Kronotsky Reserve

November 1, 2017 Kronotsky Reserve invites to the new virtual tour on its 83rd birthday

Now Internet users all over the worldbeing on a computer can visit one of the main treasures of East Kamchatka — Lake Kronotskoye that has been the start point for the history of the creation of Kronotsky Reserve. The author of the virtual trip is the Kamchatka"s photographer Sergey Krasnoshchokov.The official date of the creation of Kronotsky State Reserve that is one of the oldest ones in Russia is November 1, 1934, but the history of its creation started in 1882. The main sightseeing of the central part of the Biosphere Reserveare the largest and the second deepest freshwater Kamchatka"s reservoir Lake Kronotskoye, one the most fascinating volcanoes of the world volcano Kronotsky and deciduous forests.One can set off on the virtual tour on the website of Kronotsky Reserve: http://www.kronoki.ru/kl/tour.html

October 27, 2017 Kronotsky Reserve sums up the field season

This year a complex scientific expedition was held in Koryaksky Reserve for the first time in a while. In Kronotsky Reserve the tagging of Steller"s sea eagles has continued after a long break, and the program for tagging of Far Eastern curlews has begun. Both types of the birds are listed in the Red Book of Russia. Six years running the monitoring of wetlands was held that are situated in the downstream of riverKronotskaya where more than 40,000 kinds of birds build their nests. These are loons, geese, some kinds of ducks, sandpipers, passerines, gulls, terns, and some predators. Among them there are rare species like Aleutian, common and Arctic terms, Steller"s sea eagle and Far Eastern curlew. Scientists were observing the curlews» settlements using different methods including sounds recording, researching of the nest behavior with the help of camera traps, nests exploring, taking pictures and measuring of laying, weighing of nestlings, etc.A nestling of a Steller"s sea eagle was tagged with a wing tab during the field season. The migration of young birds isn"t researched properly, but there is a hypothesis according to which the sea eagles nesting on the peninsula commonly winter thereon.

October 4, 2017 A bear cub with a «white scarf» was shot on video in South Kamchatka Sanctuary

Observers called the young female with unusual coloration Badger Motya.Most of brown bear cubs are born with a «white tie». It disappears while molting as they grow older. A distinctive feature of the two-year-old young female that is walking in Severnaya bay of Lake Kurilskoye with its mother and sister today is a white scarf or a shirtfront which is framing the animal"s neck, chest and upper back. However, it behaves like an ordinary bear cub that is learning fishing and building relationship with kin.Departure from the ordinal coloration of the definite animal type is scientifically called aberration. It"s a quite rare phenomenon. It is connected with genetic defects, natural selection and deserves separate studies. One of Motya"s ancestors could have been an albino, but not obligatory.

September 15, 2017 People and bears — a formula of good-neighbourly relations in South Kamchatka Sanctuary is being figured out

Scientists are researching the influence of increasing of tourism flow on prosperity of bear subpopulation dwelling in the environs of Lake Kurilskoye.The world largest density of brown bears can be seen in summer and at the beginning of autumn on the biggest spawning grounds of red salmon in Eurasia — Lake Kurilskoye. One can sometimes count up to 50 species at the same time from the observation decks of South Kamchatka Federal Sanctuary. Beasts are having natural lifestyle — fishing, resting, bringingup the offspring. While observing, specialists have made sure that the bears of Lake Kurilskoye possess astonishing tolerance towards people. This unique phenomenon for the wild nature is a desert of the leaders of Kronotsky Reserve.Just ten years ago poachers hung around Lake Kurilskoye, bears were afraid of people. But TikhonIgorevichShpilenok, the director of Kronotsky Reserve, has properly organized the work of security services, and the poaching was managed to be eradicated for a short period of time. Some generations of bears have grown up there that interpret people as a part of their world. It may already take place at the genetic level.The main result of the researches will be a complex of measures allowing further development of ecological tourism so that the influence of people on the bear subpopulation is minimized, and guests are provided with the appropriate conditions for observing animals.

24.08.16 «Kamchatka Odyssey» Sergei Gorshkov is bound to become world-famous

The book of a famous wildlife photographer Sergei Gorshkov has been published in English. Thousands of copies of the Russian version of the book has already been sold among the connoisseurs of Kamchatka wildlife beauty.Photos included in the edition were taken by Sergey Gorshkov in Kronotsky Reserve and the South Kamchatka Wildlife Refuge. Shooting reserve wildlife is a complicated task that requires special skills. «Kamchatka Odyssey» is the result of hard work, talent, patience in addition to vast and extensive experience of the photographer.«Such books are the best business card of our protected areas. Anyone who picks up the photobook of Sergei, will not remain indifferent to the fragile world of Kamchatka Wildlife, even if one has never been there — says Tikhon Shpilenok, head of Kronotsky State Nature Reserve. — Publishing of the «Odyssey» in English is a great opportunity for hundreds of thousands of people from different countries and different continents to immerse into this colorful, exciting, but vulnerable world. "Bears, foxes, Steller's sea eagles, deer, wolverines, each photograph captures the moment in the life of animals, whose behavior is not changed by the presence of man, in the reserve animals live guarded by strict reserve rules. Photos are complemented by short stories of the author, which do not describe what is happening on the picture, but are some «travel notes» of the photographer.Additional Information:Sergey Gorshkov is one of the founders and a member of the Russian Union of wildlife photographers. Sergey has won many prestigious national and international awards for his photographs, including five «Wildlife Photographer of the Year» awards from the BBC and twice «Photographer of the Year» in Russia in 2007 and 2011.

10.04.2015 After the unification of the Koryaksky and Kronotsky nature reserves, personnel from Kronotsky Reserve's Department of Protection care for and protect these territories' rare birds

In addition, violators of the reserves' rules of protection face tougher penalties. Now poachers will have to pay 1.1 million rubles for the capture of one gyrfalcon, whereas previously the maximum fine was set at 250,000 rubles for the bird.«Poaching is dramatically affecting the gyrfalcon population. This large, strong bird with light or completely white plumage is particularly valued on the black market. Among gyrfalcons, as with other birds of prey, the female is much larger than the male, so each year the largest and therefore most successful females are seized,» said Fyodor Kazansky, ornithologist and Kronotsky Reserve researcher.According to ornithologists, one of Russia"s largest groups of gyrfalcons lives in Kamchatka"s Koryaksky highlands. However, poaching activities intended to capture and export the birds for sale in Arab countries have caused irreparable damage to the population. The gyrfalcon is the largest member of the falcon family. It is protected in Russia as well as other countries.

08.04.2015 The territory of the Koryaksky Reserve is now under the control of FSI Kronotsky State Reserve

The order to reorganize the two federally funded institutions was signed by Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment. As a result of the reorganization, FSI state reserve «Koryaksky» ceases to exist as a separate legal entity, and all its rights and obligations are transferred to FSI Kronotsky State Reserve. It thus becomes one of three federally protected areas, Koryaksky and Kronotsky reserves and the South Kamchatka Sanctuary, with a total area of nearly 1.8 million hectares. While Kronotsky Reserve has been steadily developing in the areas of protection, research, and eco-tourism, there was been no progress in Koryaksky Reserve for many years. It has almost no research department or the necessary resources for protecting the territory and creating infrastructure. Koryaksky Reserve"s transfer to the control of FSI Kronotsky State Reserve is eased by the northern territory experience developed over the 80-year history of Kronostky Reserve. Research in various areas will already be conducted in Koryaksky Reserve this summer, and Koryaksky"s territory will be patrolled by Kronotsky Reserve"s state inspectors.Koryaksky Reserve was established in 1995 to protect the sites of migrating and nesting waterfowl; the coastal and marine ecosystems of the southern Bering Sea, which has large seabird colonies; and the whole complex ecosystem of northern Kamchatka. The reserve consists of two separate sections: Goven Peninsula and Parapolsky. Parapolsky is included in the list of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention) as a massive waterfowl habitat.

06.04.2015 The spring survey of animal routes has taken place in Kronotsky Reserve

Paths of birds and animals have been traced throughout the reserve territory, included the Uzon-Geyser area, sea coast, Semyachiksky area, Kronotskoye Lake, and Lazovsky cluster area. The surveyors skied 19 trails with a total length of about 350 kilometers. Most surveyors were Kronotsky Reserve state inspectors, but there were also experienced observers as well as beginners. To determine the species of animals by their trackers, surveyors used photo identifiers.Almost all the research groups noted a fairly high number of elk, which have left tracks in nearly all the flood plains of the reserve. Surveyors also recorded many hare tracks. As part of the spring survey, Anna Yachmennikova, a researcher with the Kronotsky Reserve and the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, studied lynx habitats.«We found tracks from a huge lynx. This cat traveled about 16 kilometers along the coast,» said Anna Yachmennikova. «Tracks of three smaller lynx were found in the alpine tundra around Krasheninnikov Volcano.»Survey sheets with information on the number of animal tracks on different routes are currently being processed. The complete data on the number and distribution of birds and animals on the Kronotsky Reserve territory will be released in a new edition of Nature Chronicles.

03.04.2015 Bears are waking up in the Kronotsky Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary

The first bear tracks were spotted by Kronotsky Reserve state inspectors Nikolai Solovyov and Dmitry Fetisov on 13 March. They were on the shore between the mouths of the Tikhaya and Shumnaya rivers. Judging by the size of its paw prints, it was a large male. On 2 April, assistant researcher Alexander Kononov saw bear tracks on the Pacific coast near the Kronoki cordon. In this period, the animals typically feed on sea creatures such as fish and bivalves. They also sometimes eat seal or dead animals. On 31 March, state inspector Constantine Lepsky came face to face with a young bear in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary. He was on a bear patrolling the waters of Kurilskoye Lake and approaching the Samang archipelago, one of the lake"s most picturesque islands, when he saw the bear. It appeared to be about three years old. After watching the man for a while, the young bear hid in a thicket of cedar. Before the sockeye salmon begin to spawn in Kurilskoye Lake, bears have to survive on dead fish, voles, and their reserves. With the start of spring, they can start eating fresh greens.

03.04.2015 Kronotsky Reserve employees held a master class dedicated to International Birds Day

Educators and librarians mastered the technique of decoupage. They turned ordinary sheets of notepaper into magnets decorated with paper birds and flowers. And before the master class began, participants were told some interesting facts about different kinds of birds. The events were opened by Lyudmila Marchenko, deputy head of environmental education at Kronotsky Reserve. She related the history of the environmental holiday International Birds Day, which is celebrated on 1 April. The date wasn"t chosen by chance-it"s the time when migratory birds begin to return to the European part of Russia from warmer countries. In Kamchatka, the mass spring migration begins somewhat later, in mid- to late April. Fyodor Kazansky, researcher at the Kronotsky Reserve, told the teachers and librarians about the evolutionary adaptations of birds in different parts of the world. Fyodor also talked about notable birds such as the Arctic tern, bristle-thighed curlew, bar-tailed godwit, harpy eagle, and other exotic species.

30.03.2015 Alternative energy sources are used in South Kamchatka Sanctuary

The international «Earth Hour» campaign occurred on 28 March. Its purpose is to draw public attention to the need to combat climate change, save water and energy, and reduce emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere. This year, Russia"s reserves and national parks under the purview of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment joined the international event. Participants across the country shut off their outdoor, office and home lights for an hour.«Everyone should economize daily on water, wood, electricity, and natural resources in general. We should think about the rational use of resources regularly, not once a year,» said Sergey Donskoy, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment.The Kronotsky Reserve and South Kamchatka Sanctuary use alternative sources of energy year-round: solar panels and wind turbines. In order to ensure efficiency in all areas-protection, scientific research, tourism and environmental education-the Ozerny cordon on the shores of Kurilskoye Lake has a wind turbine with an operating capacity of 1.5 kilowatts as well as solar panels. They charge the batteries needed to run computer equipment and lighting. Solar energy is also used extensively on Kronotsky Lake. In particular, solar cells help power the instruments in the hydrological laboratory in the Istok cordon.

30.03.2015 On 30 March Russia celebrates Volcanologist Day

Of the 300 volcanoes located on the Kamchatka peninsula, 25 are located in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve. Eight of those are active: Kronotsky, Kizimen, Kikhpinych, Gamchen, Vysoky, Taunshits, Krasheninnikov, and Komarov. Four more-Ilyinsky, Kosheleva, Kambelny, and Diky Greben-are located in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary. Given these giants» explosive nature, volcanologists are monitoring them closely. Kronotsky Reserve is visited annually by thousands of tourists who come from all over the world to admire the majestic giants. Photographers give special attention to the volcanoes.«There"s no need to wonder how to „beautify” the picture. By themselves, the volcanoes attract the photographer and the viewer,» said photographer Sergey Krasnoshchekov. «The landscape is perfectly built around them. One of my favorite volcanoes is Kronotsky, with its perfect cone shape. By itself, it is incredibly beautiful, especially when viewed from the other side of the lake. Hardly any other natural object can compete with the force of the impressions left by volcanoes on their viewers.»On any day of the year, but especially today, we must thank volcanologists for their work. They show their courage in their willingness to take risks. At any time of day or night, they are ready to pack up and leave for the next eruption. For the sake of peace among the inhabitants of seismically active regions, they risk their health and even their lives by taking samples of volcanic gases and ash. Dear volcanologists, today we wish you good health, inexhaustible energy, professional success, interesting research and scientific discoveries. May this holiday bring happiness to you and yours!

25.03.2015 Kronotsky Reserve invites you to take part in the campaign «March of Parks 2015»

This year's «March of Parks,» an All-Russia environmental campaign founded by the Center for Wildlife Conservation, has the slogan «Soil-a priceless natural heritage.» The annual event includes a children's literary and art competition, «World of Wilderness.» Entries should focus on animals, plants, and ecosystems somehow connected with topsoil. Kronotsky State Reserve is one of Kamchatka's curators for this campaign. Local participants are asked to select an animal or plant that lives in Kronotsky Reserve or South Kamchatka Sancruary, then draw and write about it for their own fairy tale, story, poem, or essay. Teachers leading participants in this competition should share information with children about specially protected natural areas and the need to preserve their integrity. They should also emphasize the importance of soil conservation to ensure the existence of life on our planet.

23.03.2015 Residents of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky rescued a male long-tailed duck

Two skiers spotted a pair of oil-covered ducks on the Pacific coast near the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It's possible that one of the ships passing through these waters leaked fuel and lubricants. The birds could not fly because their feathers were matted. The women decided to help the birds. Unfortunately, one of the birds was too timid. It evaded the women and most likely died. They managed to catch the second, however, and take it home. There, the bird was washed clean of oil with degreasing dish detergent and fed fish gruel. The bird was then brought back to where it was found. It started to swim in the cold water of the Pacific Ocean, but froze immediately and returned to its saviors. By happy coincidence, Natalia Golub, senior researcher at Kronotsky Reserve, was skiing along the coast at the same time. The women asked her for help. The group of rescuers decided to consult Fyodor Kazansky, researcher at Kronotsky Reserve. They called the ornithologist right away and sent him a picture of the bird. It turned out that it was a male long-tailed duck, which was changing its winter plumage for mating season. The duck could not swim in the cold water because cleaning the oil off its feathers also washed away a natural layer of fat, which keeps its feathers dry and the bird itself warm. On the recommendation of Fyodor Kazansky, the bird was warmed up and brought home for treatment. A bird has a special gland in its coccyx that secretes a lubricant for its skin and feathers. Expressing that gland helps maintain feathers' water-repellent and elastic qualities. After several days of intensive care, the mail long-tailed duck recovered its water-repelling ability. It is now able to swim and dive in cold seawater to get its main food-shrimp and other crustaceans.

18.03.2015 A film about Kurilskoye Lake received a bronze medal in the semifinal of the «Miracle of Russia» competition

The film «Lake of Life,» presented by the Kronotsky Reserve, discusses a unique natural feature of the South Kamchatka Sanctuary-Kurilskoye Lake. The lake holds the world"s largest group of salmon. Kamchatka brown bears, foxes, wolverines, otters, and other fish-eating animals all feed on the valuable salmon. Due to the fact that sockeye spawning is extremely prolonged and lasts from July to March, hundreds of Steller"s sea eagles, white-tailed eagles and golden eagles gather in the winter at ice-free spawning grounds. The film was created from the video archives of FSI Kronotsky State Nature Reserve. The footages includes a bear family with many cubs, thousands of salmon going to spawn, tourists watching bears fishing, fishermen working in the Sea of Okhotsk, and life in fishing villages. The film also has commentary from people interested in the unique lake"s preservation. They include scientists, state inspectors, documentary filmmakers, photographers, and residents of the fishing villages bordering South Kamchatka Sanctuary.

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Did You Know

The Semyachicksky estuary is counted as one of the most important wetlands as a key ornithological territory, protected by the Ramsar Convention.