Birds Korea, December 8th 2012
The core breeding range of many of the landbird and several of the globally-threatened waterbird species migrating through and to Korea is the Amur-Heilong Basin. Research and conservation work in this hugely important region therefore has much relevance to our own work. On learning of the fascinating Amur Birding Blog (in English, Russian and German, at: www.amurbirding.blogspot.com) and of some of the great work being done at Muraviovka, we invited Wieland Heim, the blog’s lead author, to write a short blog-post for us…
Wanted: Volunteers for bird studies at Muraviovka Park/Amur region!
Wieland Heim, December 8th 2012
Muraviovka Park is the only private nature reserve in Far-eastern Russia and is situated at the middle stream of the Amur river. The place is well-known for its important breeding populations of Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana, Red-crowned Grus japonensis and White-naped Cranes Grus vipio and as a roosting site for big numbers of Hooded Cranes Grus monacha. But there are more species at Muraviovka Park, either highly endangered or little-known, which deserve special interest.
During the last two years, autumn songbird migration was studied at Muraviovka Park. Until now, over 9000 birds out of 95 species were mist-netted and ringed (e.g. http://www.zin.ru/journals/AEB/pdf/Heim_2012_21_AEB.pdf). We collect data about phenology, biometry, ageing and sexing as well as habitat use, which was never done before in the Amur region in a standardized way. Through our work, we noticed the importance of the Park for a variety of bird species as a safe roosting site. Many birds stay several days or even weeks to refuel, before continuing their journey over thousands of kilometres to their wintering grounds in South-east Asia or India.
Another important part of our work is environmental education. Nature conservation is only working with the acceptance and support of the local people, which we want to help become more aware of the value of their surrounding natural treasures. For this, we mainly want to invite classes of students and pupils to experience nature and to take part in our project. During our studies over 1000 kids and students visited Muraviovka Park and our project, learning about bird migration, nature conservation and scientific methods. For many of them the face-to-face contact with the small birds during the process of ringing was most impressive. In 2013 we want to organize courses for local students about bird migration and nature conservation. It is our aim to find and teach young scientists willing to proceed our work at Muraviovka Park.
In 2013, we will also study spring migration with mist-nets and migration counts on a daily basis and continue the standardized observation of the autumn migration at the Park.
Furthermore, we want to collect information about breeding status, abundance and potential threads, for example for the following target species: Spot-billed Duck Anas poecilorhycha, Baer´s Pochard Aythya baeri, Yellow-legged Buttonquail Turnix tanki, Band-bellied Crake Porzana exquisita, Menzbier´s Pipit Anthus (gustavi) menzbieri, Manchurian Reed Warbler Acrocephalus tangorum and Yellow-breasted Bunting Emberiza aureola. The collected data will be used to evaluate the success of the Park and to create conservation strategies.
And for this, we (a team of German students and Ornithologists) need your help! If you are interested and if you have time for at least four weeks between March and October 2013, write us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Current information is always available on our blog: www.amurbirding.blogspot.com