NEWS ARCHIVE: JULY 2009

July 28, 2009 Website "Belarusian Partisan" Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not a Wonder of Nature for a long time already

Rather recently the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has taken the preliminary fifth rank in voting to be a World Natural Wonder.

"Altogether it is planned to select the seven objects - "Seven World Natural Wonders", Nikolai Bambiza has informed. Belovezhskaya Pushcha took part in the nomination "Forests, national park, reserves". There are also seven categories. Over 260 natural sights from 222 countries all over the world participate in the contest organized by New 7 Wonders Foundation, the Swiss non-profit organization. The Niagara Waterfall (Canada, USA); the Kilimanjaro Mountain (Tanzania); the Black Wood or Schwarzwald (Germany); the Loch Ness Lake (Great Britain); the Vesuvius Volcano (Italy); the Baikal Lake (Russia) are among the natural sights.

The senior staff scientist of the National Academy of Sciences of the country who, for the clear reasons, wished to be anonymous has commented this, at first sight, joyful news to the "Belarusian Partisan" as the following. "Belovezhskaya Pushcha is not a Wonder of Nature for a long time already", the scientist says. "It was actively destroyed last decades both as a protected area of Belarus and as a mankind property. For example, giant trees which are now proudly totaled about thousand were in terms of numbers of over one and a half thousand two decades ago. And the so-called situation is like this for many options.

There is the elite rest with shooting the animals from a Red Data Book, saunas and girls as a practice already for a long time there. Besides, many programs concerning the development of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as a unique natural monument, very unfortunately, are cut down and their prospects in connection with the continued economic crisis are more than foggy. The government has radically to change the attitude to the reserves, instead of trying to transform them in expensive comfortable brothels. For example, recently a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Sports and Tourism has publicly declared that he does not see anything shameful to develop the sex-tourism in Belarus. And the unique natural water reservoirs and protected woodlands, it may be understood, are an ideal place for development of the new "locomotive" of the domestic economy.

The saddest truth is in this situation that, most likely, nothing as the attitude of the high-rank persons will cardinally be changed even Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be recognized one of the best world wonders will not change. On the contrary, in the case of popularization of our country as "a tourist paradise" the situation in this really unique area of the planet can only be turned to the worse.

INFORMATION
Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a unique and largest ancient woodland typical for the European plain. The average age of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's forests makes more than 100 years and some sites are 250 - 350 years old. There are over thousand giant trees (a King-Oak and others oak trees of 400 to 600 years, ash and pine trees of 250 to 350 years and spruce trees of 200 to 250 years old). In 1992 UNESCO has taken a decision to include the State National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in a World Mankind Heritage List.
July 09, 2009 Website "Interfax-West" Living creatures perish in Belovezhskaya Pushcha

Near-water and water plants and animals perish for the most part because of the summer flood of the rivers.

Because of long and strong rains, the small rivers and streams running through the area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha have overflowed the banks and have flooded water-meadows and flood-plain forests. Due to this, putrefaction of the littoral vegetation has began that, together with the warm weather, has caused the mass fish kill and the death of a huge amount of earthworms and insects, Heorhi Kazulka, coordinator of the Public Project "Belovezhskaya Pushcha - XXI Century " and PhD of Biology, has informed to the Portal www.interfax.by.

"Alas, beauty and calamity are walking together. A week ago the situation has come to the end by the catastrophe for millions of earth-worms. They simply died because of flooded water to block the air circulation. The plenty of other invertebrates featured impossibility for migration was also lost. These photos show ants. To be rescued, they had to climb up stalks of plants or to form floating "spheres" on the water surface", Kazulka has informed.

Click the small picture and download a photo of the big size, save it on the hard disk and then put it as the screen table photo Click to enlarge in the new window
He also has said that the flood has ended in kill for many fishes, especially for big ones, because the long high water has resulted in extinction of a part of meadow vegetation and in the intensive putrefaction of the dry vegetative substation. "Water became dark, with unpleasant saprogenic smell and covered with "oil", very visible in water-standing places".

The decay of the vegetation has caused decrease of oxygen below a critical level in water. The death of fishes - perch, pike, ide and others has happened.

"The survived fishes feel very difficult. This photo shows a small spike swimming near the water surface and swallowing the air that not to choke", Heorhi Kazulka has told.

Click to enlarge in the new window Click to enlarge in the new window Click to enlarge in the new window
The scientist of Belovezhskaya Pushcha Vasiliy Arnolbik has confirmed the fact of the summer flooding at the rivers running through the area of the National Park.

"The water in Belovezhskaya Pushcha has actually become high. All waterfowls and near-water living birds - sandpipers, white and black storks, predatory birds are very active. They go in shallow water and look for fish and other water animals. The flooding water in the valley has got very warm. The death of fishes has partially taken place. As to putrefaction of the valley vegetation, it is a normal natural phenomenon. The grasses are actually decomposed and absorb oxygen. For this reason the summer floods are much more dangerous than the spring ones - there is the heat and the vegetation decays, and, because of it, an intensive absorption of oxygen is observed. It is necessary to note that this situation is not unique as the same occurred in the Berezinski Reserve many fishes died there."

Vasiliy Arnolbik has noted that the summer floods were earlier observed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, however, grasses were mowed from the riversides last years and consequently there was nothing to decay during the floods. Now the people have ceased to do it because there is "a very strong protection" of natural biotopes and any economic activity is forbidden on these sites.

Photo by Heorhi Kazulka
------------------------------------------
See more pictures and read more detail (in Russian) on the page http://bp21.org.by/ru/gallery/rf090708.html
July 08, 2009 Website "Telegraf.by" Belovezhskaya Pushcha to take the fifth rank in the nomination of the Wonders of Nature Campaign

Belovezhskaya Pushcha has took the honourable fifth rank in the contest "New 7 Wonders Foundation", director general of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Nikolai Bambiza has informed. Pushcha took part in the nomination "Forests, national park, reserves", he has specified. The competition is provided by the noncommercial organization from Switzerland.

261 natural sights from 222 countries of the world participate in the contest, "InterFax-West" informs. The Niagara Waterfall (Canada, USA); the Kilimanjaro Mountain (Tanzania); the Black Wood or Schwarzwald (Germany); the Loch Ness Lake (Great Britain); the Vesuvius Volcano (Italy); the Baikal Lake (Russia) and others are among them. There are seven categories in the contents.

The final voting to announce new seven natural miracles will be on the 21st July.

Belovezhskaya Pushcha is a unique and largest ancient woodland typical for European plains. The average age of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha's forests makes more than 100 years and some sites are 250 - 350 years old. There are over thousand giant trees (a King-Oak and others oak trees of the 400 to 600 years, ash and pine trees of 250 to 350 years and spruce trees of 200 to 250 years old).

In 1992 UNESCO has taken a decision to include the State National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on a World Heritage List. In 1993 the Park has obtained the status of a biosphere reserve and in 1997 it was awarded a European Diploma.
July 08, 2009 Website "Belteleradiocompany" The publishing House "Belarus" to present a book "Tsar huntings in Belovezhskaya Pushcha"

Igor Trubchik tells.
The idea to publish the book has appeared on the eve of the 120th anniversary of Belovezhskaya Pushcha under the Tsar Russia possession. This historical date has been celebrated last year. We have contacted to the Museum "Moscow Kremlin" where Elena Gagarina, daughter of the first astronaut Yuri Gagarin, manages. There are lots of archival materials and a plenty of photo-pictures there. The employee of this Museum Irina Parmuzina and the employee from Belovezhskaya Pushcha PhD Nikolai Cherkas are the authors of the book.

(Alexander Stolyarov, director of the Publishing House "Belarus" - "Archival photos from Belovezhskaya Pushcha and Cherkas's personal archives as well as other literature are also used there.")
After reading the book, everyone will make own verdict regarding tsar's hunting in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Modern hunters admit that it was a real barbarity while no one took the liberty to blame this. Bison, bears, wolves and hares were objects for hunting. Many hundreds of roe deer were killed. Huntings were under proper preparation and were annually provided. Hunters gathered as whole families and invited the guests. And that's the most interesting that the huntings was called charitable.

(Alexander Stolyarov, director of the Publishing House "Belarus" - "Trophies were distributed to the local population after the hunting...")
Both poaching and illegal cuttings down were flourishing in that time in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Infringers got punishment of penal servitude for these crimes.

(Alexander Stolyarov, director of the Publishing House "Belarus")
The edition of the "Tsar huntings in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is two thousand. The book will go on sale one of these days. After the book will be in popular demand, the management of the Publishing House is convinced of this, "Tsar huntings in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will be reprinted as an additional circulation.