9 countries discussed the issues of cranes conservation
The conference held from 31 August to 4 September was devoted to the 35th anniversary of the Crane Working Group of Eurasia (CWGE), which brings together enthusiasts and professionals from countries located in different parts of the vast continent, as well as representatives from other continents, which are home to “our” cranes. The geography of this conference included 9 countries: Russia, Mongolia, China, Kazakhstan, Japan, Germany, France, the United States and the Republic of Korea.
It was organized by the Crane Working Group of Eurasia, Daursky Nature Reserve, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Government of Zabaikalskaya Province, Zabaikalsky Federal University. Financial support was provided by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, WWF Russia Amur branch, and UNDP/GEF/ the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources “Russian Steppe Conservation” Project.
“The meeting was very useful for ornithologists involved in various aspects of cranes study and protection, to exchange experiences and to “compare notes”. Conferences of this level help to clearly understand the current state of rare bird species, and also to coordinate the work of conservation in Russia and abroad. Implementation of the fourth in a row conference “Cranes of Palearctic” in Dauria shows the recognition of the role that the region and Daursky Nature Reserve itself play in the conservation of cranes”- commented Anna Barma, project coordinator for protected areas of WWF-Russia Amur branch.
The program of the conference included more than 45 presentations. The participants discussed the state of populations of different crane species, especially migration, genetic features, issues of breeding biology, methods of birds studies, as well as the results of breeding cranes in captivity and release into the wild.
“Plans for future joint work of scientists from Russia, China, Mongolia and Japan to study the migration of cranes became the outcome of this conference. Without such joint work is impossible to get objective information about the state of the world's populations of species, especially those rare birds as white-naped crane, Japanese crane, hooded crane and white crane, it is impossible to set priority measures necessary for the conservation of these birds without close cooperation”, - said Vadim Kirilyuk, Ph.D., director of Daursky Nature Reserve.
A special section was devoted to the practical protection of cranes and work with the population. It was attended by local people out of teachers and students of asecondary school. Students had the opportunity to talk with leading ornithologists from around the world.
The tour to the Adon-Chelon rocky massif made an unforgettable impressions and to the bird concentration places in Daursky Nature Reserve. The nature prepared an amazing gift for the forum participants: due to weather anomalies this summer, Adon-Chelon had an unprecedented variety of colors, among which there were early spring, summer, and autumn plant species. And on one of the tours, guests were able to watch five of the six found in Dauria crane species: White-naped, black, belladonna, Crane and gray. Let’s recall that 7 crane species can be found in Russia, and there are 15 of them existing in the world.
Another important event of the conference was the opening of the International Biological Station at “Utochi” cordon. De facto the cordon played the role of the research station of Dauria Transboundary Russian-Mongolian-Chinese reserve, but the working conditions for scientists were very modest. Now “Utochi” is a modern fully equipped research station able to conduct the necessary investigations at any time of the year. Carrying out a large-scale conference was the first major test for the station. And it confirmed its successful functionality.
In conclusion, the participants met with representatives of the Zabaikalsky Province press club “Berloga”, one of the journalist associations working in the Amur River basin with the support of WWF Russia. The result of this communication are publications and videos about the conference “Cranes of Palearctic” and the need for conservation of these rare birds.