The meeting of the Scientific and Technical Council to discuss the results of 2020 took place on December 24 at the Commander Islands Nature and Biosphere Resreve visitor center. The reserve staff reported on the main topics, including research, conservation and environmental education.
11 scientific studies
Deputy Director for Science Evgeny Mamayev said that in the past year, the reserve conducted studies on 11 programs. Seven of them are made by the scientific staff of the CINBR and the other four by specialists of third-party organizations.
Thus, the staff of the reserve studied the ecology of the harbor seal listed in the Red Book of Russia. The numbers were taken on large haulouts, satellite tagging was carried out, tissue samples were collected for further studies. In addition, the last field season included studies of landscapes dynamics of Bering Island, as well as cetaceans, terrestrial mammals, sea lions, sea otters, passeriformes birds and other animals.
At the same time, in 2020, scientists from KF TIG TWO RAS, M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, V.L. Komarov Botanical Institute RAS and IMIG TWO RAS worked on the islands. In particular, field work was carried out to collect samples of algae on Bering Island to determine the content of heavy metals, and the main sites for monitoring the island lichenoflora.
In 2020, we estimated the number of reindeer (the estimated number on Bering Island is 2,219 individuals). In the spring period, records could not be carried out due to bad snow cover, but already on the first of December, on the eve of wintering, the registration in the northern part of the island was started.
Sea otter count was carried out in the coastal waters of the islands of Bering, Toporkov and Ary Kamen. The absolute yield of some plant species (arctic raspberry, crowberry, blueberry, blueberry, hucklberry and cranberry) was calculated.
Routes on land, water and in the air
In the absence of Vsevolod Yakovlev, Deputy Director for Protection, Maxim Sharikov, Deputy Director for Provisions, reported on the protection of the area. He noted that during the hiking routes the team traveled 4,200 kilometers, the length of routes on the island of Bering by car and motor vehicles was more than 10,000 kilometers, by water - 4000 kilometers. Separately, they spent 40 hours for inspection of the territory with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
This year, 255 permits were issued to visit the buffer zone of the reserve, 4 protocols under Article 8.39 of RFAdministrative Violations Code were prepared, 34 business trips and 450 people/days of duty in cabins were carried out.
More than 35 environmental and educational activities
Oksana Solovanyuk, Head of the Environmental Education Department, said that in the past year, the CINBR presented four exhibitions on the nature of the archipelago, including one exhibition in an online format in connection with the current epidemiological situation in the country.
On the island of Bering there were two children's ecological excursions to the bay of Buyan, where young travelers found themselves in the atmosphere of field research of coastal flora and fauna.
The reserve also continued its partnership education projects with the kindergarten and the school of the village of Nikolsky. Numerous classes and workshops, walking tours, guided tours and promotions were held.
Volunteer of the reserve Anastasia Rvantsova has launched ecological and educational project "Through the Kids' Eyes", in which participants of Ecological Guest-Room create videos, where they share the news of the reserve, the village or interesting information about the archipelago.
"Green Commander Islands"
On November 30, in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky the first batch of hazardous waste was handed over for recycling. In total, the villagers of Nikolskoye handed over to the collection points organized by the CINBR reserve: 40 used tires, more than 20 spent cartridges and more than 1000 used batteries and accumulators.
This is a historic moment, because the organization of separate collection of waste on the protected Commander Islands in the context of the current Territorial Waste Management Scheme in the Kamchatka Krai can serve as a working model for other protected areas.
In the near future, the waste will be sent for recycling in Artyem city in Primorsky Krai, as there are still no licensed enterprises in Kamchatka that meet all environmental standards.
The CINBR implements a separate collection program at the expense of extra-budgetary funds, including the sale of souvenirs and excursion programs for tourists. The nature reserve will cover the costs of transporting the waste to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and for the services of the recycling company.