On Tuesday, April 30, the conference hall of the Commander Islands Reserve visit center on Bering Island housed Scientific and Technical Council. The heads of sectors presented their detailed reports for 2018 and plans for 2019 to the members of the council.
Acting Director Evgeny Mamaev spoke about planned research activity in 2018 in the field of cetaceans, fur seal, sea lions, arctic foxes and reindeersresearch. Research Department specially monitored seabirds colonies in the southern part of Bering Island. In 2018 they finished field monitoring of marine colonial birds on the Commander Islands. Parallel work is also aimed at data processing of information acquired during the first in 25 years ornithological expedition to Medny Island.
“Among seabirds of Medny Island we can choose 4 main species: the kittiwake, the red-legged kittiwake – this species nests only on the Commander Islands in Russia – and common and thick-billed murres. We were surprised to discover that the two later species increased their populations. From 1994 population of the common murre more than tripled and now consists of 50 000 individuals! There are more thick-billed murres as well”, said Evgeny Mamaev. He also added that to see the major picture they need to count populations of several other bird species on Medny Island.
In 2019 we add two more directions to the planned activities. Our new specialist of Science Department, GIS specialist Irina Chilchigesheva already started analyzing the dynamics of the Commander Islands landscape development. Research of lichens on Medny and later on Bering Island is in hands of research team from V.L. Komarov Botanic Institute of RAS.
Than the members were presented with report of the Protection Department. Last year the employees of this department discovered 10 violations of nature protection laws. They all concern unlawful visiting of protected and restricted zones of the reserve and water area. “There are no fishing vessels among violators. We can say it with confidence as we monitor not only vehicle activity in the protected water area, but also outside it. No vessels turned off their AIS systems or violated the border of the water area”, said Deputy Director for Conservation Ilya Ivanochkin. He also added that the overall sum of fines is 777 000 roubles. All collected money are sent to the federal budget.
Deputy Director for Science Ulyana Ledok spoke about educational activity. “Last year our employees conducted more than 100 events in different parts of Russia with more than 5 000 visitors”, she said.
The participants also discussed the reserve changing status to national park and a number of other issues of sustainable nature use.