands and secondary small-leaved forests, which, in turn, leads to an increase in the number of predators. The growing wolf population causes great damage to the Northern forest deer.
To conserve the deer in nature, according to the experts, first of all, it is necessary to strengthen the fight against poaching, as well as to create protected areas in deer habitats.
"In 2015, in the region, based on the WWF project, Uftyugo-Ileshsky nature reserve was established, which will save a large mass of intact forests and will play an important role in maintaining the wild reindeer population. There are ongoing activities to establish a reserve in the Dvina-Pinega interfluve, in Krasnoborsky and Verkhnetoemsky districts where reindeer also lives,” said the Head of Arkhangelsk office, WWF-Russia Barents Ecoregion Programme, Andrey Shchegolev. – “Besides, special forest management methods should be applied in the areas where this rare animal has survived. Currently, WWF-Russia is developing guidelines for forest management in the habitats of wild forest reindeer".
The environmental education is not of minor importance. Therefore, on the eve of the holiday, WWF and the Center for Nature Management and Environmental Protection held a creative competition dedicated to the wild reindeer. The competition was attended by more than 1,500 people from almost all parts of Arkhangelsk Region; more than 800 projects were presented. The winners will be awarded on the 17th of February at the ecological festival "Wild Reindeer Day" at the Intellectual Center, Scientific Library named after E. I. Ovsyankin, Northern (Arctic) Federal University. The program of the event includes presentations by the specialists engaged in the study and conservation of deer, fashion show participants of the costume contest "Fashionable reindeer", and some interactive creative platforms.
Headline photo: (c) Viktor Mamontov