WWF AND THE INSTITUTE OF ECOLOGY OF MOUNTAIN TERRITORIES FOUND NESTS OF WHITE-TAILED EAGLE WITH HATCHLINGS IN KARACHAY-CHERKESSIA
In the second half of April 2021, WWF-Russia employees together with the Institute of Ecology of Mountain Territories continued the search for rare bird species nesting in trees. The work on mapping nests is carried out within the framework of the WWF-Russia pilot project "Save the forest – the habitat for birds of prey", launched in Kabardino-Balkariya in 2020. The goal is to map the location of nests and protect them from human interventions in the future by submitting the corresponding project to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic.
This time, ornithologists examined the lower reaches of the Baksan River and the Terek Valley within the borders of the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic (Baksanskoye, Mayskoye and Terskoye Forestries) and North Ossetia (Kirov and Mozdok Forestries).
As a result, four nesting sites of the white-tailed eagle were identified, including two nests with hatchlings. One of the nests is located in the Terskiy Forestry (the Kabardino-Balkarian Republic), the other is located on the territory of the Zmeiysko-Nikolaevskiy Sanctuary (Kirovskiy Forestry, The Republic of North Ossetia-Alania). In addition, five breeding sites of the lesser spotted eagle, one site of the booted eagle, three sites of the black stork were found. Now ornithologists will have to examine all the nesting sites found to plot their location on the map.
"Lowland forests are subject to human pressure. Wood harvesting is carried out there, the edges are burned in order to increase the area of arable land. But you need to understand that these woodlands are also a refuge for rare bird species," explains Roman Mnatsekanov, Senior Coordinator of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia. "Therefore, it is necessary to ensure the safety of the nesting sites of these species, preserving the trees on which the birds nest, and the adjacent areas with a diameter of 500 meters."
"In 2017, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, on the initiative of WWF, made it mandatory to include an article on the conservation of biodiversity in the forestry regulations of forest areas. The requirements imply the preservation of certain areas of forest that are important for maintaining biological diversity, for example, strong tall trees where rare birds nest," says Elena Cherkasova, Senior Forest Officer of Russian Caucasus Ecoregional Office WWF-Russia.
The Project "Save the forest - the habitat for birds of prey" implemented by WWF-Russia is aimed at preserving the nesting sites of rare bird species listed in the Red Data Book of Russia and the Red Data Books of the regions of the Russian Federation in the North Caucasus.
The birds are supposed to be preserved by giving a special protected status and creating a 500-meter buffer zone around their nesting sites, so that the birds remain on the territory of the Republic and can reproduce.
In the future, it is planned to be implemented this project on the territory of Adygeya, Karachay-Cherkess Reublic, North Ossetia, as well as Dagestan.