Organizing of the Environmental Monitoring and Conducting of the Research Work in the Protected Areas of the Arctic Region
On the 22th of December the Commission of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation on Ecology and Environmental Protection held a series of events on the development of the environmental monitoring system in the Russian Federation. The Director of the Reserve, Aleksandr Gruzdev, and the Head of the Research Department, Ulyana Babii, gave a presentation as part of the round table "Organizing of the Environmental Monitoring and Conducting of the Research Work in the Protected Areas of the Arctic Region", presenting information on the activities carried out in 2020.
Alone with Nature
The Wrangel Island Nature Reserve took part in the thematic programme "My Home is Russia!", dedicated to the Day of National Unity.
The event took place at the House of Culture in Pevek on the 4th of November, 2020.
Visitors were presented the photo exhibition "Alone with Nature: images of the protected world of the Far North."
Some of the photographs included to the exhibition.
Click the mouse to enlarge!
Alone with Nature
The Wrangel Island Nature Reserve took part in the thematic programme "My Home is Russia!", dedicated to the Day of National Unity.
The event took place at the House of Culture in Pevek on the 4th of November, 2020.
Visitors were presented the photo exhibition "Alone with Nature: images of the protected world of the Far North."
Some of the photographs included to the exhibition.
Click the mouse to enlarge!
Reserves and national parks in Russia began to be founded in the early 20th century. The Barguzinsky Reserve was the first to establish in Buryatia in 1916 and has become the kind of reference point for the official existence of the reserve .By the way, the holiday Day of Reserves and National Parks has been celebrated since then on the day of its establishing on January,11.
In October 1999, a new professional holiday was introduced in Russia ,Reserve Worker's Day. The decision to set it up was made by the directors of state nature reserves during the All-Russian seminar-meeting "The role and place of state nature reserves in the regions of Russia", held in Vladivostok. Unfortunately, the holiday never received official status. The State Committee for Environmental Protection of the Russian Federation, which could approve this initiative, was abolished in 2000.
Chukotka Autonomous District is famous for its unique places, such as the Reserve Wrangel Island called "maternity hospital" for polar bears and the National Park "Berengia" including its unique Whale Alley. As well as several dozens of nature reserves and natural monuments, such as Lake Elgygygyn - "white lake", Welen - "black earth", Pegtymelsky petroglyphs, Anyuysky volcano and many others.
But the holiday is primarily dedicated not to the natural treasures of our country, but to those people who have linked their lives with the protected area. Any specially protected natural area (SPNA), whether it is a nature reserve and a national park - large or small, old or recently opened - are first and foremost those people who work there. They take a huge responsibility to preserve our country's natural and cultural heritage for present and future generations. Being enthusiasts in their work, they are fulfilling this task perfectly. Thanks to their efforts, we are able to preserve the unique landscapes and diversity of flora and fauna on the territory of our country in the original state. It is they who are the main attractions on which all the work of the protected areas is built and maintained.
New lichen species have been discovered in Wrangel Island Nature Reserve.
This summer the territory of the Reserve was visited by young scientists: Roman Obabko, post-graduate student, junior researcher of the Laboratory of Dynamics and Productivity of Taiga Forests of the Forest Institute of KarSC under the RAS and his colleague, Grigory Evdokimov from St. Petersburg State University. The main purpose of the trip was collecting and studying herbarium samples of mosses and lichens for refreshing the list of species in the Reserve, as well as monitoring of the soil cover, laying test sites for further study of climate change on the island.
The expedition began with the cordon "Unexpected" under the supervision of an experienced State Inspector, Oleynikov Igor Petrovich. Igor Petrovich accompanied the children and acquainted them with the rules of the protected area during the whole expedition.
A few days gathering was held in the area of Unexpected cordon in a walking distance, then, taking advantage of the good weather, the group went to the living trailer called Bird Bazaar.
Based on the results of the expedition, abundant herbarium materials on mosses were collected. Particularly, more than 1,000 photos of mosses and lichens were photographed, which will later be included in the Wrangel Island Atlas of Mosses and Lichens. It is not time to speak more precisely about the new species identified . As it will take about a year to analyse and sort the gathed materials, but we expect the list of lichens for Wrangel Island to be expanded significally.
Amazingly enough, but much more moss species there are known than those of lichens, as the flora of mosses of the island has been studied at a deeper level. The expedition was supported by the World Wildlife Fund.
Interview with the participants of the expedition exploring moss and lichen on Wrangel Island.
The first equipment, purchased by FSBI State Nature Reserve «Wrangel Island» for the Kytalyk National Park, arrived in Yakutsk.
The purchase of vehicles was carried out due to the subsidy of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation, expressly provided for the development of the National Park. The special equipment will raise the efficiency of the protection regulations on suppression of violations of the nature protection legislation in the territory of the national park and its protection zone; it will reduce the time of transportation of the national park employees and necessary loads to the most remote parts of the protected area, as well as will be used for research activities in remote areas of the protected area.
The all-terrain vehicle GAZ-71 and TRACOL will be sent to Allaikhovsky district, Chokurdy settlement, after the registration activities.
For reference: the Kytalyk National Park was established on 24 December 2019 and is located in Allaikhovsky district of Yakutia. This March, "Katalyk" has been entrusted to the operational management of the FSBI State Natural Reserve "Wrangel Island".
Two new books by Vitaly Shentalinsky have been published
The books are linked by the same message, namely, the reflection of the romantic" and "tragic" North in the writer's work. The romantic North is his life, including work and expeditions on Wrangel Island and the tragic one is GULAG. These are the two Norths, that truly lived in his heart.
The first book, under the title " The Garden Ring, the Polar Circle", contains Vitaly Alexandrovich's diary notes, covering the period of his life from 1958 to 1979, as well as his poetic works and the novel "Only One Winter" about his life and expeditions to Wrangel Island.
The second book, that of "The Inhabited Island", contains travel diaries, poems and novels, such as "The Fragment of Ancient Beringia", "The Island of Fooled Hopes", "The Big Bear", "The End of New Colombia" and "Travelling through Time and Space."
The third book is being prepared for publication. It is the widow of Vitaly Shentalinsky, Tatiana Sergeyevna, who is working on it at present. According to her, the book will be dedicated to the decade that Vitaly lived in the Magadan Region.
The creative heritage of the Russian writer, poet, prose writer, journalist and social activist is presented in new publications of the Magadan publishing house "Hunter".
For questions about purchasing books please contact: Hunter Publishing House email@example.com 11 Proletarskaya St., Magadan, office 403.
Kytalyk National Park
Kytalyk National Park in Allaikhovsky ulus of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) was established on December 24, 2019 by a Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation and is managed by the FSBI State Nature Reserve "Wrangel Island", Pevek, Chukotka Autonomous District. The area of 1,885,554 ha includes the most valuable parts of the Kytalyk State Nature Reserve and the Kytalyk Local Resource Reserve.
The main focus of the new project is to preserve the East Siberian Crane population. Crane, or white crane (the Yakut name of the Siberian Crane is Kytalyk), is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species and as a rare species in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. The future of the species nowadays depends on the conservation of the East Siberian Crane population, which has about 4,000 individuals (99% of its total world population) and nests in the tundra zone in northern Yakutia.So,this area is a key ornithological area of international significance.
At the same time, the establishment of the national park is aimed at preserving the original tundra landscapes of the Yano-Indigir Lowland, rare and endangered species of animals, including the Yano-Indigir wild reindeer population and maintaining the traditional natural resourse use of the native peoples of the North and developing ecological tourism as well.
273 vascular plant species, including rare ones, such as Rhodiola rosea, parnassia, pedicularis and phlojodicarpus, have been found to grow on the territory of the planned national park.
21 mammal and 91 bird species, 63 of which are nesting, have been identified in the national park. There are nests of Siberian Cranes, yellow-billed loons, lesser white-fronted geese, small swans, bimaculate ducks, gyrfalcons and peregrine falcons. In addition, there are wolf, fox, wolverine, muskrat, representatives of a rodent order, wild reindeer, elk, sable, ermine, weasel, brown bear, as well as muskox that are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
The year 2020 has been declared as the World Crane Year by the International Crane Foundation and a group of crane specialists.
Since 1996, the Russian Bird Conservation Union has been running the "Bird of the Year" campaign annually. The symbol of the year is chosen according to the following criteria: the bird must be well known; it must be found in most of the country; its definition (by its appearance, by its voice, etc.) must not cause difficulties. It is not always a rare bird; sometimes they choose quite ordinary birds. This year, the grey crane was chosen. It is not listed on the IUCN lists, but it is present in a number of regional Red books, as well as in CITES lists.
Cranes also have their own holiday - World Crane Day. The Crane Day holiday was initiated by the Eurasian Crane Working Group in 2002 and has become a good tradition since then. Now it is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of September. This is when birds migrate for the wintering season.
In Chukotka, as well as in the Wrangel Island Reserve, there is only one species of crane - the Canadian crane. It is the largest crane in the world in number. The total number of the species is about 700-800 thousand. There are 6 subspecies of Canadian Cranes, three of them are sedentary. Hunting them is prohibited. The plumage of all subspecies is of different shades of grey, which turns rusty and brown on the back. However, the rusty color is a secondary phenomenon, and birds in the nesting area ‘’paint’’ themselves with iron oxides dissolved in water, wiping their slimy heads and necks against their backs. Probably, it is a kind of disguise.
In tundras of Chukotka, the crane nests in areas that are close to river valleys or well-drained intermountain lowerings. The nests are completely open. Sometimes the nest is built of dwarf willow branches, but sometimes there is no nest, but just a hole in the moss only.
In the first half of September Canadian cranes from Russia cross the Bering Strait and fly for wintering, along the Pacific coast to the southern states of America - Arizona, Texas and others.
The state of Nebraska in Central America is home to a migration stop for Canadian cranes. The River Plath gathers about 80% of the world population. In spring, millions of tourists come to this place to admire this magnificent sight.
Climatologists have found some evidence of the changes in climate on Wrangel Island
From April to July 2020, a team of specialists worked together with the reserve's staff to study the climatic conditions of the planet. The main goal of the research on Wrangel Island was to collect data on snow cover and assess ice conditions in the reserve's coastal waters.
The scientific expedition marked the beginning of a large-scale project to study global climate change in the protected areas of the Russian Arctic. The experimental part of this project was supported by WWF-Russia.
The territory of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve was not chosen by chance, as the island is located in extremely contrasting conditions. It is the northernmost part of Asia, whereas minimal anthropogenic impacts have not damaged the fragile ecosystem.
During the expedition the impressive amount of data was collected, such as changes in vegetation. Soil, especially permafrost soils, and water bodies were studied. At the same time, we carried out snow-metering surveys, collected information about the nature of landfast ice, excavation of former polar bear maternity and temporary dens. These data will form the basis for digital recognition of marine mammal habitats on the shoreline in the spring. In addition, the analysis of the dens revealed their locations and the nature of their structure.
The results of the seventh competition for the F.R.Stilmark Prize 2019 have been summed up.
The seventh competition for the F.R. Stilmark Prize was announced in August 2019. It was organized by the Wildlife Conservation Center and was held with the use of a grant from the President of the Russian Federation, provided by the Presidential Grant Fund. The competition included three nominations: "Achievements in science", "Young scientists" and "Periodicals".
In the traditional nomination "Achievements in Science" 68 lists of scientific publications (for 2017-2018) of employees participated in the competition. They represented 40 reserves, national parks and sanctuaries, from 33 regions of Russia. 66 applications were found to be in compliance with the contest conditions.
The competition in the new nomination "Young Scientists" received 30 applications from employees of protected areas under the age of 36. Lists of publications and questionnaires reflecting their scientific, organizational and environmental activities in 2016-2018 were sent by young scientists from 19 reserves, 3 national parks and 4 united directorates of protected areas from 23 regions of Russia.
Another new nomination of the contest, that of "Periodicals", included 26 publications such as 6 magazines, 17 newspapers and one bulletin, one almanac and one newsletter as well. The works came from 14 reserves, 9 national parks, 1 united directorate and 1 association of protected areas, from 23 regions of Russia.
Each nomination was evaluated by an expert jury consisting of highly qualified representatives of the scientific community, employees of specially protected natural areas, university professors, scientific journalists, public figures. The jury members analyzed all the contest works and evaluated them in accordance with the previously prepared criteria.
In accordance with the terms of the contest, the official announcement and awarding of the winners and prizewinners was planned to be timed to coincide with the readings and conference in memory of F.R. Stilmark on the problems of nature conservation. They would be held in April 2020 in Moscow. However, due to the unfavorable epidemic situation, the readings and the conference have been postponed until autumn.
The high value of the contest work of the head of the scientific department, Ulyana Babiy, in the nomination "Young Scientists", was awarded with the Diploma of Honor for her selfless activity in the extreme north-east of Russia.
We sincerely congratulate our colleague on this award and wish her further prosperity and good luck in life!
The first polar bear monotorings on Wrangel Island with the use of quadrocopters.
At the end of 2019, the employees of the Wrangel Island Reserve took drone control courses. They were trained to operate remote-piloted vehicles or quadrocopters. The courses were organized as part of the joint project with WWF of Russia. The main objective was to test new methods of polar bear census . The World Wildlife Fund provided the Reserve with four professional quadrocopters with extended function range. Two of them are equipped with cameras with a thermal imager, capable of displaying the heat emitted by the object, even from a long distance.
Every year, on the protected islands of Wrangel and Herald, most of the pregnant females of the Chukchi-Alaskan polar bear population lie in dens. Usually polar bears are counted during March and April, when bears and their cubs leave the birth dens and bears take the cubs on sea ice. Cubs are taught survival and seal hunting skills there. Traditional monitorings look like that: staff are divided into several groups and go to model areas where the density of the dens is higher than in other parts of the island. Several times a week, specialists ride around the sites on snowmobiles and inspect every slope, valley and other places where the snow layer allows the bear to dig out some temporary housing.
It is only the holes for entrance that indicate a den. That’s not an easy task indeed. First of all, dens are located most often high. Secondly, the entrance is a little over a meter in diameter. In addition, the bright spring sun, reflected in the snow like a mirror, makes the search process more complicated
A quadrocopter has a camera with a thermal imager that helps overcome numerous difficulties. In fact, the temperature inside the dens is much higher than outside. When flying around the area, the thermal halo, hitting the camera, is displayed on the drone control panel, and the recorder records and examines the object in detail using a high-resolution camera.
On arriving on Wrangel Island, the staff of the scientific, security and tourism departments, consisting of 8 people, were divided into 2 groups and left for the previously selected cordons such as "Waring" and "Unexpected". On the second day the drones already went up to the sky.
Four launches over the first found den with total flight time 1 hour 40 minutes showed that it was inhabited. Specialists were able to examine in detail not only the female bear, but also its two cubs. The animals reacted quite calmly. The Reserve's staff did not violate the so-called comfort zone and observed them from a distance.
Despite the freezing temperatures of -25 C and the north wind, the experiment to examine the den was a success. Yet the main task , to detect the den using a drone, has not been solved.
"Unfortunately, specific weather conditions and tight deadlines prevented us from working out the method in full. The search for the dens with the help of a drone camera only failed, " comments Leonid Zaika, the Head of the Department of Ecotourism Development of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve.
“However, the experience gained and mistakes, without which it is impossible to implement a brand new methodology, will allow for a detailed analysis and preparation for next year’s census.
The resulting photo and video material has great scientific value. With its help specialists will be able to determine the age and condition of animals as well as the distinctive features of their behavior. The main conclusion is that the annual polar bear monitorings with the use of quadrocopters make the specialists' work safer and it is much easier to find and study both dens and animals themselves."
Spring hunting season starts in Russia
Soon the spring waterfowl hunting season will also open in Chukotka. It will last 10 days. During the spring bird hunting season in Chukotka territory only male ducks, geese, Canadian cranes and male black-billed capercaillies are allowed to be shot.
Hunting for other species of birds listed in the Red Book of Russia and the Red Book of Chukotka Autonomous District is prohibited.Not allowed to shoot are whooper, small and American swans, American wigeons,Siberian and spectacled eiders. As well as lesser white-fronted , taiga bean, emperor geese and Baikal teals.
They are rare bird species with low numbers and a narrow range of habitats that require special treatment. Each year the number of rare and endangered species increases, because of the unreasonable and uncontrollable hunting. That can eventually lead to their full extinction!
‘’Wrangel Island" Reserve staff worked out a memo on waterfowl of the Chukotka Autonomous District that involves lists of permitted and prohibited species for hunting.
Be careful when hunting! Do not shoot a bird if you are not sure that it is not a Red Book species!
With the support of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF of Russia), geobotanists set out for the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve.
Dmitry Dobrynin, a chief specialist in remote sensing of the Earth at the Marine Research Center of Moscow State University, and Oksana Sukhova , a leading engineer of the Natural Science Institute of PSNIU will spend three months on Wrangel Island.
The main purpose of their visit was to collect data to draw a picture of Wrangel Island's natural complexes, which would then serve as an information basis for identifying dynamic phenomena in the island's ecosystems.
It is not the first year that the Reserve's employees have experienced changes in snow conditions, floods and vegetation. More frequent visits by more southern fish species, such as pink salmon, have become common. Scientists will try to measure the dynamics of current processes on a space scale.
Global climate change affects not only vegetation and wildlife, but also transforms terrain and friable sediments. Much attention will also be paid to these aspects on the island. For instance, it is planned to set up long-term observation points for such processes as thermokarst, thermo-erosion, cellusion, soil heaving. The coastal zone will be surveyed and the most unstable forms of coastal topography in today's environment will be identified. It is also planned to install temperature sensors for long-term microclimate monitoring.
All these data will help to predict most precisely the changes that will take place in the Arctic over the next few decades.
On the photo: Rogers Bay, Ushakovsky village.
This is an example of increased activity of coastal processes in warm 2018, compared with 2016.
Satellite images clearly show a strip of turbid waters saturated with suspended particles of bottom sediments and erosion products carried out into the sea with river waters.
The Foundation "Protected Embassy" opens a new charity program "The Fund for Mutual Assistance for protected areas".
The initiative to create the program belongs to a group of managers of protected areas who agreed to join the Board of Trustees of the program, to promote it and to control the management of funds.
What is the "The Fund for Mutual Assistance for protected areas"?
It's a campaign to support one another , for instance, your colleagues in difficult moments. In our case, it is support for protected area staff and their families who find themselves in difficult life situations. For example, fires, natural disasters, resulting in loss of property, disability or death as a result of the execution of official duties in a protected area, serious illness, loss of a breadwinner who worked in a protected area, assistance in protecting the rights and dignity of employees of a protected area and other circumstances.
Everyone who is interested in participating in the program can go to the Protected People" page of the "Protected Embassy" website and support with their contribution nature defenders by transferring from a personal bank card or through the details of the Foundation for legal entities.
Your donations will be included in the Fund for Mutual Assistance. The collected funds will be spent by the decision of the Board of Trustees of the program, the expenses will be also available on the website of the program.
The field season on the island has started.
On March 26, the Reserve's staff members, state inspectors Gennady Fedorov, Vladimir Mazanov, Ilya Petukhov, Victor Kostyuk, as well as researchers Ulyana Babiy, Pavel Kulemeev and a new employee of the department of Ecological Tourism, Leonid Zaika flew away for the next field season.
During six months, the Reserve's staff will work together to collect information on key environmental monitoring sites. They are polar bears, white geeses, sheep-bulls, as well as the condition of seabird colonies, watercourses, phenological observations and many others.
In March and April, the bears will start coming out of the dens together with the cubs, and the staff will monitor them with the use of remote-piloted vehicles, that will help in population calculation.
There will also be renovation work to improve a fishing house at Popov Lagoon. In the future, the house will be used as a base for stopping by land and sea routes for bird watching.
We wish all employees a successful field season!
We invite everyone to take part in the "March of Parks 2020" action!
"March of Parks" is an international action to support specially protected natural areas of Russia and neighboring countries.
The motto of March of Parks 2020 is
"For a quarter of a century we've been helping nature conservation!"
Today about 12 thousand Russian reserves, national and natural parks, reservations and other protected areas of federal, regional and local level are located on the area that covers 13% of Russia's territory. However, they preserve at least 70% of the animal and plant species living in our country.
Actually, protected lands are ideal models of wild or intact nature. They are necessary not only for preserving of the biodiversity. The scientific value of protected areas is exceptionally high indeed. Studies of natural processes in natural, i.e. healthy ecosystem, make it possible to understand, for example, ways of treatment of disturbed natural communities. As they provide human-friendly conditions, such as air and water purification, restoration of soil fertility, places for recreation or health improvement and many other things.
In 2020, the "March of Parks 2020" action will be held for the 25th time! Today March of Parks is one of the largest and most popular nature conservation events in Russia. In 2020 the "Wrangel Island" Reserve acts as the main coordinator of the "March of Parks 2020" in the Chukchi Autonomous District.
Together with the charitable foundation "Wildlife Conservation Center" (WCC), the Reserve organizes an art competition "Nature of the native land"(age of participants must be from 4 to 18 years old) and ñhildren's art competition "World of Protected Nature" on the theme "Nature of the native land". The main condition is to do the contest work directly in nature, working in the technique of plenair. Show a corner of nature, which is close to you. You can draw not only a protected area and its inhabitants, but also a lake or tundra, any part of nature that you love and want to protect, and plants or animals living there.
The Reserve launches also an extra art competition "Birds of Chukotka ". The main condition is to depict any bird that flies to Chukotka or the Wrangel Island Reserve. It is allowed to draw a composition with the bird's participation, but the main character of this plot must still be a bird and it must occupy the central place in the drawing, i.e. the predominant part of it.
In a short time, our Reserve, with the financial support of the Russian Geographical Society, will release a photo album "The Birds of the Wrangel Island".
The book includes articles on key groups of birds of the Wrangel and Herald Islands, a summary of scientific research and ecological tourism in the Reserve as well.
The text in Russian and English is supplemented with a great number of colorful photos, depicting and revealing the hard life of birds in the Reserve. The book is addressed to birdwatchers, naturalists, photographers, as well as to those who love and admire the harsh nature of the Arctic.
The photo album will be issued in a limited edition in a gift format.
In 2020 the Earth Hour campaign will be held for the 12th time in Russia. The main theme of this year's action will be environmental activism.
What is Earth Hour?
Thousands of people all over Russia contribute to nature protection every day. They solve problems of different levels.Some of them collect batteries in their own driveway to dispose of them correctly, others find and stop illegal cutting of forest, others organize eco-lessons and charity events at their school, university or just among friends. All these people are united by a sense of responsibility for the well-being of our nature and a good will to preserve it.
No special education or resources are needed to join Earth Hour. Indeed, everyone can find something to their liking and possibilities and contribute to nature conservation. That is why the motto of the 2020 campaign is "Everyone Can".
What needs to be done?
Register on the website of the campaign, light a candle on the map of Earth Hour and pass the test to learn your environmental purpose.Turn off all electrical appliances in your home, apartment or office at 20.30 local time on March 28, 2020.
What can I do at EARTH HOUR ?
There are many ways to spend 60 minutes in the dark:
- to stay at home with your family and have a candlelight dinner
- to organize a corporate flash mob or charity event
- to place a promotion banner on your website and join the #Everyone Could Marathon
Choose your personal way to support Earth Hour!
Tell your friends about the campaign.Your friends and colleagues may not know what Earth Hour is yet. Tell them about the event and offer to participate in it together.
Share a photo of how you spent Earth Hour, post it on your social media page marked Wrangel Island Reserve and WWF Russia - World Wildlife Fund and hashtags # Everybody Could #Earth-Chukotka #Wrangel Island Reserve #WWW
Happy birthday to you, the Reserve «Wrangel Island»!
Dear employees, colleagues and friends!
Happy holidays! Let your life be long and prosperous, and there will be always time for enjoying and admiring the beauty of nature!
We wish you health, fruitful work, inexhaustible creativity and achievements in nature protection!
Thank you for your great work and love for the work you do!
We wish our reserve further prosperity and long years of existence!
So, to grow and to prosper!
The first reserve in Russland that was established to preserve the Arctic.
The beginning of the Reserve business was the ban on fox hunting to adopt in 1937. Later on walrus rookeries were put under protection, and in 1968 a sanctuary was organized to protect polar bears, white geese and seabird colonies.
The status of the Reserve was set up on March 23, 1976. Since then the Reserve has included Wrangel Island and Herald, as well as a 12-mile sea area. The total area of the Reserve is 2225.65 thousand hectares.
In 2004, the Reserve was added to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. The territory is distinguished by the autonomy of the ecosystem, that has been developing under isolation for 50 thousand years, and by the biodiversity that is exceptional for the Arctic. For instance, 383 species of vascular plants and 169 bird species are known. The flora of the Reserve is richer than that of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
Wrangel Island is isolated from the continent by the Long Strait. The island along with harsh climatic conditions is actually like a "migration filter" and prevents many species from penetrating the territory. For this reason, the island fauna is significantly poorer than the mainland fauna. However, the species diversity is much higher than on many Arctic islands of similar size.
The only large white geese colony in Asia has been preserved on Wrangel Island and the most stable reproductive settlements of white owls have been found, as well as the highest density of brood dens of the Arctic fox dens.
The most numerous seabird colonies in this part of the Arctic, up to 300,000 nesting individuals, are situated there. The fauna of terrestrial mammals includes 3 aboriginal species. They are the Arctic fox and 2 species of endemic lemmings.
The wolverine and the wolf live there, and sometimes the fox pops in. In the 40s, domestic reindeer were introduced to Wrangel Island. Then in 1975, the sheep-bull was brought to Wrangel Island and now its number is as high as 1500 specimens. Wrangel Island and the Herald is the "maternity home" for polar bears. Every winter, from 300 to 500 bears go to the dens to breed.
An event to celebrate the Polar Bear Day took place in the Information Center of the Reserve!
Ekaterina Artamonova, the Head of the Environmental Education Department, held an educational game "Arctic King" for the guests of the Reserve. Players selected traits that characterize the polar bear, built food chains, answered questions, as well as learned many interesting facts about the behavior and lifestyle of the largest land predator of the Far North.
The evening was continued by the story of Pavel Kulemeev, a polar bear researcher. He told about the history of polar bear research at the Reserve. Pavel gave a detailed report on how the polar predator is monitored, methods of research, programs for the study and protection of this Red-Book species.
At the end of the event, a video about a polar bear was presented to the participants.
The polar bear is included in the IUCN Red List (VU - vulnerable species), the Red Book of Russia, as well as the Red Book of Chukchi Autonomous District. The main threat to the polar bear species in the most part of its range is considered to be the reducing of ice cover due to climate warming.
International Polar Bear Day
Every year, on February 27, the International Polar Bear Day is celebrated. It is more commonly called Polar Bear Day in our country.
The holiday was initiated by the organization PBI (Polar Bear International). PBI is actively fighting for the preservation of the population of this beautiful predator, which lives only in the Arctic latitudes, near the North Pole.
The polar bear is the largest ground predator. The polar bear's body weight can reach as much as 800 kg. The average weight of an adult male is usually 400-600 kg and that of an adult female is 250-300 kg. Body length for males can be 200-250 cm, but for females 160-250 cm only. The shoulder height of the animals is 130-150 cm.
Polar bears are very comfortable at ambient temperatures of -45 degrees and below. Heat is kept thanks to two layers of fur and a thick layer of subcutaneous fat. The Wrangel Island Reserve is home to the majority of the Chukchi Alaskan polar bear population. Wrangel Island and Herald Islands have the highest concentration of polar bear's birth dens in the world. From 300 to 500 bears go to the dens for breeding every winter.
There are about 25 thousand polar bears left on Earth. So this problem should be paid much attention to. The main threat to polar bears is the melting of sea ice caused by the global warming of the climate on our planet. Practically it is the ice that is a characteristic habitat for polar bears all year round.
"Field" employees of the Reserve have been trained.
At the end of February in the Information Center of the Reserve "Wrangel Island" with the support of the World Wildlife Fund training for the Reserve's staff ,engaged in field activities, was held. Mikhail Kreindlin, a program manager for protected areas of Greenpeace Russia, and Andrey Zvarich, the head of the Training Center "Rrohelp", conducted training on administrative paperwork and first aid in remote areas. Despite the formal weekends, the entire "field" staff received or improved their knowledge on the preparation of documents related to violations of environmental laws in reserves and necessary medical skills.
The teachers of the training are professionals who have been doing their business for many years already and are first-hand familiar with the specifics of the reserve system and territories located far from civilization.
The lack of operational communication with the mainland, the impossibility to provide really immediate emergency services and severe climatic conditions of our Arctic island force us to act as autonomously as possible, not counting on the soon "rescue" from the Big Land.
For four days of intense training, the most urgent for our territory aspects have been discussed and played out in practice. Namely, protocols for illegal ship entries into the waters of the island, treatment of frostbites and transportation of injured people with no roads.
These 4 maximally long and busy days made bright impressions both on the listeners and teachers, for whom it was their first visit to Chukotka. Judging by the success and results, next visits of the teachers can be expected.
Marine habitants of protected areas
On the occasion of Marine Mammal Protection Day, at the Reserve "Wrangel Island" were held thematic classes for students of the "Education Center" in Pevek and pre-school children from kindergarten "Golden Key."
The guys got acquainted with the variety of species and life features of these unique animals, and talked about the need to preserve them in nature.During the lesson, children learned about marine mammals to live in the protected area, what factors influence the reduction of their number. They also heard the voices of the whales, learned how they breathe, what they eat and how to identify whales.
To consolidate the material, schoolchildren were to take part in the quiz "Protected marine life", and preschoolers played a dynamic game "Seals and Cetaceans".
World Whale Day
On February 19, 1986, the International Whaling Commission (IWC) introduced a ban on whaling, starting the celebration of World Whale Day, which is also considered to be the day of protection for all marine mammals and creatures living in the seas and oceans of our planet.
This ban is still in force today and means that whale hunting as well as trade in whale meat is prohibited all around the world. The intensive and merciless extermination of marine mammals, especially that of whales, has been lasting more than 200 years already and has had a devastating impact on their numbers. In fact, many representatives of this order are on the brink of extinction nowadays.
But it is they that are the most sensitive indicators of the state of the marine systems of the planet and to be an important link in the nutrition chains of the oceans indeed. So they create the stability of the biological cycle of substances in the ecological system.
In Russia, Marine Mammal Protection Day has been celebrated since 2002 and is of particular importance, as our country's seas are home to several dozens of whale, dolphin and seal species, many of which are endangered and included into the Red Book of the Russian Federation and the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
On the coasts of the reserve "Wrangel Island" walruses settle to have their rookeries .They are the most interesting and valuable sea animals. There lives the Pacific walrus, for which this water area is the most important area of summer feeding. In certain years, from July to the end of September and the beginning of October, most of the females and young growth of the whole population congregate not far off the islands.
Ringed seals(Pusa hispida) and bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus) are common species in the coastal waters throughout the year. Ringed seals are the main feed for polar bears all year round, providing a full life cycle of the predator.
In summer and autumn, the water area adjacent to the islands of Wrangel and Herald is the area of cetacean feeding and migration. The gray whale is the most abundant here. In recent years, the number of gray whales off Wrangel Island has increased significantly. Annually, large herds of white whales pass along the shores of Wrangel Island during autumn migration. According to satellite tagging data, white whales have been identified as coming to Wrangel Island in the autumn to give birth in the delta of the river Mackenzie (Canada).
At the end of January the 26th, the meeting of the Russian-American working group on the project 02.05-61 "Marine Mammals" was held in Anchorage (USA).
The meeting focused mainly on current issues related to the study of marine mammals. Alexander Gruzdev, Director of the "Wrangel Island" Reserve, presented the results of the polar bear research. Specialists emphasized once again the ecological value and uniqueness of Wrangel Island. The colleagues discussed the work plans for 2020-2022, including new studies in the Reserve.
Let's hope for more cooperation in the field of nature protection and study!
The meeting of the Russian-American working group on the project 02.05-61 "Marine Mammals" is held in the framework of cooperation on the problem of V "Conservation and organization of nature reserves", functioning under the Russian-American Agreement on Environmental Protection of June 23, 1994.
Young naturalists of the Kronotsky Reserve got acquainted with the protected Chukotka.
Ulyana Babiy , a researcher of the Wrangel Island Reserve, visited Kamchatka and reported on her work to young naturalists of the Kronotsky Reserve, who have been studying wildlife since spring 2019. The juniors learnt what animals and plants are protected on the protected islands in the Chukchi Autonomous District.
Since the protected islands of Wrangel and Herald are the maternity home and one of the main habitats of polar bears, special attention was paid to this species and the comparison of polar and brown bears.
According to Roszapovedcentr of the Ministry of Natural Resources, in 2020 the network of federal protected areas will be expanded with 50 new thematic eco-routes.
Previous projects will also be developed. In particular, a multi-year project of the Tigirek Reserve (Altai Territory) to construct a 70 kilometer eco-route named after Academician Eric Laxman.
In summer in the Reserve will be organized a volunteer camp to help the employees. Depending on the length, the routes should be equipped with parking lots for camping sites, basic overnight camps with tents, bridges, stairs, decks in areas that are difficult to pass, information stands, viewing platforms and navigation. In addition, provision shall be made for the establishment of observation posts, observation and demonstration platforms and other facilities for training and educational activity.
Because of the interest of public, scientific, educational and volunteer organizations in the activities of protected areas, the work on increasing the number of objects of placement in protected areas will be intensified. For instance, 17 new guest houses will be opened in the Verkhne-Tazovsky Reserve (YaNAO).
The Visimsky Reserve (Sverdlovsk Region) will open a scientific station, which will accommodate both participants of scientific expeditions and students who have practice in the Reserve, as well as groups of young naturalists.
As for the Reserve "Wrangel Island", it is going to be a fishing house to receive fans of bird watching there. Last autumn, the Reserve's employees together with volunteers started to put it in order.After the overhaul the house will be used as a base to stay on land and sea routes for birdwatching in the lagoons of Popov and Tradatelskaya, as well as for watching marine mammals in Krasina Bay.
From 22 to 25 January inspectors of the Reserve Gennady Fyodorov and Vladimir Mazanov visited the Center for Innovation of the Forest Institute in the city of Ussuriysk (Primorsky Krai).
As part of the courses for firefighting managers for protected areas departments, organized jointly with the Amur branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), they met with the head of the program "Greenpeace Russia" Mikhail Kreindlin, one of the leading specialists of the Russian Federation in the field of nature conservation law.
The issues of administrative records management in Wrangel Island were discussed. So, common mistakes in record-keeping and documentation, as well as changes in the existing environmental legislation were discussed.
Such meetings do help to get qualified answers to current questions from practice and to be updated on the current situation in the country's environmental protection system.
Travelling across protected islands
From 13 to 24 January, the Reserve "Wrangel Island" organized for pre-school children from the kindergarten "Golden Key" and primary school students of "Center for Education" in Pevek enviromental lessons on the occasion of All-Russian holiday, that of Day of Reserves and National Parks.
The kids learned about the "reserves", "reservations" and "national parks". Many questions were discussed. What are they established for? What is their contribution to the conservation of rare, endangered plant and animal species. Why is the Day of Reserves and National Parks celebrated on January, 11?
Through games, children got acquainted with the most famous reserves of Russia, with their departments and the professions of people engaged in the sphere. Besides, they themselves made up stories about the reserves and national parks they like. The children also learned that in Russia there is a movement known as " Friends of Protected Islands" that unites schoolchildren from most regions of our great country. It means that everybody can help the nature and be a friend of protected islands.
Finally, all the guys came to a common opinion that nature is a precious gift for humans and since the early years every person should love and take care of our planet! The conservation lessons were completed with the ecological flash mob "Friends with Protected Islands".
Kindergarten «Golden Key»
«Education Center» Pevek city
On January 16, Pavel Kulemeev, a researcher of the Reserve "Wrangel Island" visited Children's Technopark "Quantorum "Khakassia"
At the lessons on "Bioquantum" curious children at the age up 10 to 18 years, who are interested in natural phenomena, study the nature of our planet, conduct experiments, meet with people who have connected their lives with biology.
At this meeting with young listeners Paul told about the peculiarities of work in the Reserve "Wrangel Island", as well as about the island itself, including the history of its discovery, protected flora and fauna. During the meeting, the participants learned about the location of the Reserve, about the field season on the island and activities after the field season.
Plastic and seabirds in the Russian Arctic
În 12-14 November a seminar "Plastic and seabirds in the Russian Arctic: problem state, information sharing and cooperation " was held at the Research Zoological Museum of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov, Moscow. The event was attended by both seabird specialists and employees of coastal protected areas of the Far North and the Far East. The participants discussed the threat of plastic pollution to the marine ecosystems of the Arctic, and shared information on the problem of plastic pollution and the risks of its impact on seabirds.
Research reports were made, including that of by a researcher of the reserve "Wrangel Island" Ulyana Babiy. During the round table discussions on marine ornithology in the Russian Arctic and adjacent seas, operative information was provided concerning the ongoing work and monitoring of seabirds in the reserve.
Scientific work on Wrangel Island in 2019 has been in full swing
To begin with, in March employees of the security department conducted a survey of the polar bear dens. As well as a monitoring of the white goose was carried on, including the annual banding. All in all, more than 1000 birds were marked with aluminum foot rings.
Also, some new projects were launched to study the vocal repertoire of white geese as well as the principles of the formation of their colonies as part of the project on the use of geese profiles in the area of the river Mamontowaya. It is where until the 1950s thousands of couples of geese nested annually. In July, Olga Arturovna Khruleva, an entomologist, a candidate of Biological Sciences, worked on the island. One of her main tasks was to collect material for the publishing of a new book related to a new series on the wildlife of Wrangel Island. In September, together with Russian and American colleagues routine surveys of polar bears were carried out.
This year will give a summary of the three-year research in the framework of the bilateral "Russian-American agreement on the conservation and management of the Chukchi-Alaskan polar bear population." The researchers of the reserve also counted up ringed seals on fast ice and made necessary phenological and hydrological observations. The counting of ungulates has also become traditional.
In addition, this year photo traps were installed on the reserve beams and hospitals, equipped with special boxes protecting from curious bears.
On the 14th of October the Day of Nature Conservation Workers is celebrated in Russia.
This is a professional holiday of all people whose activities are inextricably connected with the preservation and maintenance of landscapes in their pristine form . It is a holiday of the employees of the Department of Protection, conducting inspections of the vast territories entrusted to them and the researchers who spend most of their time in field expeditions, carrying out environmental monitoring and research, as well as the employees of the Department of ecological education, engaged in the development of cognitive tourism and environmental education of the population, conducting environmental events, actions and competitions.
On the day of our professional holiday, we would like to express our thanks and respect to all friends and colleagues for Your great contribution to the common cause for the preservation of unique nature.
Please accept our congratulations on the day and our sincere wishes of good health, happiness, longevity, success in your careers and professional activities! Due to your efforts the unique corners of nature are preserved that still are giving us mighty delight, and which will be our grandchildren and great-grandchildren in the future proud of! Your selfless activity is a guarantee of preservation and increase of our natural wealth. Good luck to you in all your good deeds in the field of nature conservation!
World Crane Day is celebrated annually on the second Sunday of September. Crane Day was first celebrated in 2002 in the United States. Struggling for saving the endangered American cranes, environmental scientists had an idea to put the American cranes’ eggs in the nests of cranes of other species, which nested in safe places. There was a happy day that a big brood of rescued birds could start nesting at last. It is the day that was later declared a new ecological holiday, and the crane has become a symbol of organizations protecting nature since then.
In terms of time the celebration of this day coincides with the annual registrations of cranes, which are carried out in the pre- migratory period. The flying away of cranes is associated with first winter cold weather to come. Of the 15 species of cranes to live on the planet, only 7 species nest in Russia. In the territory of Chukotka one species nests as well. That’s the Canadian crane.
As a rule, Canadian cranes are monogamous birds. So, they prefer to choose one partner and then remain faithful to each other for life. During the mating ritual, couples stand very close together and sing in unison. However, scientists know the facts when birds occasionally change partners.
There are 6 subspecies of the crane, whose height ranges from 80 to 150 cm, and weight ranges from 3 to 6.5 kg. The plumage of all subspecies is gray, of different shades, the head and top of the neck are light and legs are black. In Chukotka, the crane mainly inhabits the moss-sedge boggy hilly tundra, the bottoms of mountain valleys and lowlands surrounded by hills.
The dancing of the Canadian cranes is a very amazing sight, because of their bows and pirouettes on the ground, often accompanied by throwing into the air bunches of grass, pieces of moss, lichens and small twigs. The "dances" are based on high jumping with dangling legs and spreading wings. The latter is sometimes the way how the birds enable their being in the air. When jumping the birds rotate 180 ° in the air and repeat the rotation several times.
During the nesting period, Canadian cranes are active all the day round. There are usually 2 eggs in the laying and both parents take part in the hatching process.
In summer they feed mainly on ñrowberries, but they also likecloudberries and cowberries.Feeding on insects and mouse-like rodents is also noted.
In general, the population of the Canadian crane remains stable, although in some regions there is a decrease. Regular meetings with the Canadian crane are observed on Wrangel Island as well. The greatest number of them take place in the spring. To be exactly, from the end of May till the beginning of June. The cranes are unlikely to be seen in summer.
"Every year World Animal Day is celebrated on October 4.
This holiday was established at the International Congress of supporters of the movement for the protection of nature, that was held in 1931 in Florence (Italy). It was started with the aim to draw the attention of mankind to the problems of the other inhabitants of the planet. They are our little friends or animals.
This day is known as the Memory day for Francis of Assisi, one of the most honored catholic saints, the founder of the celebrated monastic order. He helped the suffering, the sick and the persecuted. He did paid great attention to nature. According to legend, St. Francis had an amazing gift of communicating with wild animals. So he strongly appealed to the believers and told them not to offend animals and birds. He died on October 4, 1226. It is his attitude to all living creatures that made him a saint who is respected worldwide. The prize named after St. Francis is given for outstanding achievements in the field of nature protection.
In Russia, this date has been celebrated since 2000, on the initiative of the International Fund for Animal Welfare. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), 3 species of animals disappear on Earth every hour. In other words, 70 species of flora and fauna of the planet disappear every day. More over, a quarter of all species of flora and fauna will die out in the nearest future.
For the past quarter of the century, the Earth's biodiversity has declined by a third. Information about species on the brink of extinction is collected in the Red Âook of endangered species. In its turn, data are compiled by the International Union for conservation of nature and natural resources. In our country, one of the most important mechanisms for the protection of rare and endangered species of animals is the Red Âook of the Russian Federation.
In addition, environmental laws are being reformed and some conservation strategies of particular rare and endangered species of animals, such as the Amur tiger, far-easastern leopard, snow leopard, polar bear, bison, Sakhalin musk deer and others, are being carried out nowadays. For more than a hundred years, our country has created and developed a system of specially protected areas. One of the most important tasks of the system is the protection and preservation of rare and endangered species of animals and their habitats.
The same relates to the nature reserve "Wrangel Island" that has been engaged in environmental activities since 1976. It was organized with the aim to preserve and study the natural course of natural processes and phenomena, genetic fund of flora and fauna, separate species and communities of plants and animals, typical and unique ecological systems. The territory of the reserve has a unique biodiversity within its natural zone. The traces of unique evolutionary processes have been preserved and that process resulted in forming of amazing natural complex. Nowhere else in the world there is a complex like that of Wrangel Island’s.
The reserve contains the following species: insects — 360 species, arachnids-181 species, crustaceans-40 species, birds-169 species, 8 species of terrestrial and 12 species of marine mammals.
Rare species listed in the Red books of different ranks live on the territory of our protected areas. It should be noted that the Wrangel Island reserve is one of the few places in Russia where a rare "Red book" species, the polar bear, lives. Wrangel island has the highest density of polar bear dens in the entire Arctic region.
World Animal Day relates not to wild animals only , but also to domestic ones. Unfortunately, ill-treatment of pets is becoming more and more common case. Russia ranks second after the United States in terms of the number of pets. In fact , our small brothers live in every third Russian family.
The idea of the holiday is welcomed and supported around the world, and annually more than 60 countries hold various events dedicated to this date. Today we can declare that the life of animals is fully in the hands of humanity, and it is we who must make every effort to preserve the animal world.
"Searching for the island"
The kids from the Golden Key Kindergarten together with the staff of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve and the Chaun Museum of Local Lore have travelled searching for an unknown island for two days.
The journey of young researchers started with the construction of the ship, on which they set off.Having received a map with the coordinates of the island, they had to pass through all the barriers preventing them from arriving at their destination . On seeing an unfamiliar island, the guys began to examine the animals living on the island. The head of the department of environmental education and the development of tourism Yekaterina Artamonova informed the young travelers on the history of Wrangel Island and its unique wildlife. In the museum hall, preschool children got acquainted with the museum copies of animals in life-size. A museum employee Valentina Khristoforova explained the children the difference between the bering cormorant and the glaucous gull.
Young researchers cleared the sea route from ice blocks and made up a puzzle map of the Wrangel Island. Thus, the children discovered their own Wrangel Island. It makes us think about the history of real Wrangel Island. Figuratively speaking, the captain of the Herald, Henry Kellet discovered Herald Island and Kellet Land (Wrangel Island) in the same way. But it was 170 years ago.
At the end of the event, the director of the museum, Valeria Yuryevna Shvets-Shust, handed each team the book "Ice Age, or walks with mammoths." The book describes Wrangel Island before and after the Ice Age. Of course, mammoths that have dominated on Wrangel Island longer than in other parts of our planet and finally died out about 4000 years ago, are described in more details.
The Chaun Regional History Museum is hosting an exhibition dedicated to the 170th anniversary of the discovering of Wrangel and Herald Islands
Six posters on the exploration of the islands since 1924 to the present day are on view at the exhibition "Wrangel Island: exploration or contemplation?" They are copies of photographs, maps, diagrams, sketches. As illustrations for posters can be seen paintings made by the Australian artist Peter Anderson, who visited Wrangel Island several times.
The ceremony of opening of the exhibition took place on August, 17.It is exactly 170 years, that the islands were discovered. The head of the department of environmental education and the development of tourism, Yekaterina Artamonova, showed slide pictures and talked about amazing geographical and historical events, such as the discovery of the islands, the foundation of the reserve and the life of the first settlers. She also reported on the modern life of the reserve and the employees, who take much care of the reserve.
In addition, many original materials, personal documents and photographs of the famous Russian explorer of the Arctic and the founder of the permanent Soviet settlement on Wrangel Island ,Georgy Alekseevich Ushakov, are also exhibited there. The settlement Ushakovsky in Rogers Bay is named after him.
You will also find schemes, drawings and photographs from the personal archive of geologist Leonid Vasilyevich Gromov. It is he who discovered a rock crystal deposit on the island of Perkatkun in 1937, conducted a geological survey of the central part of the island, made up its geological map and discovered deposits of tin, gold and gypsum.
The exhibition will run until mid-October.
Visitors will be able to get acquainted with the most valuable historical information on the exploration of Wrangel Island and see with the own eyes some rare and original objects touched by the hands of its first settlers.
The tourist season in the Reserve "Wrangel Island" has already opened!
The day before, the cruise ship Captain Khlebnikov opened the new tourist season in the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve. The first tourists were delighted with the amazing landscapes of the high-latitude Arctic, glaciers and rocks. They visited the eastern cape of the island , Cape of Waring (the largest bird market in the Chukchi Sea), which is named after the party leader Lieutenant Waring, who was the first to visit the cape on the American ship Rogers in 1881. On the rocks of Cape of Waring, tourists watched the thick-billed guillemots, kittiwakes,guillemots, bering cormorants (Pelagic Cormorant), glaucous gull (Larus hyperboreus ) and horned puffins (Fratercula corniculata) . When cruising under the cliffs of the cape, the attention of tourists was attracted by unique geological structures, such as reef limestones, which are 350-330 million years old, black shale strata containing sulfides, as well as calcite and crystal outcrops.
More over, the territory of the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve was visited by representatives of the Canadian gold mining company Kinross Gold. The guests of the island were greatly impressed by nature. For instance, they were struck by the abundance and beauty of flowering Arctic tundra.
In the summer tourist season of 2019, there will be 9 cruises to the territory of the Wrangel Island State Nature Reserve, 3 of which will be carried out by the Captain Khlebnikov icebreaker, with ground excursions. Walking tours along the coast of the island make it possible to feel the unthinkable beauty of this pristine land, and of course it is especially interesting to photography lovers. Tourists visiting the reserve have the opportunity to observe a huge number of representatives of avifauna, mainly arctic foxes, polar bears, gray whales, white whales, walruses, ringed seals, reindeers, musk oxen and get acquainted with a wide variety of plants as well . Meanwhile, there is no need to worry about the fragile nature , because all routes are always built ecologically in order to to minimize disturbance to the animal and plant world.
What are whales and dolphins? What is the difference between them?
All whales and dolphins belong to cetaceans. The recent researches has proved their relationship to artiodactyls. That is why it would be right to unite them and name cetartiodactyl.
All modern cetaceans are divided into 2 big groups:baleen and toothed whales.
Cetaceans Baleen whales: 1 - bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus); 2 - blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus); 3 - finwal (Balaenoptera physalus); 4 - minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata); 5 - humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae); 6 - gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus).
Toothed whales: 7 - northern swimming bats (Berardius bairdi); 8 - high-sided bottlenose (Hyperoodon ampullatus); 9 - inia (Inia geoffrensis); 10 - striped stenella (Stenella coeruleoalba); 11 - a white barrel (Delphinus delphis); 12 - northern cetacean dolphin (Lissodelphis borealis); 13 - bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus); 14 - crested tooth dolphin (Steno bredanensis); 15 - gray dolphin (Grampus griseus); 16 - black killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens); 17 - ordinary grind (Globicephala melas); 18 - killer whale (Orcinus orca); 19 - common porpoise (Phocoena phocoena).
There are many differences between them:
1) one of the key differences is even reflected in the names!
Whale bone( baleen) are elastic horny plates in the mouth of baleen whales hanging from the palate, helping to filter their food from the water plankton, mollusks, crustaceans and small fish.
Baleen whaleshave no teeth. But they are equipped with a special mechanism with which they swallow their food, mainly zooplankton, in huge portions (filtering device from whalebone plates).
Toothed whalesfeed in a different way and mainly prefer squid and fish. They usually swallow prey one by one.
Photo 1. Feeding of baleen whales.
Photo 2. Feeding of toothed whales.
2) In baleen and toothed whales, the nostrils have displaced to the upper part of the head and are called a spiracle, but in baleen whales a spiracle opens outward with two separate holes (this can be seen in the photo of the humpback whale), while in toothed whales these holes have grown together into one common spiracle.
Photo 1. Spiracle of baleen whales
Photo 2. Spiracle of toothed whales
3) Baleen whales are on average larger than toothed whales.But there are giants among the toothed whales, for example, sperm whales can reach a length of 20 meters. According to researchers, the blue whale is not only the largest modern animal, but also the largest of all fauna species that have ever inhabited the planet. If you look at the blue whale through the water column, it seems to be blue or dark blue. So its name comes from its color.
4) Most toothed whales are excellent swimmers. Baleen whales can’t develop such fast speeds. So the fastest cetaceans are toothed whales (Orcinus orca).
While attacking large prey, this dangerous marine predator can swim at the speed up to 55.5 km / h.
5) In addition, the groups of cetaceans differ significantly in the structure of the skull.It is connected with the way of feeding, and with the development of structures for making sounds. Tooth whales have these structures in the upper nasal passages, and they are found in baleen whales in the larynx.
6) All toothed whales are perfectly capable of echolocation, which largely replaces their eyes. On the head they have a pronounced fat pad, which serves primarily to concentrate the sound field during echolocation. ôîòî ýõîëîêàöèÿ
7) From the point of view of the social structure, baleen whales are known to be quite lonely in nature, often travelling alone or in small groups.
Whales and dolphins, friendly and playful representatives of mammals, are considered to be ones of the most intelligent and beloved animals of man. It is they, that constantly attract our attention and arose much interest to themselves as they are unique, highly intelligent, well adapted to living in the aquatic environment mammals. These animals are very popular indeed. But despite of whale protection and long-term ban on whaling, their existence has remained under threat up to the present time.
For their kindness to people they rightfully deserve to be honored once a year, so that the whole planet celebrates their holiday. Though, the holiday was not established only on the reason of great love to cute marine creatures. Actually, it was an attempt to cover up the ruthless whaling industry. Humans have considered cetaceans just a resource for ages. Mainly as a source of food, fat, ambergris, and some other less useful things. Marine giants, powerless towards to a man with his weapons, have been hunted by whalers.
On July 23, 1982, the International Whaling Commission officially declared the situation catastrophic, as both whales and dolphins were on the brink of extinction at that time. On February 19, 1986, also the decision on commercial banning of whale hunting came into force.
In memory of the events, one more Whale Day is celebrated on the 19th of February. Sometimes the date is marked as the day of protection of other marine mammals.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ban whaling by one decision completely. In the legislation of most countries, including Russia, whales and dolphins are still listed as “Marine biological resources”, but in the minds of people they are gradually moving into the category of values of a higher order.
We invite you to participate in the photo contest "Pristine Russia - 2020"
Acceptance of photographs for participating in the exposition of the VII All-Russian Nature Festival "Pristine Russia", which will be held from January 17 to February 16, 2020 in Moscow, has already begun. During the year all works for the festival will be exhibited in Russian regions and abroad.
Works to several categories will be accepted until October 1, 2019.
1) Natural landscapes. Landscape photographs should reflect the beauty and the harmony of wildlife.
2) Animals, birds, reptiles, underwater inhabitants and other animals in their natural habitats. Preference will be given to photographs of animals at an interesting moment in their lives and portraits reflecting their individuality and character.
3) Flowers and other plants, as well as mushrooms.
4) Living things in harmony with the environment.
5) The beauty of the microworld .Photographs of the smallest organisms made with using of macrophotography.
The main proviso is that photographs must be taken in Russia.
Do not forget to read the terms of the competition on the website
For all questions regarding participation in the «Pristine Russia 2020 festival», please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck to everyone!
The first birds appear on the island only in May, and in September the island becomes deserted again. Because of difficult living conditions, their number in the polar tundra isn't high. It is only by necessity or where living conditions become better that there are congestions of birds, loud and noticeable from far away.
Actually, bird colonies are always bustling with lifein spring. In the bird colonies on the Wrangel Island, there is currently the only large breeding goose colony in Asia. Other white geese populations are found in North America, including populations in the Western Canadian Arctic and on the mainland. The small white goose is the most numerous species of geese of the world fauna.
The population of white geese on the Wrangel Island consists of two subpopulations that have different wintering sites: northern, located in British Columbia (Canada) and southern, situated in California (USA). In Canada and the USA, the white goose is hunted. The nesting colony of white geese on the Wrangel Island is located in the middle reaches of the Tundrovaya River in the intermountain basin. The monitoring of the white goose population on the Wrangel Island has been carried out since 1969.
The state inspectors of the reserve, Oleynikov Igor Petrovich, Konstantin Artamonov, Alexey Chugunovas well as researchers Ulyana Babiy and Pavel Kulemeev have set off for the coming field season recently. In the course of half a year they are to collect by joint efforts the necessary information on key subjects of environmental monitoring, such as polar bears, white geese, musk oxes, the state of colonies of sea birds and water currents, phenologicalobservations and many other things.
The largest specialist in a white goose, VasilyBaranyuk, also went off for the island with the purpose of continuation of monitoring works on the single colony remained in Europe. The current seasonis the 50th one. Its meaning is unique population researches!
A famous Russian photographer, a zoologist PyotrNikolaevich Romanov, joined the team to imprint in a camera lens as much as possible various representatives of avifauna of the reserve, and also tocapture primitive beauty of the island, surprising landscapes and panoramas of the reserve.
We wish all of them a good and successful summer field season!
Photo: from archive of the reserve.
The Reserve Wrangel Island was visited by two skilled Russian kiters from St. Petersburg, Kirill Korabelnikov and Dmitry, the participants of the Transarctic Kite-Expedition
Ekaterina Artamonova, Head of the Department of Environmental Education and Tourism, showed travellers around the reserve.
The guests took interest first of all in the questionsrelated to meetings with polar bears, as at first the kiters had planned to continue their journey and to get to Waelen. So they had been aware of the risks before. But at last they decided to finish their expedition and return home.
Kirill and Dmitry watched a feature film about the reserve, its nature and inhabitants. They also told about their expedition and shared impressions with the employees of the reserve.
Their project "Transarctic Kite Expedition" was launched in 2015. They were going to fly kites across the endless arctic tundra. They wanted to travel without any motor vehicles, from west to east along the Arctic,along the coast of the Arctic Ocean, from the city of Arkhangelsk to the town of Pevek.
The start of the final part of the route took place on March, 29 in the village of Russian Ustye (Yakutia). For 23 days of the travel the kiters had covered a distance ofabout 850 kilometers across the polar tundra regions of Russia and reached the most northern town.
„Every year we came nearer the distination,approximately by 1000 km for a month. Last year the settlement Russian Ustye was reached. It took us amonth, April, to go this part of the trip. In the end we got to Pevek. So,the main task of the expedition has been achieved. All polar tundra has been crossed!” told Kirill Korabelnikov proudly.
Now the kiters are planning an expedition to the Antarctic.
Last Friday, on April 19, the international environmental action "March of Parks 2019" was launched at the information center of the WrangelIsland Reserve. Within the framework of the action, a meeting with the guest of the reserve, a famous travel photographer Pyotr Romanov, was held. For more than 30 years, Pyotr Nikolaevich has been engaged in wildlife photography. „By training I am a zoologist, and a camera has always been my notebook on scientific expeditions.”
„Those photos were documentary evidences of mymeetings with objects of fauna and flora and also illustrated some interesting behavioural moments fromthe lives of particular animal species,” started to tell his story Pyotr Nikolaevich. He told about how hetravels and goes on expeditions and showed some of his unique photos of animals in their natural habitats.He also mentioned some unusual, ñurious and even dangerous incidents from his long field practice.
Pyotr Nikolaevich is called a "portrait" animal photographer.„The most important thing in shootingfilms is to come to the object as close as possible sothat each hair could be seen. Portraying is my element, but I also shoot landscapes and flowers. If I see a beautiful flower, I can even talk to him!” said Pyotr.
The meeting was held in a warm, cordial and positive atmosphere. All participants learned a lot about the nature of our native land and were inspired with positive energy indeed.
Pyotr Nikolayevich has dreamed of visitingWrangel Island for a long time. At last the dream is going to come true. Very soon the photographer with researchers and state inspectors of the reserve will set off for the field season on the Wrangel Island. We will look forward to his coming back!
The most northern town of Russia celebrates the 52nd anniversary!
On April 6, 2019 the reserve "Wrangel Island" tookpart in the celebration of the Day of the Town. The festive action took place in the cinema and concert hall Iceberg. Our reserve presented the photo exhibition "Life on the Island — the Faces of the Reserve.“
The town is famous for achievements of the inhabitants, and the reserve is known for the employees, their scientific works and discoveries as well.
The exhibition presents photos of people living in the toughest polar conditions, far from any civilization.In the pictures you can see those who care for saving fragile Arctic beauty, some moments from the lives of the strong, purposeful, very kind and sympathetic nature lovers.
In spite of everything, they are not indifferent to the nature and future of our planet. They are constantlytrying to pass on as much as possible of their knowledge to the future generations and instill a great love for science and for study of our amazing places! We really appreciate and respect the staff of our reserve, because it is thanks to them that we learn more about the life of a remote Arctic island.
We are also always looking forward to meeting young people who come to our reserve in search of knowledge and answers to questions. We do believe that the interest in the wildlife of the Far North will never disappear!
The bird seldom happens to be a character in the Chukchi fairy tale
The Chaun museum of local lore in Pevek together with the reserve Wrangel Island held an action " The bird seldom happens to be a character in the Chukchi fairy tale" devoted to the World Day of birds.
The raven was the focus of attention.That time it wasn’t consider as a usual bird. Some unusual things concerning ravens were taken into consideration. The guests had an opportunity to reflect on the raven’s life while studying fairy tales, myths and scientific facts.
In the museum hall the collection of items of bone carving and the exhibition of children's drawings withraven as a main subject was presented. In fact, people are accustomed to the ravens that have lived in the neighbourhood for a long time. Moreover, they live everywhere indeed. So, at first sight, they seem to be just the most widespread and common birds. But what are they really like?.
It was Uliana Babij, a researcher of the reserve, who opened the event.
She told a lot about the behaviour of ravens in the native habitat and about their biological features as well. The participants of the discussion learned to what extent this interesting bird is reasonable, cautious and observant.
The conversation was continued by the editor of the Pevek television station, Valeria Khlebnikova. She told her listeners of the raven Kutkh which is the main character of plenty of products of the national creativity and acquainted the audience with Kutkh’simage in modern comics.
Later on the participants could perform in the Chukchi fairy tale The Raven and the Fox.
Having considered ravens in different contexts, such as biology, fairy tales and myths, one can drawthe conclusion that ravens are always inventive,patient and clever.
The Arctic is the territory of dialogue and the ocean of opportunities
On April 9-10, 2019 the 5th International Arctic Forum "The Arctic — the Territory of Dialogue" took place in St. Petersburg. It united the work of public authorities, international organizations, representatives of scientific and business communities, mass media of Russia and of many foreign countries.
The director of the reserve, Alexander RudolfovichGruzdev, took part in the forum, as an expert in the „Warm Meeting session: borders of the Arctic tourism."
The main motto and subject of the forum was "The Arctic – the territory of dialogue. The Arctic is theocean of opportunities". The business program included 33 sessions on three main tracks:
– Coastal territories
– Open ocean
– Sustainable development
The leaders of five Arctic countries - Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland-participated inthe Arctic forum at once. All Arctic neighbours of Russia declared on the importance of ensuring sustainable social and economic development of polar territories, strengthening international cooperation for maintaining natural of the Arctic. In general the planning of joint development of the Arctic and adjacent coastal areas and the Northern Sea Route wasreviewed.
In his speech, the Russian President touched upon the issue of impact of global warming and thedevelopment of the Arctic on the environment,emphasizing that this could turn into a major threat to the whole region.
„We feel sorry for polar bears. But I am speaking figuratively and I mean all the fauna as well. Because due both the warming and the development of Arctic territories the risks are definitely increasing.We have to consider it.”
The President suggested to pay a special attention to ensuring of the balance between industrialdevelopment and saving of the Arctic nature, preservation of its unique, fragile biosystems and, of course, elimination of the damage accumulated during economic activity during last decades. In Russia, since 2012 the cleaning of arctic territories has been kept, so more than 80 thousand tons of wastes have been already removed and utilized.
"We are going to develop the system of especially protected natural territories and reserves as well and first of all, the national park "Russian Arctic". It is important to provide additional measures for development of the civilized ecological tourism and necessary infrastructure here,“ Vladimir Putin noted.
Every year, on April 15, the Day of Ecological Knowledge is celebrated in many countries of the world. Its history dates to 1992. At the UN Conference in Rio de Janeiro on environmental issues a great importance of the environmental education of the population of all countries in the implementation of a strategy for the survival and sustainable development of mankind was noted.
In Russia, this holiday has been celebrated since 1996 on the initiative of public environmental organizations. Actually it’s the starting point to the annual all-Russian action Days of Environmental Protection from Environmental Danger, which ends on June 5th on the Global Day of Environmental Protection.
The main purpose of this holiday is promotion of ecological knowledge, formation of ecological cultureand environmental awareness as well as informing of the general public on affairs concerning the ecological safety and the environmental conditions.
The importance of environmental education in the modern world is no longer in doubt, and in many countries is a priority in training and education. After all, any possible activities for the formation of the ecological culture and careful attitude to the nature is the guarantee of a safe future for all of humanity. In our country, environmental education is one of the priorities as well. The future of the whole planet depends on the ecological culture of the younger generation.It is environmental knowledge that allows a person to realize that harmful and dangerous habits in relation to nature can cause ecological disasters and to avoid destructive consequences.
The reserve “Wrangel Island” is actively working towards that goal. Within 4 months of 2019 many environmental awareness-raising events, dedicated to eco-data, such as - the Day of Nature Reserves and National Parks, the World Day of Marine Mammals, the World Day of Birds and the Earth Day were held.Soon the international campaign March of Parks starts.In the nearest time a series of environmental lessons for school students, that are the part of the action Days of Enviromental Protection, take place in the town of Pevek.
The staff of the Wrangel Island Reserve congratulates everyone on the Day of Ecological Knowledge and thanks everyone who helps the employees of the reserve to instil respect for nature, all living things, promoting environmental knowledge and develop ecological culture in our region, country and so in all around the world.
The International Day of Birds has been held very recently.
The employees of the Wrangel Island Reserve,Ekaterina Artamonova, Head of Departmentof Environmental Education and Development of Tourism, and Uliana Babiy, a researcher, came to congratulate their little friends from the kindergarten Golden Key.
Usually on this day, the staff of the reserve, give a talk about the birds that nest in the reserve. This time, they learned a lot about rare birds living in the neighbourhood, about a kind of sandpipers (Calidrispygmeus).Researcher Ulyana Babiy captivated the children with her story about the sandpiper, a bird included in the Red Book.Actually the species nests only in Chukotka.
Children watched an animated film about sandpipers. They learned which problems the small bird runs into and why its number is dramatically decreasing.The children were asked how could we save sandpipers. At first they were at a loss but soon theycould give full answers. So,they said we had to take care of nature. They told that we mustn’t pollute everything, disturb birds , ruin their nests and take nestlings in the hands etc.
At the end of the event children played sandpipers.Having been divided into two teams and having put on „beaks” in the form of spade on their fingers they competed in „ foraging” like sandpipers do.( The beak of Calidris pygmeys looks like a spade.) Both youngchildren and the staff of the reserve got lots of positive emotions while having a good time.
International Day of Birds
The history of this holiday begins in the USA. It was they who first celebrated the Day in 1884. In Russia, it has been celebrated since 1927. In some years the interest to the celebration used to grow. But from time to time the Day of Birds used to be unpopular indeed. Since 1927 the celebration with up to 5000 children had taken place in all districts of Moscow. Then there was a break during war years. But in 1948 the movement was revived again. The celebration was gaining a national scale more and more. In 1953 about 5 million school students were attracted to participate in it. Thanks to efforts of The Union of Protection of Birds of Russia the holiday was revived in 1999 at last. It is annually celebrated in Russia on April 1 now.
Traditionally the Union of Protection of Birds of Russia chooses the Bird for each year. The numerous events held by the Union are devoted to the Bird. In 2019 an ordinary turtle-dove became the Bird of the year.As for holidays devoted to birds, the Day of Birds is the most popular holiday in the Russian Federation at the moment.
The date of the holiday was chosen not accidentally indeed. It is at that time when migratory birds come back from their winter places and an active period of nesting begins. The nature is filled with singing of tens of bird species.
The main objective of this action is drawing of the public attention to the amazing and diverse world of avifauna, to the importance of careful attitude to it. Nowadays about 10 thousand bird species are known to science.
The Wrangel and Gerald Islands are inhabited by 169 bird species. There are 60 nesting species among them. One of the main avifauna attractions of the reserved area is considered to be a great colony of white geese, the only one in Asia. Tens of thousands sea colonial birds such as diving pigeons, kittiwakes, guillemots, Beringov’s cormorants that are used to nesting on the rocks are of great interest. Actually a large number of different birds inhabit the island as well. They are snowy owls, long-tailed skua gull, eider duck, Pacific brant goose, turnstones, black- bellied plovers, robin sandpipers, black-bellied sandpipers, snow buntings and many others.
The world around us is interesting and various, and the role of such ecological holidays is very big. They direct our attention to the beauty of the wild and primitive nature and remind of laws of its wholeness.
All-Russian Conference on development of Specially Protected Natural Areas took place in Sochi.
The event for the chiefs of reserves and national Russian Federation parks was held from March, 21 to March, 23, 2019.The Director of the reserve “Wrangel Island,” Alexander Rudolfovich Gruzdev, took part in the conference. During the conference the chiefs of reserves and national parks communicated actively with the department administration, exchanged experiences on the decision of urgent tasks and took part in the specialized training on design management, as well as discussed the ways of achievement of goals that have been programmed in the national project “Ecology”.
According to the passport of the national project “Ecology,” specially protected areas must work during the next 6 years to improve the number of rare and endangered species, to preserve and restore the most valuable ecosystems, to create some objects of infrastructure, including visit centres and ecological paths, and eventually to increase and expand both the number and areas of thespecially protected natural areas in Russia.
During the event, the Minister for Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Kobylkin, and the chief of the department of Specially Protected Natural Areas, Alexey Titovsky, were keeping a live dialogue with the directors of specially protected natural areas and answering their questions Most of all, the chiefs of natural territories are concerned about the issues on legislative changes.
Some new standards and regulations for the creation of the protective zones around the reserved areas, changes in the security system of these zones, the questions of infrastructure projects which can infringe the boundaries of the areas, the necessity of increasing of wages of the employees, the timely financing of the fire-awareness training are the main questions usually asked by the representatives of the natural areas. The colleagues from reserves expressed their wishes to the Ministry concerning importance of timely and sharp feedback.
In his speech to the participants of the Conference, Dmitry Kobylkin emphasized the necessity to set up, maintain and ensure reliable security. According to the Minister, the second urgent task is the development of new, attractive, original approaches to the development of the ecological tourism. The third task is the fulfillment of the order of the President of the Russian Federation on audit of all reserved territories of the country and their cadastral registration.
He noted as well that till 2024 the Ministry for Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources is to create 24 new reserved areas so that the stream of eco-tourists would increase from 4 to 8 million people.
The letter found its addressee.
Nikita Melkozerov, a student of Yekaterinburg lyceum ¹ 130, received a letter from a polar bear at last, on Umka’s birthday.
The letter that he had sent to the reserve had been travelling more than 10 months. Here is a long-awaited response to the letter from his white friend.
March 1, in the information center of the reserve "Wrangel Island", the event "Polar Bear - King of the Arctic", dedicated to the International Polar Bear Day.
The little guests of the reserve immediately became interested in cutting out the main character of the event. While the young guests cut out the white bears from the templates, painted the muzzle and tried to make them kind and cheerful, the adults got acquainted with the books about the largest predator.
At the event, residents of the city expanded their view of the life of a polar bear in the Far North; we got acquainted with the habits and distinctive features of the predator, differences in the appearance of the male and female polar bears, discussed the causes of melting polar ice and the detrimental effect of human activity on the polar bear population, as well as watched with interest the video about polar bears life.
But this is not all news related to the polar bear day.
The polar bear has more friends!
In the city of Yekaterinburg, students of Yekaterinburg Lyceum No. 130 prepared drawings of polar animals and made an entire exhibition about it. On February 27, a thematic lesson devoted to the King of the Arctic was held for the lyceum students. Pupils learned a lot of new and interesting things about the polar bear: where it lives, what it eats, features of the animal's structure, its habits, and what threatens the polar bear. The lesson was accompanied by a colorful presentation of "36 amazing facts about polar bears", provided by the reserve "Wrangel Island".
And in the corridor of the Lyceum there was an informational exhibition with drawings of students devoted to the International Polar Bear Day.
How did the Wrangel Island become a reserve
The first nature protection measures on Wrangel Island were proposed in 1937 by A.I. Mineev, the second chief of the settlement on the island. He adopted a decree to impose a ban on trade of a polar fox in the northern part of Wrangel Island. This part of the island became a reproductive wildlife area. Later on, in 1968 a wildlife area was organized .The main goal of it was the protection of polar bears, walruses, black brents and white geese.
In 1975 musk oxen from the island of Nunivak were brought in, for the purpose of settling of the Wrangel Island. On March 23, 1976 the Council of ministers of RSFSR signed resolution ¹ 189 on the organization of the national park Wrangel Island for the purpose of preservation of rare natural complexes. Wrangel Island is considered to be the first Arctic reserve of Russia, and in 2004 the reserve was included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.
The main goal of foundation of the reserve "Wrangel Island" is preservation and studying of the natural course of natural processes, species and communities of plants and animals and also typical and unique ecological systems of Wrangel and Gerald Islands and that of the Chukotsky Sea.
The employees of the reserve "Wrangel Island" have been working on preservation and studying of natural diversity of specially protected areas for 43 years. Of course, a lot of things have changed for so many years. First of all new equipment and modern technologies have made qualitative changes to the work of staff of departments for protection and science.So ecological routes have been arranged. In 2017 our information centre was organized. Colourful souvenirs and popular scientific products are annually replenished with new options there.Much educational work has been done by the employees of the reserve since then. Such as annual ecological actions, meetings and events and also informative tourist excursions around the reserve.
We wish all of us health, success, optimism, prosperity and new strength for serving Her Majesty Nature! Happy birthday, favourite Reserve! Growth and prosperity to you!
White or polar bears are large predatory animals, the descendants of brown bears. In 2013 there were 25000 polar bears in the world left, and 5 or 6 thousand of them lived in Russia. All in all, from 19 subpopulations 8 have decreased by now. Ice melting, environmental pollution and poaching have resulted in reduction of their population. On experts' forecasts, by 2050 two thirds of polar bears will disappear.
To draw attention to the problem of preserving their population and to the protection of polar bears from poachers, the International Polar Bear Day was established. It is celebrated annually on February 27th. The initiator of the holiday was the international organization Polar Bears International. On the day, the participants of conferences and seminars discuss the problem of polar bears and that of melting ice in the Arctic. As polar bears live in Russia, Canada, USA, Norway and Greenland, the countries pay a special attention to the protective measures.
Polar bears are animals that fall under the category of the most endangered and fully protected animals. Although the polar bear is a predator, it is still suffering from the destruction of its habitat and from poaching as well. Preying on polar bears in the Russian Arctic has been banned since 1956.On the territory of Russia there are two natural reserves, where polar bears are protected. They are the reserves "Wrangel Island" and "Great Arctic".
The nature reserve "Wrangel Island” was founded in 1976. It consists of the Wrangel and Herald Islands, as well as of 12 sea miles of coastal sea water area. In comparison with the reserve "Great Arctic" ,the reserve "Wrangel Island" has a more northern position. The reserve "Great Arctic" was founded much later, in 1993. It is located in Krasnoyarsk region, on seven areas of the coast of the Arctic Ocean. The reserve "Wrangel Island" is one of the largest zones for breeding of the predator. In other words, it’s a Polar Bear Maternity Hospital consisting from 300 to 500-600 "birthing" dens. In 2004, the reserve "Wrangel Island" was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
In 1973, the countries of the Arctic Basin signed the Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears . After it had been ratified, it became an international legal basis for protection, study and use of the species. Since 2007, WWF Bear Patrols have been operating in the Russian Arctic. They monitor the coastal of the Arctic together with residents of settlements, employees of coastal weather stations and protected natural areas.
At the moment, the polar bear is in the Red Book of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Russia, as well as in the Red Book of Chukotka. After all the animal is protected with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES).
What do you know about polar bears?
20 facts about these most incredible animals:
1.A polar bear is the largest warm-blooded predator on the planet. Polar bears can reach a weight of up to 900 kg and a length as long as 3 meters.
2. The closest relatives of polar bears are brown bears. Both species originated from the same ancestor, approximately 600 thousand years ago.
3. It was a huge polar bear, one more subspecies of a polar bear, that used to live in the Arctic in the past. He weighed 1 200 kg and reached a length up to 4 meters.
4.Their hair is thick and does not have pigmentation. Such a good covering keeps warmth better.
5.Their skin is black.
6. If you take a picture of a polar bear using an infrared camera, then only the tip of the nose and vapour coming from it will be visible in the picture, but the bear itself won’t be visible at all.
7.À polar bear swims at the speed of 6,5 km/h.
8. The record swim, more than 600 km, was made by a female bear that was swimming from Alaska across the Beaufort Sea to distant pack ice searching for food.
9. On land, the polar bear can reach speed of up to 40 km / h. But it cannot run at such a speed for long, because of the danger of overheating.
10.Polar bears hibernate for 50-80 days in winter. But it doesn’t happen like that each year. Only pregnant females make dens and fall asleep for winter to produce offspring.
11. The pregnancy of their females lasts for 230-250 days. After that tiny bear cubs weighing 400-750 grams are born.
12. Polar bears are excellent swimmers. For a good swimming they even have special swimming membranes between their fingers.
13. They have an excellent sense of smell. Polar bears smell a seal on the ice at a distance of 32 kilometers.
14. A polar bear doesn’t not freeze thank to a thick subcutaneous layer of fat, up to 10-13 cm.
15.The polar bear’s liver can accumulate a lot of vitamin A. If a person eat at least 100 grams of it, he can die.
16.Polar bears live for about 25-30 years in the wild. In captivity 45 years has been a record polar bear's life expectancy.
17. During the period of severe frosts, when the polar bear falls asleep, he covers his nose with its paw. It is only the paw that produces some heat.
18. The females of polar bears from the southern parts of the Arctic raise their babies for two years, and the females from the cooler part care for their cubs for a year longer.
19. A polar bear does not hunt penguins, because penguins live in the southern hemisphere of our planet, and polar bears in the northern.
20. Polar bears and Antarctica are not incompatible things. Since the habitat of polar bears is only the Arctic which is located in the northern hemisphere of our planet.
«The Wrangel Island Reserve» has been cooperating with the Pevek kindergarten «Golden Key» for more than a year. The environmental club «Rodichok» was formed on the basis of the kindergarten, in which the reserve staff conduct classes and environmental holidays, acquainting children with a variety of flora and fauna Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Arctic islands of Wrangel and Herald.
February 19 was a regular lesson, timed to the World Day for the Protection of Marine Mammals (The Day of the Whales).
The Day of the Whales and all marine mammals is important, because many of them are on the verge of complete extinction. And the reason for this is not so much the pollution of the seas and oceans, as in the cruel, unreasonable human activity in relation to the defenseless "our smaller brothers."
Children listened with interest about sea inhabitants - whales, sea-lions (sea lions) walrus and bearded seal. Children listened with interest about sea inhabitants - whales, sea-lions (sea lions) walrus and bearded seal. The children learned how whales look, what is the difference between toothed whale and baleen whales, what they eat. We talked about the times when there was a fierce hunt for whales because of their valuable fat, which almost led to complete extinction. And also discussed the need for their protection and preservation as a species in our days. In memory of the event, the kids had whales, which they made with their own hands from colored cardboard. In general, the lesson turned out to be very saturated, and the children actively participated in it from the first minute to the last.
On February 19, 1983, the All-Union Ornithological Society of the USSR Academy of Sciences was organized.
At the Constituent Congress on February 19, 1983, it was proposed to consider the founding day of the Ornithological Society as an unofficial orbitologist. The Soviet society was renamed the Menzbirov Ornithological Society, and in 2009 he had another follower - the Russian Society for the Conservation and Study of Birds named after him. M.A. Menzbier.
Currently, the avifauna of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve has 169 bird species, of which 14 are listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and 29 species in the Red Book of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug.
In winter, during the snow period, there are no birds on the territory of Wrangel Island. Only ravens can be found in the winter, owls can also be found during periods of abundance of lemmings, rarely in the former settlements you can see snow bunting .
Nesting on the territory of the reserve has been established for 62 species, including 8 species of seabirds, which is also an impressive number for the Arctic island. Tundra bird species are represented by the basis of the avifauna - lapland longspur, snow bunting, grey plover, ruddy turnstone, red knot, etc.
At the same time, it is known that the nest is also completely uncharacteristic for the Arctic elements, such as ruff, red-necked stint, horned puffin and tufted puffin, for which Wrangel Island is the most northern nesting point. In the colonies of seabirds with a total of up to 250-300 thousand people. nesting individuals, among which are dominated by the thick-billed murre, tystie and black-legged kittiwake.
Most of the permanent colony of snow goose. Our scientists Uliana Babiy, together with other experts on the Anseriforum of Northern Eurasia, Vasily Baranyuk.
The team of the reserve "Wrangel Island" sincerely congratulates Ulyana Babiy, Vasily Baranyuk on her professional holiday, as well as all specialists, ornithologists and bird lovers on the holiday!
Successes to you, health and new unforgettable meetings with our feathered friends!
World Marine Mammal Protection Day (the Day of Whales) is celebrated annually on February 19th.
This day was founded in 1986 when the moratorium on whale hunting came into force, introduced by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). This moratorium is currently in force, and this means that whale hunting and the sale of whale meat are prohibited throughout the world. Currently whaling is allowed only to meet the needs of indigenous population (the so-called aboriginal) and to capture whales for scientific purposes by special permission of Member IWC. First of all, the Day of Whales is intended to attract the attention of the public, representatives of the authorities and all of humanity to the protection of this unique species of animals and all marine mammals in general, of which only 119 species have survived on our planet.The intense and merciless extermination of marine mammals and, in particular, whales, which has been going on for more than 200 years, has a detrimental effect on their numbers - many members of this order are on the verge of disappearing. But they are the most sensitive indicators of the state of the marine ecosystems of the planet and an important link in the food chains of the world oceans, they create the stability of the biological circulation of substances in the ecological system. Therefore, reducing the number of whales and other marine animals leads to a violation of the biological balance in marine ecosystems. Because every extinct species — an irreparable loss — everything that disappears in the animal world disappears forever. Despite the fact that the moratorium on whale fishing is still in effect and the catch of whales is prohibited by the laws of most countries, the destruction of these animals does not stop. Also, a person, by his activity, unfortunately, is not always rational, had long been a negative influence on nature, changing it. For example, large losses to marine mammals cause fishing gear, as well as pollution of the oceans with oil products due to the expansion of the geography of oil production on the sea shelf.
Much information and data on Arctic nature and the history of the Reserve the employees of the Reserve can get from their library.It has been existed for 42 years already. Our researchers as well as public organizations, some scientists and a number of authors contribute to the library fund. .Thank to the people, many books, articles and monographs have been added to the library and it’s replenished with new titles from year to year. By 2018 about 3000 books on science and popular science had been collected on the Wrangel Island. About 2000 books has been taken to the Information Centre of Reserve Wrangel Island to build the fund. The employees of the Reserve sort books, put them on the right shelves, and keep electronic lists. They are also busy with building of the electronic version of library. Readers and visitors could learn about the library’s resourses just by visiting the official site of the Reserve.
Dear colleguages, nature and book lovers ! If you have some spare books on science and popular science as well as fiction on severe Arctic , its plant and animal life and on Reserve Wrangel Island itself, send them electronically or scanned, with a note «For the electronic fund of Reserve Wrangel Island», please. Our e-mail address is email@example.com
Actually, Reserve Wrangel Island is a scientific laboratory. Implementation of scientific researches is one of the main directions of the Reserve. Both Wrangel and Gerald Islands are under special state protection and give a unique opportunity for studying of the natural course of natural processes in undisturbed ecosystems.
At this moment the staff of the scientific department of our reserve is represented by two employees,namely, Ulyana Babiy and Pavel Kulemeev.It’s winter, and now the research department are carrying out a painstaking processing of the data that have been obtained during the field work, as part of long-term monitoring and special population studies. Their work will result in a new volume of Chronicle of Nature and some new scientific publications as well.
In 2,5 months the scientific staff of the reserve will keep working on the island where they will have a new stage of exciting registration work and stationary observations. The period of nesting hasn’t come jet, however, it’s within reach. In fact, snowy owls start nesting in the middle of May. In the beginning of June, passions always run high at the biggest in Europe colony of small white geese. Actually, all seabird colonies are full of life and make a fantastic noise in summer! So, the majority of bird species, such as skuas, sandpipers, sea ducks, will have started breeding season by the middle of June.
They say, science starts with small deeds and steps. Any observations are of great importance for science. Throughout the year, the employees of the protection department register animals and their tracks on routes that are at least 2,000 kilometers long, collecting material on the number and distribution of species in the territory, as well as valuable photos and video materials to help the department of environmental education. The protection department of the Reserve is participating actively in the collecting of monitoring data. In March the forces of state inspectors are planning to register ancestral dens.
From year to year, scientific researches are carried out on the protected island in the framework of scientific cooperation. As a rule, we work together with colleagues from leading domestic and foreign research institutes indeed. For instance, in the framework of the bilateral Russian-American 2016 agreement the staff of the reserve, employees of the All-Russian Research Institute Ecology under the leadership of the head of the Laboratory for the Conservation of Marine and Coastal Ecosystems, PhD in Biological sciences, Stanislav Belikov and his American colleague from the University of Washington, PhD in biology, Erik Reger and his like- minded people annually join forces to organize on the island of Wrangel ground-based surveys of polar bears, as well as collecting material for genetic research using a non-invasive method. Together with Vasily Baranyuk, a foremost authority on white goose, a member of the Working Group on anseriformes in Northern Eurasia, the longest in the history of the reserve population researches aimed at studying the only white goose colony in Eurasia have been conducted.
In addition, 2019 is a jubilee year for us. We have been collecting data for almost 50 years already. Scientific research is an integral part of the Reserve life. Analysis of long-term observation data and new scientific discoveries are necessary for understanding the general state of natural complexes and developing actual recommendations for the conservation of unique natural objects.
Happy holiday, dear colleagues! Best wishes to all scientists, it means to employees of the Wrangel Island Reserve, as well as colleagues from all over Russia who have ever conducted researches in protected areas, especially researchers of the protected areas of Chukotka and the Far East! You are the basis of Russian science!
On February 8, 1724 by the order of Peter the Great the Academy of Sciences was founded in Russia. In 1925 it was renamed into the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and in 1991 into the Russian Academy of Sciences. In 1999, by the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated June 7, the holiday of Russian Scientists was established on this day. Thus the authorities went to the roots of Russian science and the 275th anniversary of the Russian Academy of Sciences was celebrated.
February ,2 The Global Day of Wetlands
The Convention on Wetlands, having an international importance predominantly because of wetlands, the main living places of waterfowls, was signed on February 2, 1971 in Ramsar city (Iran) and now it is known as the Ramsar Convention.
The Convention has been signed by 154 states since then. Russia joined to it on December 26, 1975, and as a result 35 wetlands in the country have an international status at present. The day of signing of the Convention was announced as the Global Day of Wetlands and has been celebrated since 1997.
The events held on that day aim at drawing public and governments’ attention to the value of wetlands for maintaining of stable development of our planet. The term wetlands refers not to lakes and swamps, valleys and river mouthes only , but also to sea coasts and shallows, gulfs and lagoons. Being one of the key types of ecosystems of the planet, wetlands determine the water cycle and a series of important elements, form a global climate, support preservation of biodiversity as well.
On the Wrangel Island there are about 900 lakes that are mainly located on the northern plain,1400 rivers and small streems( rivulets). Marshes cover the area of 10555 hectares. According to the Ramsar Convention the total area of wetlands on the territory of Reserve Wrangel Island runs to 8000 hectares including the most interesting areas. They are the north- eastern part of the Tundra of Academy,the lower part of the river Unexpected( Neozhidanaya) and the delta of the Mamoth river ( Mamontovaya) next to Lake Jack London .These areas are characterized by the widest biodiversity, for instance, by unique plant communities. They are also habitats , feeding and moulting places for more than 80 waterfowls and near- water birds including 32 species of lamellirostral and 55 species of charadriiformes. It is here where Sabine's gulls (Larus sabini),typical for our areas, build their nests, and pacific brant geese and white geese concentrate. Not less than 10 species of sandpipers nest in these areas(Serinus hortulanus, Calidris bairdii etc.)
Preservation of wetlands is the guarantee for biodiversity preservation and for healthy environment as well.
Opening of the season of actions in Reserve Wrangel Island.
Two ecological events were held on January 18 in the Reserve Wrangel Island. So, the year 2019 has been opened.
The staff of the municipal budgetary educational institution Education Centre conducted an event dedicated to All- Russia Day of Reserves and National Parks.
Students learnt a lot from the lecture on the following questions.
When did the holiday originate?How did it begin? Who protects the environment nowadays?In what way?What specially protected areas are situated on the territory of Chukotka Autonomous Region( Okrug)?
They watched a film about unique objects included in the list of natural heritage of UNESCO. Children also answered employees’s questions very actively.
For example, they knew what is a reserve and what are reserves established for.
After all the results of the municipal New Year tree toys competition Arctic on the tree were announced. Finalists and winners got prizes and certificates in memory of the action. In the evening a meeting with representatives of the initiative group Friends of Ocean took place in the Info Centre of the Reserve.
Tatyana Pridorozhnaya made a speech. She reported to visitors just in simple words on destruction of the marine ecosystem caused by plastic wastes.
Tatyana acquainted guests and town’s residents with the way of life of marine inhabitants by visual demonstration. She showed clearly that being surrounded by plastic they are absolutely not able to distinguish plastic from their food. Children learnt about how much plastic people on the planet are absorbing while eating every day.
Thus the only conclusion to be drawn from the events is as follows. The problem of environmental pollution is global. No person can solve it by himself.
There is one way out only.If everybody contributes in making efforts to cope with all fatal mistakes the mankind have committed, we’ll win together someday!
All-Russian Day of reserves and national parks
This event is annually celebrated in our country on 11th of January. It has already become the starting point for significant changes not only in the nature saving work but also in the public perception. On this day in 1917 the first Russian natural reserve was created – Barguzin Reserve, which represents the gold standard of total natural reserve. For many years the wildlife impact on this complex was minimal. The development of events made this reserve to be the ancestor to the system of state reserves in our country, so called a flagship of specially protected territories. Besides, this is the first scientifically research institution in the Baikal.
The humanity is grossly responsible for it: even if people possess the world they have built, that world was built in the place where virgin forests were the only skyscrapers, where the nature did not suffer from outer impact, where everything was in the harmony. Under the human impact into the nature it becomes our direct responsibility to save those few remaining islands of the wild nature. We must keep in mind that creating reserves and natural parks is not only mere tribute to the nature from which we endlessly take but also the essence of the man responsible for his actions.
Such reserves are, first of all, pride of the people living close to them. The number of the reserves in our country is annually increased.
We, Wrangel Island Reserve employees, congratulate with all our hearts all SPNR employees, ecologists, volunteers, partial activists and all the Russians proud of the heritage of our wonderfully beautiful country.
As per Mikhail M. Prishvin, the Russian writer: “To protect nature means to protect the Motherland”.
New book of famous Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov "Wrangel Island" was published.
With the discount code arctic30 everyone will get 30 % discount from the prices. Same code works with single books and the package of both English books.
The code arctic30 must be filled in the check out before paying and one will get the discount automaticly.
Remember to mention the code arctic30 for your followers on Facebook etc., that is how they will get the 30 % discount.
Tourism to Vrangel Island in figures.
More than 1500 foreign tourists visited the island during the last six seasons. Mainly tourists came from Germany, Australia, Switzerland, the USA and France. However, the number of Russian tourists does not cede: there are 139 our compatriots who preferred Arctic. Just to list few countries the tourists come to Vrangel Island from to enjoy Russian exotics, there are Luxemburg, Mauritius, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zeeland, Singapore, Taiwan.
Ecological tourism is becoming more and more popular
More than 1500 foreign tourists visited the island duriThe 27th of September is the International Tourism Day.
The summer tourist season in the Reserve has started July 16 and lasted till August 29. This year 6 tourist boats have moored to the pier of the Reserve. More than 300 tourists from over the world Russia inclusive have explored endless ices of Arctic with great interest.
In total, the tourist program of the Reserve offers 9 ecological excursion routes across the island.
On-ground tourist groups, within the framework of the prima cruise ships, experienced and enjoyed the route “Somnitelnaya Bay – Tundrovy Peak – Drem-Khed” by all-wheel drive vehicle “Trekol”. Such a kind of tourism is notable with close contact with the nature without interfering into it. The tourists could sight musk buffaloes – coevals of the mammoth who continued inhabiting the island even 6 thousand years after the official date of their extinction, snow goose regular nesting spot, admire the beauty of the Red Book snowy owl, catch on video playing blue fox littling. The most delighting for that cold summer was the blossoming tundra.
While crossing ice fields the tourists rather often faced the symbol of the island – the polar bear, - in its natural living place. The curious Arctic animal was many times caught on cameras by the tourists impressed by its size and beauty. The Pacific walrus, fjord seal, bearded seal, for which the sea ice is a favorite recreation place, were also met while floating the sea.
Now the tourist season is closed but next year the island, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, will open it again for those who appreciate the fragile beauty of the Arctic nature.
Save Polar Bear
The International Scientifically-Practical Conference “Polar Bear Universe” and the 10th session of the Russian-American Committee took place in Egvekinot settlement of the Iultinsk Region of the Chukotka Autonomous Region within the framework of the inter-governmental agreement on protection of the Chukotka-Alaska Polar Bear Population.
Scientists reported on the up-to-date achievements in the field of the Chukotka-Alaska Polar Bear Population research. The reports on analyzing new biological data of the population state, its quantity and habitation areola borders change due to the climatic fluctuation were debriefed.
< Presented at the reports biological, satellite, meteo- and hydrological data and ice maps allowed identifying in details the red-book animal habitation areola borders in the Chukchee Sea and adjoining equatorials, their number and other parameters.br>
Alexander R. Gudsev, Ph.D.Biology, the Director of the Reserve, also participated in this work.
Tourists arrive at the Reserve Bays
The reserve started to receive the first in this year touristic boats (in particular, the first run of “Professor Khromov”). Tourists from different countries (New Zeeland, the Netherlands, Australia, the Great Britain, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Norway, Sweden, the USA, Slovenia and Russia) have visited Vrangel Island North Reserve.
Save your planet – you will never have another one.
Last week Vrangel Island Reserve held several events dedicated to the Egologist Day and International Environment Defense Day. On the 6th of June “Save your planet – you will never have another one” event took place in the information center of the Reserve. The meeting started with the history of these special days appearing and gradually faded into an ecological game. Attendants answered different questions and participated in different competitions. A little bit later Olga Procopenko, an ornithologist, Pavel Kaurov, an ecologist and Julia Makarenko, a third-year student, joined the event as specially invited guests representing North Biological Problems Institute (FEB RAS, Magadan). They take part in an expedition to study synanthropic population of eiders and other birds in the vicinity of Pevek and Apapelguino settlement. Olga Prokopenko fascinatingly told about the life of the feathered representatives of the Anseriformes, about eiders and about the expedition itself in her presentation “Arctic Birds and Their Live in Pevek”. Pavel Kaurov shared interesting facts about ecological concerns in Arctic, in particular, in Chukotka and the way these concerns affect the flora and fauna.
Artamonova Ekaterina, the Head of Ecological Enlightening Department of the Reserve, held an event “Learn your region, love and care it”, dedicated to the International Environment Defense Day and Ecologist Day, in the children garden “Golden Key” on the 8th of June. From that event children got to know where those Days originated from and their purpose, what ecology was and about care for nature. The children participated in different interesting and useful competitions and games addressed to the environment protection and Red Book animals and plants.
International Day of biological diversity
The 22th of May is International Biological Diversity Day. However this unique Day has a sad tinge, for only in Russia there are more than 65 animal specious which are extinct or close to being extinct, let alone the rare floral forms. The scientists say the major cause of the extinction is human activity in the earth which upsets the biological balance. People treat the planet recklessly, have consumer attitude to its resources. Early or later such an attitude will bring to tragic consequences. Peopling new territories, meliorating natural water reservoirs, cutting forests, manufacturing, hunting rare floral forms – all this irrevocably affects the nature. Upsetting biological balance is equally dangerous for the flora, fauna and human population. It is high time that we cared for the ecology and took improving measures. Treat the nature carefully.
This year the Museum Night has come a week earlier – on the 12th of May and coincided with two ecological dates – Ecological Enlightenment Day and World Day of Migrating Birds. The state natural reserve “Vrangel Island” also participated in this Night. Ekaterina Artamonova, the Head of the Ecological Enlightenment Department, told about the migrating bird of Chukotka and Vrangel Island, about the difference between sea and tundra birds, owl male and female, about the harm of domestic waste, in particular, plastic. As well a documentary record on the realm of birds was demonstrated. That record was a unique one as the birds were shot at flight without any special effect. It took three years and five hundred specialists from all over the world to make that movie with the help of flying devices.
As a part of that event there were an excursion to the depository, narrating on and demonstrating the museum collection documents, plunge-into exhibition dedicated to the reindeer-breeding people, their traditions, dances, holy-fire gaining and evil spirits ward off by knocking at the tembrel named yarar, a concert of lyric verses and songs by Soviet and Russian authors performed by Tatiana Dolzhikova, Alexandra Chigrina and Irina Mishina.
The second spring ride to Arctic island
Apart from inspectors guarding and monitoring the Island all the year round, the research scientists start their work only in spring. On Friday, April 27th Uliana Baby, a research scientist of the reserve, and Basil Baranyuk, the snow goose major scholar, started off for Island to continue monitoring the only remaining is Eurasia colony. The snow goose has been monitoring since 1969, and the current season is the 49th. This is a unique population research.
The work in the island is humming since the beginning of the spring: in the middle of March Gennady Fedorov, Vladimir Mazanov and Yuri Balantsev, the employees of the Security Department, and Pavel Kulemev, a new employee, as headed by Alexander Grusdev, the Reserve Director, started off for the Island. This season Pavel is to monitor the population of the hoofed, and count fin-footed to the possible degree. All of them will stay in the Island till October. In March and April generic dens have already been revised. There are so many plans whereas the season only seems to be long. During this half a year the scientists by means of joined efforts collect information on the key objects of the monitoring such as the polar bear, snow goose, moskus buffalo, sea bird colonies, water courses, phenological observations and many others.
Anastasia Petukhova, the Methodist, also joined the group to monitor the condition of historical-cultural and touristic objects. In the hunter house at Somnitelnaya base, where Ivan Petrovich, an island aborigine, lived, it is planned to create and equip an informational center to enable tourists and guests to see the housekeeping and day-to-day life of the island inhabitants in the middle of the XX century. In 2018 there are totally seven touristic boats to anchor in the island aquatic area.
May our colleagues have a successful field season this year.
UNESCO World Heritage Centre report is now avalible online
The World Heritage property “Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve” (NSWIR) is characterised by a remarkably high level of biodiversity, unique in the Arctic. In 2004, NSWIR was inscribed on the World Heritage List. In August 2017 there came mission team (Mr Francesco BANDARIN, Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ms Jenna BOON IUCN Expert, Mr Clemens KUPPER Europe and North America Unit) to analyse the changes which the directory of Natural System of Wrangel Island Reserve was supposed to make in order to preserve the unique territory. Here comes the report
Wrangel Island state natural reserve has just finished the season of accepting tourist ships.
During their visiting tourists have been introduced to the unique nature of the reserve, they have met musk-oxes, walruses, polar bears, lemmings, foxes, many types of sea colonial birds. There were held on-shore excursions - expeditions with spending the night in guesthouses as part of the tourist ships acceptance.
During the last day of visit made by touristic ship “Akademik Shokalskiy” which cruise was organized by companies "Heritage expedition" and “Travel Pacific” and went along the Northeast Passage from Murmansk to Anadyr and has ended with an outstanding event. Next to the place where the corps of Greenland right whale was washed ashore by the most conservative estimate over 230 bears have gathered. There were male and female bears, some with little bears of all ages, two female bears with 4 little ones. Tourists were lucky to find such unique gathering of bears because the ship has passed by the island. There were scientists and security supervisors on the ship. International scientific group for monitoring population of white bears on Chukotka and Alaska working in that area of the island was informed about the finding. At the moment, thorough scientific observations are made.
Photos by A.Gruzdev
UNESCO mission had visited «Wrangel island» nature reserve.
The mission had visited island from 12th until 15th august. The group included the general manager’s assistant of the UNESCO department in culture Francesco Bandarin, expert of the International Union for the Protection of Nature Jenn Boon, specialist of the European and North-American division of the UNESCO World heritage center Clemens Cooper, chief’s assistant of the Russian nature supervision Amirkhan Amirkhanov, chief of the bureau in the international department of Ministry of natural resources and ecology of Russian Federation Irina Fominyh.
Voyage was supported with support of the Ministry of culture of Russian Federation.
Main goals were to check the management of the World heritage object «Wrangel island» and level of the anthropogenic impact on the nature sphere of the reserve in trend of ecological tourism and realization of obliges of territory cleaning from collected waste from previous years of reclaiming the island.
All mission members were saying in one voice that their old dream to visit Wrangel island had come true. Nature hadn’t let us down, same for helicopter pilots. The mission had arrived on the island right in time (to my great surprise). That’s unique for Wrangel. Guests were accommodated in new guest house on cordon «Unexpected river». Cordon is equipped with solar panels, they give enough energy during polar day for lighting and batteries charging.
After accommodation there was a trip on the one of the ecological routes, to the place of the rising of first Russian flag on island. Weather had significantly worsened at that time, but it hadn’t interrupted the excursion. Lots of polar bears, bevy of Canadian brant, many other birds’ species and several muskoxen herds were met during the trip. Amirkhan Amirkhanov, as botanist, was very interested in island’s flora. Must say that he used every free minute to grab a camera and shoot photos of flowers.
Discussion of questions and making further plans were in the evening. Next day the whole group rode on another ecological route to «Doubtful» cordon. The day was nice, distance was near 60 kilometers. We’ve met tourist group from ship «Professor Hromov» during the trip. We’ve visited the meridian border and paleoeskimo encampment. Many different species of birds and animals were met during the ride. Except only wolverine and wolf.
«Doubtful» cordon is one of the places where large stock of scrap-metal was accumulated. Cleaning of this place is planned for next year.
This cordon is the main place where tourists arrive in first time. There is also a guest house with solar panels. Wind generator is mounted in addition. Next day whole group had made a trip to Doubtful spit, where is the observation point for walruses, polar bears and other marine mammals. There we’ve met walruses and polar bears.
Short excursion in mountain part of the island was held after lunch.
First wrap-ups of the visit were penciled before departure. Experts had given the high grading of the biodiversity conserving in reserve. Amirkhan Magomedovich Amirkhanov mentioned that tundra had restored almost completely after previous impact. Of course, it is too early to talk about resulting report, but the main thing was said: status of the UNESCO World heritage object territory won’t be changed to «threatened», because there are no premises for it. Also the works of improving the infrastructure on cordons were graded positively. Installation of the new houses allows using them as for tourists reception as for accomplishment of the main reserve’s goals.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t a success to show commission members everything – there was so little time. But nature presented them few very sunny and warm days.
By the way, when helicopter was starting the propellers, one young polar bear was going towards it too to say farewell to guests. When helicopter had started to taking off he’d ran away at last at arms length. But it didn’t intercept host of the island from looking in our house that evening. Garage entrance hadn’t been closed yet, the bear «ran the show» there a little until we packed him off. He was very interested in a box of food, so he visited us twice that day later.
P.S. Now I stay at central reserve’s cordon in Ushakovskoe village. Dynamical works of scrap-metal disposal are going. Presumed, that these works will be finished this year. «Mother» with two yearlings is always present in the village, another female polar bear has come, but without cubs.
Snow geese packs spent nights near houses. They almost don’t pay attention to us, only step aside when you pass near them. Young arctic fox is permanently met, which has naturalized in the village for a while.
Bear Cub Saved on Wrangel Island
On October 28, a family of Polar bears – a she-bear and a bear cub – got in trouble and were found in the area of Ushakovskoe lodge. A curious bear cub was playing with a tin can and bit it. The can got stuck in his mouth. Ilia Petukhov, state environment protection inspector, noticed it on his patrolling, and the bear got assistance immediately. Specialists put the mother bear and bear cub down, and took the can out. In a couple of hours, the animals were safe and sound, and could continue their journey.
New book of famous Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov "Wrangel Island" was published.
With the discount code arctic30 everyone will get 30 % discount from the prices. Same code works with single books and the package of both English books.
The code arctic30 must be filled in the check out before paying and one will get the discount automaticly. Remember to mention the code arctic30 for your followers on Facebook etc., that is how they will get the 30 % discount.
The opening of the memorial sign in honor of the first raising of the Russian flag on Wrangel Island in 1911.
The memorial sign in honor of the first raising of Russian flag on Wrangel Island in 1911 by the Soviet ship "Vaigach", who carried out hydrographic research in the northeast of the country, was inaugurated. The sign was opened by employees of Wrangel Island Nature Reserve at the head of director of the reserve Gruzdev A.R., together with American scientist Joel Berger, who was engaged in research of musk ox on Wrangel Island, and the crew of the helicopter MI-8 of airline "Chukchi-Avia". A memorial sign was manufactured to the order of administration of the Reserve by "ABD-design" studio in St. Petersburg.
Unique finding in the Natural Reserve "Wrangel Island".
In September this year during the works on monitoring of Alaska-Chukotka polar bear population, A.B. Tyuryakov, senior researcher from Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (Roshydromet), S.E. Belikov (PhD in Biology), senior researcher from the All-Russian Institute for Nature Protection, together with the director of the Nature Reserve A.B. Gruzdev (PhD in Biology), found a stone of unusual shape in the stream bed near Cape Uering. The stone resembled spinal bone or joint. The sample was delivered to the research vessel Akademik Tryoshnikov in Saint Petersburg. In October, A. Gruzdev passed the sample to the Zoological Museum of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The first examinations showed that the experts paleontologists had two spinal bones of a fossil animal in front of them. Presumably, the found parts of the skeleton belong to Plesiosaurus that lived in ancient seas. The finding is being examined by the specialists from the Zoological Museum. It is the first finding of this kind on the Wrangel Island.
From July to September a scientific expedition of the Geological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow) worked on the Island. The researchers managed to prove the findings of corals made in the 1960s. The age of the corals is estimated to be about 420 million years (Silurian deposit in the lower course of the Lemmingovaya River). Corals were also located in the coal formations (300-320 million years) on the Viyuchny mountain pass and in the coast outcropping of the river Somnitelnaya. The most interesting and rare finding were the clamshells found in the Triassic deposits in the South of the Island – in the outflow of the river Krasnaya. Their age, according to preliminary estimates, is about 216-203 million years ago. The found collections of faunal remains have been passed to the experts for examination and specification of the age of inclosing deposits.
21st September 2014 employees of the nature reserve – senior state inspectors Igor Oleynikov, Denis Vasiliev, Ivan Rusov, Ilya Petukhov, Sergei Mironov, Grigory Abramkin, headed by the director of the nature reserve Alexander Gruzdev, erected a monument “Captain Robert Bartlett’s Camp”.
Regarding the history of the Wrangel Island:
"Karluk", the flagship of the Canadian Arctic Expedition commanded by Captain Robert Bartlett set off to the Arctic Ocean in search for new lands in 1913. From the very beginning, the ship was out of luck: she was forced to drift, and was taken from Alaska coast to the Wrangel Island. The ship could not withstand ice pressure and sank, the people got out on the ice and with great difficulties reached the island, then uninhabited. But not all the people – eight of them died. Robert Bartlett, the captain of “Karluk”, made a heroic effort to save the rest of the crew: accompanied by an Eskimo he went across the De Long Strait (Longa) on a dog sled in search of help. In September of 1914 Bartlett reached the Wrangel Island on board of American vessel “Bear”.
Captain Bartlett performed an unprecedented deed in the history of the Arctic – he was the only person who managed to cross the De Long Strait and save his crew from death.
Hats off to Captain Bartlett!
The author of the monument – Konstantin Novikov.
In July and August 2014 two cruise ships, Professor Khromov and Hanseatic visited the Wrangel Island and brought ecological tourists. Five tourists had a 10 days excursion with a representative of the nature reserve. The visitors stayed at guest houses.
Report about the trip to Wrangel Island in 2014