Bolonsky Nature Reserve – "Intersection" for Migratory Birds
International Wetlands Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 2, is a special holiday for the employees at the Bolonsky State Nature Reserve.
KHABAROVSK. February 2. VOSTOK-MEDIA – International Wetlands Day, which is celebrated on Feb. 2, is a special holiday for the employees at the State Nature Reserve Bolonsky. Created in 1997, Bolonsky is the newest among the six nature reserves in Khabarovsk and is the only one that enjoys the international status of wetlands. The nature reserve has a variety of water and semi-aquatic birds. There are large floodplains which provide crucial temporary habitats for millions of migrating birds flying to subarctic prairies and Southeast Asia.
“The wetlands of Amur River and its tributaries are the precious natural complexes which serve as prolific fish breeding grounds and are the crucial point in the migration routes for millions of migrating water birds and semi-aquatic birds,” said Aleksander Chernysh, the assistant manager of Bolonsky Reserve. “This is a nesting area for 95% of all Oriental storks, 65% of Japanese cranes, and 50% of white-naped cranes. It is no mere chance that the nature reserve is sometimes called “Birds’ Intersection”. Every spring and fall these plains become a resource base which provides feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for long-distance migratory birds. From early spring till late fall life is in full swing there: birds are building their nests and brooding; after wintering, brown bears, moose and roedeers descend from Jaki-Unkhta-Yakbyyana range to these plains for feeding and breeding their young.”
Life calms down there in the winter time. Migratory birds fly away, bears and moose leave the plains for wintering but there is always a number of birds and animals – wolfs, foxes, hares, squirrels, raccoon dogs, yellow weasels, woodpeckers, jays, redpolls, grouses, white-tailed eagles, hawk owls, roughlegs, and many others – that spend winter in the nature reserve. When spring comes, wetlands again become a cradle of life for many animals.
Unfortunately, the pressure on the wetlands’ ecosystem resulting from human activity has increased considerably over the past several years. This leads to degradation, loss, and pollution of the wetlands. The shortage of water in Amur River has caused considerable changes in the wetlands of Bolon Lake. Every year grassland fires reduce species diversity of plants and invertebrates, the main food supplies of water- and semi-aquatic birds. The abundance of waterfowls attracts hunting enthusiasts and poachers during a hunting season. Local communities put high pressure on fish resources in Bolon Lake and the estutory parts of Harpi River, which aggravates the situation considerably.”
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