NEWS ARCHIVE: MARCH 2014

March 31, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Hydrological monitoring to help works on restoration of degraded peat lands in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Currently, a number of projects to restore the hydrological regime of disturbed areas is implemented in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. As part of research carried out by the Scientific Department of the National Park and academic institutions with the support of the Public Organization "APB-BirdLife Belarus", drained swamps and artificial watercourses of highest priority were identified, where works to restore the hydrological regime because of environmental reasons are necessary. To support of this program, the National Park and APB set a hydrological network to monitor the state of disturbed sites. This is in addition to the existing network of wells for monitoring of groundwater levels existing in the National Park.

The feature of the new program is in its practical orientation. Hydrological monitoring is conducted in the areas planned for projects to restore the hydrological regime. In addition, automatic modern devices are used. Sensors adjusted in a certain mode automatically collect and store information about the fluctuations in the level of groundwater. This will assess the effectiveness of work to restore the hydrological regime, as well as to use the data for the stage of engineering projects.

First work on the restoration of hydrological regime on small streams "Boruschichi", "Solomianka" and "Plyanta" will be implemented in 2014 as part of the joint project "Small Streams - Big Impact" between the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and NGO "APB-BirdLife Belarus", funded by the "Coca-Cola"(USA).
March 31, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Breath of spring in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Spring is coming to Belovezhskaya Pushcha, accompanied by the appearance of numerous offspring of wild animals and birds. The previous winter was not harsh. Winter feeding, early warm spring, good safety conditions and a well-established protection system promoted reproduction of the inhabitants of the National Park. Currently, especially in the sunny and warm weather, visitors can observe numerous wild animals - red deer, bison and roe deer, which in the morning and evening go out to feed the first green lush feast-grass on local fields and the forest edge. Visitors can enjoy various singing bird species in woods in the National Park. All this would have been impossible without competent biotechnical measures, so now sowing of crops is conducted in order to feed wild animals in the autumn-winter period. Rangers and game keepers carry out repairs and construction of numerous biotech facilities.

For zealous rangers and hunting specialist, the whole year round in the forest is overwhelmed with work!
March 26, 2014 Website "TUT.BY" A pensioner from Pruzany district contrived an "agro-town" for starlings at his home site

A rustic wizard who creates designer birdhouses about 10 years, dreams to build a plane for starlings on his land.


Alexander Schurko, a villager from Popelevo, met us on a bench near his house. On a warm Sunday afternoon, the rustic master sat on the bench in the shadow of his "starling-house installation". He worked for it about 10 years. There is no living space on a tree that grows in the yard - all visible space is occupied by "apartments" for starlings. Moreover, among the standard across birdhouses, there are very unusual wooden houses - two-, three- and even four-story rooms. There is also a four-story "Housing Office", the only one for the entire starling agro-town and for all village of Popelevo.


The master noted that the creation of designer birdhouses is his hobby, and he began to "colonize" the tree in the yard because of the love to singing starlings.

I like to wake up in the morning and hear their voices," the interlocutor said.

The process of creation of a birdhouse takes about an hour. He masters from scrap materials under inspiration. When TV was broken, he took a TV-box and boards, and created a house. The master also honors agricultural household articles. For example, he made a Pinocchio-birdhouse from a wooden churn. He put a guitar in the hands of the wooden sculpture, put children's boots on the legs and sat on a wooden shovel, which was used in the village for making bread in the oven.


The master was born in the village of Popelevo. He lived there all his life and worked in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Alexander said there was the moment when he left his native land to work in Ivantsevichy, but after a while he wrote a statement for dismissal and returned to his native Popelevo.

"I cannot live without forest."

. Now Alexander Schurko is on a pension but continues to work. He gathers mushrooms in the season to sell them for private entrepreneurs from Brest.

"They pay 500 to 600 thousand Bel.Rubles (~$ 50) per one kilogram of dry cepe boletus (squirrel's bread). <...> I bought a refrigerator thanks the squirrel's bread this year.


Alexander plans to make a break in creativity of starling-houses. His bad back does not allow engaging in favorite things to the master. If there will be forces, he is dreaming to build a wooden birdhouse-plane on a village plot.
March 26, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Tourism Fair in Moscow

The International Tourist Exhibition "MITT / Travel and Tourism 2014", the largest in the Russian Federation, was in Moscow from 19 to March 21, 2014.

With the assistance of the Brest Regional Executive Committee, employees of the Tourism Department of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", representatives of travel companies and agro-farms of the Brest region visited the Exhibition.

Employees of the Tourism Department has done a lot to promote the brand "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in the near regions and abroad.
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March 26, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" To count grouse

Surveys are currently being conducted in Belovezhskaya Pushcha in grouse mating places (capercaillie and black grouse) for a realistic assessment of their abundance dynamics. The courtship display of these birds, which are valuable in terms of aesthetic and hunting, is manifested in different ways - birds can sing, perform courtship flies, take special postures to demonstrate the vividly colored plumage and put up a fight and "tournaments." It is not possible to see this fabulous sight to every lover of nature, but the one who has ever seen it will remember the amazing birds for all life. The density of the black grouse population lately, though slowly, but increases, while the number of capercaillie, unfortunately, continues to be low for many objective reasons. Hunting for grouse and capercaillie is not carried out in Belovezhskaya Pushcha because of an insufficient density of the population of these species.
March 19, 2014 Website "Naviny.by" Belarusian border guards detained two Iranians in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Iranian citizens are suspected of violating the state border. They were detained in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on March 18.

According to the State Border Committee of Belarus, young people had Belarusian visas, but they did not have permission to enter into the border zone. Foreigners explained getting close to the border as for tourism purposes. However, violators had difficulties to explain why they took with them a map of Germany and the Iranian-German Phrasebook.

Detainees are arranged as violators of the border regime, and they are being investigated.
March 18, 2014 Website "Prof-Media" "Wooden people" received the fifth award

A documentary film tells the story of a woodcarver who populated a deserted village in Belovezhskaya Pushcha by wooden people.

Belarusian film "Wooden people" received the Grand Prix of IX International Film Festival of Arts and Crafts in the French city of Montpellier.

The film tells about a wonderful man - artist from wood-carver Nikolai TARASYUK. Nikolai is the only inhabitant of a deserted village on the edge of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Or rather, it is not even the village, but an isolated house in the Pruzany district. The director Victor Asliuk took twenty-seven minutes to show the greatness and tragedy of this lonely old man.

With woodcarving, the master raises life of the native farm and shows how he was in times when life was seething here. His chisel made hundreds of wooden figures - a real society that lives by its own laws. His wooden people work, rest, love, marry, fight and die. His sculptures plain at first glance are surprising at their subtlety, irony and depth. The cutter living in the deserted village is still not alone - he is surrounded by his wooden people.

The award of the Festival in Montpellier is the fifth major one of International Film festivals for this film. The film about the carver from Belovezhskaya Pushcha was viewed by more than ten festivals in Belarus, Russia, France, Italy, Canada and Germany.

Now the film is involved in the Days of Ethnographic Film in Ljubljana (Slovenia).



March 18, 2014 Website "Wild Nature" Russian environmentalists visited Belovezhskaya Pushcha

A delegation of heads of specially protected natural territories of the Russian Federation and experts in the field of nature protection visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on March 16. The visit took place within the framework of the on-site expert session of the Association of Directors of State Nature Reserves and National Parks "Nature Protected Russia". The topic of the visit sounded like "State Nature Reserves and National Parks: ways of forming social support systems."

At the meeting, representatives of the Ministry of Nature Protection of Belarus showed the guests a presentation about the system of specially protected natural areas in Belarus and the development of tourism, as well as about the practice of various environmental protection measures in the country and involvement of local communities in it.

The National Park's management spoke about the protection of natural ecosystems in Belovezhskaya Pushcha and the development of tourism activities, fist of all, of eco-tourism, coupled with the environmental education activities. Guests also reviewed the tourist infrastructure of the National Park, visited the age-old forest and learned the experience of the colleagues from the Bialowieza National Park on the Polish side of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Following the meeting, the parties hope to improve the environmental performance of protected areas in both countries and actively involve the local population in this activity. This will resolve conflicts between the management on protected areas and local residents.
March 17, 2014 Website "Second National TV Channel" Video: Chief Belarusian Father Frost opened his own TV studio

Now visitors of the Manor can record video messages, which are broadcast live in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Make a wish and send greetings to the wizard can be in the house of Winter Mother.

An author of the video is left alone with the camera - not to interfere with miracles. Santa Claus personally examines each video message and responds to it by email. Although the winter holidays are over, tourists in the Manor are not less numerous than before. The desires go not only from children. Adults often ask for health and family welfare.

The magic studio is just started. Fairy tales from children's scenarios will soon be shot in the Santa Claus's Estate.

Details are in the video.
(Video report can be viewed on youtube here, in Russian)
March 13, 2014 "Sovetskaya Belorussia" (The Soviet Belorussia) newspaper, No 48 (24431) No fluff, no feather

In Belovezhskaya Pushcha, including the hunting grounds of the National Park, a moratorium on the spring hunt of waterfowl is set. First ban was put in force two years ago, now it is extended.

There is a net of small and medium-sized rivers in the National Park, which covers an area of nearly 153,000 hectares. Bog "Dikoe" (Wild) and River "Lesnaya" (Forest) are in the Park. Geese and ducks not only fly over the forest on through migration corridors, but stop to rest here. But for some time past, they are increasingly nesting because the absence of danger in the form of a man with a gun.

Deputy General Director of the National Park Vasiliy Arnolbik believes that the ban on spring hunting has already brought results.

"The number of breeding pairs of gray cranes and other rare and endangered waterfowls has increased on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha in recent years. For example, 5 nesting pairs of gray goose were observed only in the vicinity of the village of Uglyany, Kamenetz district."

Hunting for migrating geese - Greylag, White-fronted, Bean and Canada Goose - opened in Belarus on March 8. However, entry for hunters is prohibited not only to Belovezhskaya Pushcha. In 2012, the Ministry of Natural Resources has set a ban on spring hunting waterfowl until January 2015 in the Nature Sanctuary "Sporovsky", on Elnya swamp, in sections of rivers of Berezina, Hayna, Dnieper, Pripyat, Pina, Yaselda, and on several lakes and ponds of fish farms.

Experts of the National Park argue that the moratorium is not limited by time and every year it will be extended.

By Valentina Kozlovich
March 11, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" The Belarusian Grandfather Frost has his own TV-studio

Not without striving to keep pace with time, the Belarusian Grandfather Frost got his own TV-studio.

Now any man who visited his Estate in Belovezhskaya Pushcha can leave his video message to the good magician. The studio is located in the Winter Mother's Workshop, which opened in the realm of Santa Claus during the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Manor. A video-message is recorded in the automatic mode, so a visitor in the studio is left alone with a video camera. Therefore, "as a reward for courage", little visitors of the Manor get even a small souvenir from the Company "Savushkin Product."
March 10, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" No spring hunting birds!

The Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park extended the moratorium on the spring hunt of waterfowl.

As numerous studies show, the greatest impact on nesting success, that means on the potential size of the population of birds, goes from hunting in the spring.

The National Park is mainly represented by forests with network of small and medium-sized watercourses. There are such grounds as international areas important for birds (TVP) "Forest" in the floodplain and the Bog "Wild" with wetlands that make permanent migration corridors for migratory waterfowl and important places of their stops and nesting.

Te fact that the number of breeding pairs of gray cranes and other rare and endangered wetland birds has increased on the territory of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and its Buffer Zone in recent years may be evidence of the effectiveness of these measures. This is due to the factor of absence of disturbance during their migration. In particular, 5 nesting pairs of gray goose were observed only in the vicinity of the village of Uglyany, Kamenetz district (TVP "Forest").

March 08, 2014 Website "Interfax" Eagle Owls and other owls to count in Belarus, everyone is invited in night raids

Joint study program for owls - Eagle Owl and Great Grey Owl starts in March in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The survey of Eagle Owls - one of the most charismatic owls of Belarus - will be the first events of the program.

According to the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", surveys will be conducted jointly with the NGO "APB-BirdLife Belarus. They will be attended by professional ornithologists and experienced amateurs and volunteers from APB. The aim of this program is to provide data on the number and distribution of Eagle Owl in the National Park.

Comparison of current data with historical ones allows assessing the dynamics of this species and linking it to the dynamics of the ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as was informed in the National Park.

By the way, Eagle Owl is the biggest owl in Belarus. The scope of its wings is almost two meters. In Belarus and neighboring countries, the species is listed in a Red Data Book and is under special protection.

Meanwhile, the public organization "APB-BirdLife Belarus" announced the recruitment of those who wish to participate in the field annual gathering "Night Dwellers of Forests." It will be held from 21 to 24 March. The village of Zalesye of the Pruzany district, which has long been called "Owl" in the narrow circles, is a venue of the annuals It is located on the outskirts of the bog of Wild, adjacent to the forest of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

"One can listen and watch the six species of owls right from the doorstep in the village," ornithologists say. "Last year, during the gathering to study owls, participants were able to see the Upland Owl, Great Gray Owl, Pygmy Owl Little Owl and Tawny Owl."

To participate in the summer gathering, it needs until March 13 to send the completed form to the email address listed on the website "APB-BirdLife Belarus." Vacancies are limited and priority will be given to those whose participation is motivated well in the application. The minimum number of days to declare can be 3.

Organizers promise (for the appropriate fee, of course) to arrange accommodation in a warm wooden village houses and supply meals. But the venue of the gathering is to be getting by oneself. A sleeping bag, rubber boots, personal dishes and hygiene products are to be taken.

Nature lovers will be offered with night tours, surveys of near living owls and visits of the Wild bog to check nest platforms for Great Grey Owl and to measure the depth of the Bog in the period of its greatest flood.

Those who are not able to go to the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha, it will be interesting to learn that territory with a particularly high density of the population of Eagle Owl is in the Brest region (Drogychin, Ivanovo, Ivacevicy, Luninets, Lyahovichi, Stolin and Pinsk districts) and in the west of the Gomel region (Zhitkovichi, Lelchitsy and Petrikov districts). This bird does not nest near big cities and in some agricultural areas in the west, center and east of Belarus, with minor areas of forests, wetlands and water reservoirs.

By Alexander Nesterov
March 07, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Bison census is over, owls now are in line

In March 2014, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" starts a program of studying owls - Eagle Owl and Great Grey Owl. The survey of Eagle Owls - one of the most charismatic owls of Belarus - will be the first event of the program.

Accounting is carried out by the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" jointly with the NGO "APB-BirdLife Belarus". Accounting will be executed by professional ornithologists, and experienced amateurs and volunteers from APB.

The aim of the accounting is to provide data on the number and distribution of Eagle Owl in the National Park. Comparison of current data with historical ones allows assessing the dynamics of this species and linking it to the dynamics of the ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

Eagle Owl is the biggest owl in Belarus. The scope of its wings is almost two meters. In Belarus and neighboring countries, the species is listed as endangered and is under special protection.
March 05, 2014 Website "Wild Nature" Poles propose to merge the Bialowieza Forest as a single trans-boundary area to obtain a UNESCO's status

Bialowieza Forest can become one trans-boundary site and in this form to qualify for inclusion in a UNESCO's List of World Heritage Sites. A special commission is preparing necessary documents. In the case of a positive result, Forest will not be divided into Belarusian and Polish parts. There will be common approaches to the conservation of its uniqueness. This was told by Miroslaw Stepanjuk, the director of the Bialowieza National Park.

To save the Reserve and at the same time to develop the region, tourists are offered to have a vacation outside the reserved area and to come to the Park only for a guided tour.

According to Miroslaw Stepanjuk, the Park is annually visited by about 150,000 people. Interestingly, unlike the Poles, foreign visitors bought most excursions not in a museum or zoo corner, but in the natural forest, in the strictly protected zone. People want to listen to the forest, to leave the civilization and to be alone with the untouched nature. And to relax is possible outside the Park.

Now tourists are concentrated in a small area of the Park. This problem can be solved through the development of infrastructure on the periphery of Bialowieza (on the Polish side the Park covers only 17% of the total Bialowieza forest's area). Construction of hotels, guest houses and agro-farms, as well as the development of traditional crafts and cultural events will help relieve the center of the Park and will attract the attention of visitors to the boundaries of the Reserve.

Miroslaw Stepanjuk
"We want to make the stay in the Park as much comfortable as possible, but at the same time, our actions should not harm nature, Miroslaw Stepanjuk says.

In the Bialowieza Forest there are already hiking trails. Their total length is about 600 kilometers. But to have only hiking trail is not enough, so our plans are to create special places for rest and car parking.

The Park received investments for the development of tourism infrastructure in the framework of the Euroregion "Bialowieza Forest" and EU programs. So, the management offices are in a modern building complex, with a conference hall, hotel and Museum. The nearby old buildings require restoration.

The trans-boundary cooperation, according to the Polish side, is poorly developed. Interaction is limited only by joint actions of the border guards. But true, there is an international project of summer camp for schoolchildren. Children from Germany, Poland and Belarus are watching nature in the Forest, collaborate and share experiences. This year the camp will be organized in Belarusian village of Kamenyuki. Next year students will go to one of the German national parks.

The Poles have the idea to release an atlas covering the whole Forest, with information about the National Park, but there is no coincidence with the Belarusian side. According to Miroslaw Stepanjuk, joint contacts are limited to one-time events.

Maybe, when Bialowieza Forest will become the single multinational entity, the situation will change.

Information from "WN":

Bialowieza Forest is one of the biggest woodlands in Europe, surviving up to now in a relatively undisturbed state.

The territory of the Polish part of the Forest has the Bialowieza National Park that covers an area of 10,502 hectares. The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" with an area of 152,962 hectares was created on the Belarusian part and the surrounding lands.

In number of species of plants and animals, the Bialowieza Forest is the greatest area in Europe. 958 species of higher plants, 260 species of mosses, over 290 species of lichens and 570 species of fungi grow here.

The list of the fauna of the Bialowieza Forest has 59 species of mammals, 227 species of birds, 7 species of reptiles, 11 species of amphibians, 24 species of fish and more than 11,000 species of invertebrates. It is home to the world's largest population of bison, for example, 505 animals on the Polish side. Big herbivores are red deer, wild boar, roe deer and elk. Predators are wolf, fox, lynx, badger, marten, otter, and others.

By the way

Przemyslaw Szuma is a hereditary carver, now the only master in Bialowieza.

Young leave from the village, and home are bought by citizens from Warsaw or aliens, Przemyslaw says. My work is hard, manual.

The carver is not going to leave. He takes for any orders he can cut ladder or perform carpentry work. In addition, virtually every middleman in the souvenir shops sells Bialowieza bison's wood sculptures made by Szuma. When we arrived, the master executed the order for 34 figures. He cuts only 3 statuettes per day. He carefully works for every part of the figure. Then a bison miniature should be covered three times with oil varnish and to be polished.







March 04, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Forest Inventory

In 2013 to 2015, the forest inventory is conducted on the territory of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". Field works on forest valuation are scheduled for 2014. During the forest inventory, there will be defined qualitative and quantitative characteristics of forest resources. Inventory of the forest stands will be carried out. There will be analyzed the management in the area with regard for all performed management activities during the previous period (from 2006 to 2014). Many others things will be done. The data obtained will be the basis for the development of "Forestry Management Project", which is a basic guideline for the protection and sustainable use of forest resources of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The new management project will determine the development of forestry of the National Park for the period from 2016 to 2025.
March 04, 2014 Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Pancake festival is over

The Pancake Day was celebrated in a big way in Belovezhskaya Pushcha on March 01. The celebration was held at the Manor of the hospitable Belarusian Grandfather Frost.

Creative teams delighted guests with their songs. Everyone could participate in the prize lottery. And pancakes at the snack bar "Father Frost House" were for every taste.

Visitors from the north of Belarus - Zyuzya Poozerski and his assistant Karachun Special attracted a special attention at the festival. Fairy-tale characters come to the solemn meeting of the first day of Spring to send-off Snow Maiden and Winter, Blizzards and Flurry Mother. They helped brighten up the Grandfather Frost's sadness of parting with his relatives, who were going to the far North Pole.

Each of the guests had the opportunity to walk around the Manor, meet fantastic characters, visit the city of craftsmen (trade fair of artisans from the Brest region) and, of course, to capture all the happy moments on the photo.

The send-off of the winter fairy-tale characters became the culmination of the celebration. Snow Maiden and Winter, Frost and Blizzard Mother said goodbye to Santa Claus, his helpers and all those present. Winter Mother handed her a Workshop key and a magic box with bells of fulfilled dreams to Puschik - Custodian of tales and riddles of the Manor. She also gave to Baba Kargota a magic tree with a branch of Dreamlike Friendship.

After farewells and parting speeches, Winter Mother with her daughters and a granddaughter sat in the magical coaches and went to the North. But the festivities continued at the Manor. It also included a traditional ceremony of burning of Pancake Day's stuffed effigy at the last winter fireplace.