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Премия рунета 2017

Sebboloto wetland for conservation: field trip is led by WWF-Russia

03 august 2022
Two weeks are barely enough for the researchers from Northern (Arctic) Federal University and Federal Center for Integrated Arctic Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences to study the natural value of the wetland in Pinezhskiy district (Arkhangelsk region) in full.

Their goal is to describe the diversity of plants and wildlife, landscapes, soils and forest stand, and indicate the habitats of rare and endangered species.

The expedition starts from Arkhangelsk and heads to Pinega settlement, changing the bus to boats, motoring upstream Pinega river. The rest of the route is taken by foot along the bogs and old-growth spruce forests.

Sebboloto and surrounding forests’ environmental value may hardly be underestimated. They are the refuge for passaging and nestling birds: whooper swans (Cygnus cygnus), white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons), been geese (Anser fabalis) flocks during their migration take a rest here. Grane (Grus grus), peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus), hobby (Falco subbuteo), Great Grey Owl (Strix nebulosi) may be observed (as well as the other Red Book listed animals and plants).

WWF-Russia / Andrey Kopytov
“Being not updated, the fresh data on the wetland system is absent today. One of the expedition’s tasks is to find out if the Russia Red Book wild forest reindeer inhabits the area in focus. 15 years ago the wild reindeer affected the area, but was hunted to extinction. As a whole, the population of the wild reindeer in Arkhangelsk region drastically decreased as a result of poaching, habitat’s degradation and climate change. Local wild reindeer’s groups could still be met in a number of Arkhangelsk region districts, but the spices as a whole is critically endangered. Should we find the reindeer’s trails, the natural value of the wetland will turn undoubted to establish a new protected area here” – Andrey Kopytov, senior coordinator of WWF-Russia Arkhangelsk branch, says.

Sebboloto wetland is essential to sustain the water-rich rivers and water quality nearby. Seba river, outflowing the swamp, is one of the major Pinega tributary and a water source for neighboring settlements. Sebboloto lakes and rivers are full of fish, especially Shuksha lake, while salmon fry fattens Ezhuga river, co-existing with the grayling there. Surrounding old-growth forests are responsible for keeping the hydrological mode of the wetland system and  are its major component.

Based on the studies in early 1990s, Ramsar Convention listed Sebboloto wetland and suggested its conservation. Later, the researchers’ proposal to establish a protected area here updated Arkhangelsk region strategy on the development of protected areas’ network. Hence, modern findings will certainly contribute into the protection justification and propose protected area boundaries. Protected area may even increase as the result of the voluntary commitment of timber companies for valuable forests’ conservation. The major option under the Moratorium agreement of WWF-Russia and Titan Group is the conservation of the neighboring with Sebboloto vast intact forests’ area.

 The trip is supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment (MoCE) and WWF-Norway. The views presented do not necessarily reflect those of WWF-Norway or MoCE.

For additional information please contact
Leading Project сoordinator