Nature Reserve Set up in Khabarovsk to Save Oriental Stork
KHABAROVSK. May 13. VOSTOK-MEDIA – Khabarovsk environmentalists will place warning signs around the recently set-up Aistiny Nature Reserve, a spokesman for Khabarovsk Ministry of Natural Resources reported.
At present, even scientists are not allowed to enter the specially protected area, because the birds in the nature reserve have begun to incubate their eggs.
Aistiny Nature Reserve was established on the interfluve of Khor and Podkhoryonok rivers by an order of Khabarovsk Governor and has an area of 19,000 hectares. The nature reserve lies in two municipalities – Lazo District and Vyazemsky District. The Aistiny (Storks’) touches three villages on the north – Kondratyevka, Svetlogorye and Drofa, and the Kapitonovsky settlement on the south.
Viktor Bardyuk, the head of Department for Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Natural Resources, said that hearings had been held in the surrounding settlements, at which the environmentalists were calling on local residents to stop picking fern, berries and mushrooms within the territory of the nature reserve.
“Establishing a new nature reserve was a badly needed measure,” says research scientist Vadim Dolin. “Khor and Podkhoryonok rivers basins are popular nesting sites of the Oriental Stork, a highly endangered avian species. Unlike European White storks, which often settle near people, Oriental storks are very shy creatures. If a man comes close to a nest of Oriental stork, the bird will abandon its eggs and never return.”
There are now only 3,000 Oriental storks left on Earth and their population keeps dwindling. According to Hunting and Animal-breeding Research Institute, each year up to three nesting spots disappeared at Khor and Pohoryonk rivers basins. At present, there are not more than 13 nesting spots left in the area and Aistiny Reserve is the last chance to save the Oriental Stork from extinction.