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Премия рунета 2017

WWF HELPED TO RESTORE WATER WELLS FOR SAIGAS IN THE ASTRAKHAN REGION

14 december 2018
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) of Russia helped to solve one of the challenges facing the steppe fauna of the Astrakhan regoin —water deficit. Three artesian water wells have been restored in the Stepnoi Sanctuary.

Water deficit is one of the major challenges for the animals in the dry steppes of the Astrakhan Region and the Republic of Kalmykia, including the saiga. In search for water, the antelopes migrate long distances, occasionally leaving protected area and exposing themselves to poachers.

Acknowledging this threat, WWF-Russia approached the Stepnoi Sanctuary with a solution to this problem. Some of the water wells in the Sanctuary had been choked with sand, making it impossible to deliver water to the surface; therefore, in September—November 2018, a project for restoration of the water wells was realized. Special machinery was used to clean out three artesian wells, which now deliver water from 200 m depth to the surface feeding small ponds for animals to drink. Average yield of a well is about 40 cubic meters of water daily. However, each of them can produce 10 times more water if a pump is used.

Well Restoration in Process
(с) SBE Administration of Stepnoi Sanctuary in Astrakhan Region
"Restored water wells in the Sanctuary create new key biotopes for the saiga and other steppe animals. Water is of the essence not only in summer drought. Small water pools are frequented by animals in autumn and winter as well. By the way, it's one of the places where the saiga and other animals meet and communicate. We hope that these new watering sites will help the saiga to stay within the protected area thus reducing the risks of poaching," Valery Shmunk, Director of the Russian Caucasus Regional Office of WWF-Russia explains.
Artesian Wells in the Sanctuary
(c) WWF-Russia

Photo in the template: (с) SBE Administration of Stepnoi Sanctuary in Astrakhan Region

For additional information please contact
Head of Caucasus Ecoregional Office