REINDEER DAY WAS CELEBRATED IN ARKHANGELSK
The main purpose of the holiday, which is celebrated on February 17, on the day of including the wild reindeer in the Red Data Book of Arkhangelsk Region is to draw attention to the conservation of this beautiful, but such a vulnerable inhabitant of the Northern taiga, the number of which in Arkhangelsk Region, as throughout the whole Barents region, is steadily declining due to poaching and taiga deforestation.
The guests brought all their families to the holiday in the cultural center "Solombala-Art", held by WWF-Russia in cooperation with the Centre of Nature Management and Environmental Protection, Environmental Consulting Center and Biarmia. Many of them had taken part in the regional competition dedicated to the wild reindeer, and at the ceremonial part of the holiday received their well-deserved diplomas and prizes. On the stage, meanwhile, a bright action was unfolded with poems, dances, showing videos, the main character of which was, of course, the reindeer.
Not only illegal hunters make life of the reindeer in the forest uneasy. Everyone at the festival could ‘step in shoes’ of a deer and try to find food under the snow, cross the river on ice floes, run faster than the wind from a predator, compete with rivals in the herd in strength and agility. Teachers and students of the Arkhangelsk College of Culture and Art helped the organizers of the festival prepare and carry out interesting games, competitions, relay races, as well as a dance flash mob in the open air.
The problem of reducing the population of the wild forest reindeer is of increasing concern to scientists and environmentalists. Over the past three decades, the population of these animal in Arkhangelsk Region has decreased fr om 17-20 thousand to 1500 individuals. Today, small herds of deer remain in Leshukonsky, Mezensky, Krasnoborsky and Verkhnetoemsky districts, in the forests of Vodlozersky national park. An important finding of the past field season were fresh traces of a small herd of deer in the Dvina-Pinega forests wh ere reserve will be established in the nearest future. The experts consider the establishment of protected areas in intact forests, the key habitats of the deer, as one of the most important measures for conservation and restoration of the species.
As the Deputy Minister, head of Department of Natural Resources and Ecology for Arkhangelsk Region, Anna Koposova, noted at the celebration, Concept of Development of protected areas (PA), providing for the establishment of two new and extension an existing one to protect the wild reindeer and its habitats in the region was approved.
Headline photo: (c) Tatiana Lapiy