United Nations Development Programme

Russian Federation


11-16, 10.2011.The International Conference Cranes of Paleartctic: biology, protection, management summarizing the results of the Year of Crane in the Volgograd oblast.

The Conference was organized by Institute of ecology and evolution n.a. A.N.Sevetsov, Russian academy of science, Volgograd State Social Teachers Training, in partnership with The Nature Park Volga-Akhtuba floodplain and support of the Volgograd Administration Committee of natural resources and environment protection, and the UNDP/GEF Project Conservation of wetland biodiversity in the Lower Volga region. The international event was organized in the memory of an outstanding scientist, traveler and nature researcher, academician Peter Simon Pallas who gave considerable attention to studying of cranes. This year we celebrate his 270th jubilee.

The participants of the conference are ornithologists from Russia, near and far abroad, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, the Ukraine, Germany, Iran, Spain, France, Czech Republic, Turkey. The event was marked by the participation of an outstanding researcher-ornithologist from the USA George Archibald, the founder of International Crane Foundation and inventor of unique methodics of rare cranes breeding in captivity using the costume method in breeding chicks to avoid imprinting, and using ultralight aircrafts to help young crane learn to fly. The UNDP/GEF Project Manager Natalya Lopantzeva thanked the famous researcher-ornithologist for his contribution in science and presented him the book Birds of the Lower Volga published in the frames of the UNDP/GEF Project with financial support of OOO LUKOIL Nizhevolzhskneft. The author of the book is German Rousanov, a good friend of G.Archibald.

The 11th of October was also marked by another important event during the Conference opening ceremony in the Great Assembly hall of the Volgograd oblast Administration the vice chairman of RF Committee of the UNESCO MAB programme V.M.Neronov presented the Certificate of International Biosphere reserve to the Nature Park Volga-Akhtuba floodplain. It is the first nature park included into the international list of biosphere reserves. The Certificate was given to the first deputy head of the Volgograd oblast Administration G.A.Chourikov.

After the formal opening ceremony and presenting the Certificate the UNDP/GEF Project Manager Natalya Lopantzeva and vice chairman of RF Committee of the UNESCO MAB programme V.Neronov spoke on the plans of further development of the Park Volga-Akhtuba floodplain being in the new status of the Biosphere reserve. The meeting took place at the Committee of nature resources and environment protection of the Volgograd oblast administration, the Committee chairman O.Gorelov and the Nature Park Volga-Akhtuba floodplain V.Bezroukov also took part in the discussion. They spoke on the work of the Park staff with the locals living on the territory of the Park, on improving their social economic status and improving the territory environment.

Meanwhile the participants of the conference were invited to the Assembly hall of the University to listen to the public lectures in crane issues.

On October, 12 the conference participants gave reports on the condition of populations of particular crane species and discussed the reports, in the lobby a display of Crane posters was organized. On the same day the round-table talk on Methods restoration of rare crane species populations was arranged. Among the topics discussed at the conference on October,13-14, there were issues on biology, crane systematics, their migration, pre-migration congregations and wintering sites, and methods of birds catch and marking, as well as protection and management of crane populations. Problems and threats araising from hunting and poaching, issues of crane influence on agriculture and ways to eliminate them. On October, 15-16 the participants visited settl. Pallasovka and the Nature Park Eltonskiy saw the main ecological routes, visited the fields under crops meant as feeding sites for cranes and geese.

By the results of the conference a resolution was elaborated and adopted and later will be laid out on the site of the Project after it is finally developed and approved by all stakeholders.

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