NEWS ARCHIVE: OCTOBER 2012

October 30, 2012 Website "Interfax" Foreigners in the New Year are interested in bison more than in Father Frost

Most foreign tourists called Belovezhskaya Pushcha as an obligatory part of their journey in Belarus in the New Year. It concerns visitors from Russia first of all. The observer of Portal interfax.by learned the most relevant offers.

"There are 3 or 4-day tours for those who cannot rest within one and a half to two weeks but do certainly want to visit Belarus, the expert of "TsentrKurort" Natalia Feskova said. Visiting Belovezhskaya Pushcha is the most sought-after entertainment. In addition, New Year tours in Minsk, Brest and Grodno are also very popular. The cost of the voucher, if not considering the traveling cost from Moscow or St. Petersburg, starts from 8,300 to 11,700 Russian Rub per person.

According to the specialist, if the guests are staying in Minsk, they are usually proposed to visit Silichi and Dudutki. Those who are coming to Brest are welcomed to the ostrich farm in Kobrin, and who are coming to Grodno, they visit agro-tourism complex "Korobchitsy". Of course, many go to the Estate of Father Frost and other attractions in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

As for the Belarusians, 1 or 2-day trips around the country, or weekly trips to recreation and entertainment are the most popular for them.

As alternative "New Year tourist trails", for example, a 3-day animation tour in Polotsk, with accommodation and banquet in the hotel complex "Slavic", the route "Vitebsk - Estate of Ilya Repin - Gorodok - Polotsk", with a holiday at the hotel "Vitebsk" can be mentiuoned. With regard to traditional proposals - New Year celebrations in sanatoria and rest houses, they are also available. Sale of vouchers in the middle of autumn is in full swing.

By Alexander Nesterov
October 30, 2012 "Komsomolskaya Pravda" (The Komsomol Truth) newspaper Scientists offer to export bison for sale

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" has not enough money to feed such a large herd of these animals.

"About 450 bison live now in Pushcha. It is 100 animals more than the maximum allowable number, says Senior Fellow of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" Ph.D. Alexei Bunevich, who studies bison for about 30 years. Every year 40 to 50 small bison are born in Pushcha, whereas 10 to 15 animals are dying or lost from various factors. This is because there are no natural predators of bison here. Cases when wolves attack bison are extremely rare. Therefore, the number of bison is growing from year to year." According to the scientist, a natural food for such the large herd in Pushcha is in deficit, as the bison is quite finicky about food.

"They have a specific diet – approximately 40% wood and 60% forage grass. The Pushcha's areas are a little more than half to provide a good habitat for the bison life. And a proper food is not enough for bison in the cold season, Alexey Bunevich says. - To avoid the death and sick of animals, we artificially feed up them. During the year our herd "eats" the reserves of the cost of $ 250,000. Where can the Forest take them from?

Scientists see ways out of the situation to sell the bison surplus abroad. The earned money can be easily used for keeping the rest of the livestock.

"Since these animals are in a Red Data Book, their export from the territory of the country is prohibited, the scientist explains. But if we were able to sell even small lots, the problem would have been removed. The more so because the demand for them in Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. They want to buy our bison for breeding there. However, the issue of selling of live bison is still only for consideration. We are confident that this issue will be resolved positively.
October 29, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Guests from Lviv city, Ukraine

On October 6 and 7, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was visited by representatives of the National Forestry University of Ukraine in Lviv. It was a study tour and was planned to learn more about the "Main Forest of Europe" - the Bialowieza Forest, its conservation, research and tourism activities.

The guests visited the protected oak areas, nursery, museum, zoo enclosures and Belarusian Father Frost' Estate. old-relict forests, which are part of an internationally recognized World Natural Heritage Site were of particular interest to them.

Colleagues from Ukraine exchanged literature with scientists from the National Park and shared information on the activities of the forestry department, arboretum and botanical garden.
October 25, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Animals will not starve

Works on winter forage for wild animals are being completed. 900 tons of hay, 2 tons of silage, 1,000 tons of haylage, and feed grains and potatoes have been harvested over the summer period. Fodder beet harvesting is near to the end. Wild animals will be provided with a good diet in winter.
October 22, 2012 Website "Belarusian Green Portal" Ministry of Natural Resources: control over the "Red Book" animal stock is necessary

None of the European countries forbids the regulation of populations of animals brought in the Red Data Book. On October 3, 2012 this was announced by the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Anatoly Lis at a press conference in Minsk while answering a BelaPAN question about the legality of licenses to shoot the "Red Book" animals.

"One and a half month ago, we hosted a conference with the participation of Polish specialists in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", said Lis. – This country is now home for the Europe’s largest population of bison – about 1,200 animals. In Belarus we have 1.050 animals which is the second-largest population. And once they were very few, and we had the task to save the bison. Today, the optimum quantity of animals that may be contained in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is 350, in reality there are 420 animals. If we do not control their quantity, they may start to be sick. Besides, great damage is made to the local flora, as greenery provides the main food supply for bison."

According to Deputy Minister, in Poland the number of bison is strictly controlled by means of hunting the weak and sick animals. "This year alone we lost more than twenty bison in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, he said. – Therefore regulation of the animal stock is necessary, but we should not to turn it into the hunt, games, etc."

Source: BelaPAN
October 20, 2012 Website "Argumenty.ru" Waterways in Belovezhskaya Pushcha to be taken inventory

Currently an inventory of waterways and other environmental activities are taking place in the Belarusian National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". This was reported by the director of the Belarusian public association "Belarus Birds' Life" Viktor Fenchuk at a press conference in Minsk on October 19, 2012.

According to him, undertaking of these activities was caused primarily by the fact that the current National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" had been developed for quite a long time merely as a hunting ground for the highest officials of the USSR, other activities have been developed very weakly. "Next year, already by the capacities of the forest areas, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will implement the project to reduce the impact of temporary streams in the woodland areas of Belovezhskaya Pushcha", informed Viktor Fenchuk.

Director of the above mentioned public association explained that the problem of underground waters lowering in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, which arose in previous years, has led to a sharp increase in the number of bark beetles and, as a consequence, the loss of spruces and ash-trees. "Now together with the research department of the National Park an inventory of waterways is taking place, and measures to reduce their impact are being developed. This year, the National Park with the assistance of the forest areas will work to reduce the impact of temporary seasonal streams on the forest ecosystems of Belovezhskaya Pushcha", noted Viktor Fenchuk.

www.ej.by
October 19, 2012 Website "BelaPAN" Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park carries out spruce and ash rescue project

Today, the environmental project to raise ground water levels in order to save spruce and ash forests is underway in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This is a joint project implemented by NGO "Belarus Birds’ Life" and Coca Cola Beverages Belarus. According to BelTA, the project was announced by Victor Fenchuk, Director of NGO Belarus Birds’ Life.

This project provides for surveying seasonal and temporary water courses in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. Such surveys are urged by a sharp decline in ground water levels. "As you know, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha” has a complicated history. The area has been a hunting outfitter for a long time with all activities focused on increasing the population of wild animals for hunting and promoting forestry. Back then, lots of channels were created so that water drained and woods grew better. However, such channels, though small, led to a significant decrease in ground water levels",- said Victor Fenchuk.

The Director of NGO "Belarus Birds’ Life" explained that such decline in ground water levels promoted drastic increase in the bark beetle population and, as a result, provoked loss of spruce and ash woods. "Now, jointly with the National Park’s Research Department we are surveying water courses so as to develop the approach to reduce and mitigate their impact. This year, the National Park assisted by the forestry units will be dealing with mitigating the impact of temporary seasonal water courses on forest eco systems of the Belovezhskaya Pushcha", - noted Victor Fenchuk.

In addition to the Belovezhskaya Pushcha’s project, Coca-Cola Beverages Belarus also supports an integrated environmental project "Turov Meadow" that is developed by NGO "Belarus Birds’ Life" jointly with Turov Municipal Administration. Since 2010, the company has also arranged such projects as "The Isloch Stream Heads" and "The Lebiazhiy Reserve" jointly with the A.S. Sakharov International State Environmental University and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection. "Soon we will see the project under which students of Minsk schools will have educational programs in the Lebiazhiy Reserve", - said Victor Fenchuk.

According to Mr. Fenchuk, the primary goal of his organization is to conserve biological diversity of Belarus. "Belarusian wetlands are ecosystems that are extremely critical on a global level. Fortunately, despite previous land reclamation activities, we managed to conserve them. And now all European countries keep an eye on us to protect them. Thanks to collaboration with Coca Cola, we are able to implement a number of wetland conservation projects. For us, as a community-oriented organization, it is the attitude that matters rather than financial support. We highly appreciate that such a big commercial company seeks to minimize its negative impact on the environment and helps to protect nature through the implementation of such projects. Overall, businesses should take responsibility for what they do and make every possible effort to improve the environment in our country", - stated Victor Fenchuk.

One of the projects implemented jointly with Coca Cola Company for five years already is "Save Yelnia Reserve Together!" This 5-year period featured numerous activities aimed at rehabilitating Yelnia natural site. And we managed to achieve great results: the water level in Yelnia's lakes has increased by 1 meter on average; peat has again become humid; bog moss is being restored; there have been no fires in Yelnia since 2008, and so on.

By Anna Katikova
Translated by Kseniya Pliachko
October 17, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" "A man of peace"


Photo from the site http://rbfeet.com
On October 11, 2012, a very unusual tourist – a bearded barefoot traveler and a "man of peace", Vladimir Nesin - visited the Museum of Nature. For 62, he covered over a hundred thousand kilometers on foot and barefoot on the roads and visited about 117 countries on five continents. Vladimir's education is a teacher for sports. He went through all the countries of the former Soviet Union, across the Americas, Africa and Australia. He walked barefoot in India, Iran and Pakistan, Korea and the Philippines. He reached a different country by hitchhiking and passing ships. Moving around the world, he was shooting everything on the camcorder, and also was talking in the travel diary, which he used then for a book "Barefoot in the Back of Beyond" he wrote.

October 17, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Visit of Lithuanian Foresters

From 3 to 5 October, the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" was visited by representatives of the Vilnius forest enterprise of the Republic of Lithuania, who got acquainted with the environmental and economic activities of the National Park. During the briefing, the staff of our National Park and foreign colleagues shared their experiences in managing wildlife populations, the application of European environmental standards to create green areas near cities, and also discussed the development of eco-oriented economy based on forest management. An agreement for the constant exchange of experience in various fields has been reached.

An excursion to the protected oak stands and the World Heritage area of Belovezhskaya Pushcha had a considerable interest by Lithuanian foresters.

The invitation to make a return visit to the Vilnius forest enterprise in May 2013 was given.

October 10, 2012 Website "Wild Nature" The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" wants to tag wolves with wireless collars and re-introduce bear population

The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" is considering the option of starting comprehensive studies on the population and migrations of gray wolves. The National Park is also looking into the possibility to re-introduce brown bears. Such proposals have been initiated under the joint project by the National Park, NGO "Belarus Birds' Life" and the Research and Practice Center for Biological Resources at the Belarusian National Academy of Science funded by Frankfurt Zoological Society.

The National Park studies the possibility of tagging grey wolves with special wireless collars. Such collars together with navigation accessories will allow tracking migration of grey wolves. Our international partners are planning to give 5 wireless collars to the National Park. The German colleagues are eager to explore today’s habitats of predators as well as their impact on the populations of hoofed animals within the National Park.

"It is the Polish part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha that started studying migrations of grey wolves using wireless collars. Some of collared wolves wandered within natural areas protected by us. Recently, some wolves have been noticed in Germany. One of the wolves tagged with a satellite transmitter by our German colleagues went through Poland and reached Belarus. But the signal was lost somewhere near Grodno. So, this wolf either stays or was killed somewhere in our territory. Information obtained through wireless collars is of great interest not only for researches. It is also essential for evaluations of populations and migrations of wolves. Besides, with wireless collars we can precisely locate the animals and obtain more data on predators and their victims" – said Nikolai Cherkas, Doctor of Biology, who works at the NGO "Belarus Birds' Life".

According to him, there are not many wolves in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The past winter records counted 20 wolves (according to other sources, 15-17). These wolves protect their territory and don’t let strangers to get in. The wolf population in Belovezhskaya Pushcha is supposed to be formed due to migrations from adjacent areas as wolves were completely exterminated in Pushcha in the 60s of the XX century.

"This is all we know. That’s why any information would be very important for us" - said Nikolai Cherkas.

He also stressed that it would not be easy at all to catch and immobilize wolves. Wolves will be caught by the National Park’s staff. However, it is still discussed what immobilizing drugs will be used. Such previously wide-spread drug as Immobilon is now very costly. Besides, it is classified as a narcotic drug and requires numerous permits and authorizations. Nikolai noted that it would be better to use cheaper analogues that are, fortunately, are already available. Quite possibly that some of new drugs will be tested on wolves from Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

According to the best case scenario, first results from grey wolf studies will come this winter. However, Vasily Arnolbik, Deputy Director General for Research in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", is not so sure: "There is no real project; there is no official title and no budget. We are still waiting for Frankfurt society to make their proposals".

According to Mr. Arnolbik, the German partners have also come up with a proposal to restore the brown bear population that had been once exterminated. This proposal is actively supported by the Research and Practice Center for Bio Resources at the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences.

"Some time ago brown bears used to occur in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. As far as I remember, they were last mentioned in 1860, - said Vasily Arnolbik. – We are planning to poll local residents about their attitude to brown bears. Many people are definitely against them. The thing is that once a brown bear killed a man. It happened in post-war years; though the bear was tame, it was left in Pushcha by its German owner. Our poll will show if the majority of local residents doesn’t mind about the bear to be re-introduced in Pushcha. Then goes the second research stage - we will study if territories are fit for re-introduction, if the bear will be able to survive in Pushcha; how many species we need to re-introduce; which dispersal methods should be used and so on".

According to Mr. Arnolbik, 10 brown bears could live in the National Park. In general, there are about 120 bears throughout Belarus.

Besides, the National Park continues its studies on migrations of the European lynx in cooperation with the Mammal Research Institute at the Polish Academy of Sciences. Migrations are tracked with the help of wireless collars put on three wild cats.

The information obtained is very important to understand how the lynx impacts the population of hoofed animals. It also helps to study the lynx’s annual diet and victim selectivity during different seasons. New data will help to develop recommendations for preservation policy as many hunters still consider the lynx "harmful" - noted Vasily Arnolbik.

By Elena Sadovskaya,
Translated by Kseniya Pliachko
October 09, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" International Seminar

From 27 to 29 September, the coordinator of the Program for Eastern Europe from the Frankfurt Zoological Society, Mr. Michael Brombaher together with representatives of the Institute of Ecology and Nature Protection of animals (Germany) Olaf Simon and Markus Dietz visited the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". As the part of the meeting on September 27, the international seminar on the practical and scientific aspects of promoting the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems in the historic part of Belovezhskaya Pushcha and on the concept of natural savagery for areas affected by human activities was held. During the seminar, the German side presented its experience in the implementation of the concept of savagery in German, and the Belarusian and Polish scientists shared environmental experiences and tell about the same actions made in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

The administration of the National Park presented the Management Plan and the results of the projects on the study of the natural dynamics of forest ecosystems, nature conservation and bison breeding. Director of the NGO "Belarus Birds' Life" Victor Fenchuk reported on the project to restore the hydrological regime in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The experience of the Polish researchers on this aspect of the environmental protection (a report by Yaroslav Stepaniuk from the Association of Protection of Birds) was of a considerable interest.

During the two-day stay in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, guidelines of the planned joint nature conservation work (Germany - Poland - Belarus) were formulated, as the priority projects for Belovezhskaya Pushcha with financial support from various partners will be developed.


October 05, 2012 Website "Virtual Brest" "Peschatka" changes status and becomes an international frontier crossing point

Some news website-directories is already called the automobile checkpoint "Peschatka" near the city of Brest international. There is a lack of knowledge of the subject and the excessive haste. For this time "Peschatka", the only one of the six points at the Belarusian-Polish border, has the status different than others - interstate. The design project presented at the Second Trans-boundary Forum of journalists in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" will facilitate to bring it to a common denominator of the status.

Temporary means backward

What is the difference between the above statuses? Representatives of any state, regardless of their nationality, have the right to cross international crossing points. Interstate - the "Peschatka", for example – can allow crossing only for citizens of the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Poland, as the others are not. Need to change the status was long overdue here.

........

Advertising for a traveler

There is some rationality that new perspective opportunity was presenting in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha". This presentation, given for invited guests from Poland and Ukraine, whose professional duty is to inform the compatriots of what is happening not only at home land but also abroad, was, in fact, advertising the road linking Europe with the beauty of the living landscapes of Belovezhskaya Pushcha. This road line of almost 200 kilometers (160 are in the Brest region) operating for about a year starts from the Belarusian-Polish border at point "Peschatka" and goes around the perimeter of the Belarusian part of the Reserve. So, ones who will be traveling in the near future will be offered to make an interesting and fascinating trip between Poland and Belarus without long queues and long delays, as being driving to enjoy high quality traffic asphalt cover, not conceded to advantages of famous German autobahns. More heavy traffic in this area, the increased activity on the bypass and attraction more foreign tourists here are expected, respectively, after the full completion of the project in 2014.

By Eugene Litvinovich
------------------
The news is placed in the short-cut form, the BP-21 Century editor's note
October 04, 2012 Website "Hunters.ru" Ministry of Nature Protection of Belarus – we must control over the number of "red-book" animals

No one European country forbids today control and regulation over the number of animals listed in a Red Data Book. This was announced on October 3 at a press conference in Minsk by the Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Anatoly Lis as responding to a question by BelaPAN about the legality of licenses to shoot "red-book" animals.

Eighteen months ago, we organized a conference with the participation of specialists from Poland in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", Mr. Lis said. "This country has now the largest Europe's population of bison - about 1,200 animals. We have only 1,050, as the second-largest population. Earlier there were very few and the task had to save bison. Today, the optimal number of animals that may live in Belovezhskaya Pushcha makes 350 animals, but really they are 420 now. If we will not control over them, they can begin to get diseases. Besides, a big damage is to the flora because vegetation is the main food supply for bison."

According to Deputy Minister, Poland very tightly regulates the number of bison through the hunting the weak and sick animals. More than twenty bison died in Belovezhskaya Pushcha this year alone, he said. - So It is needed to regulate the number of animals but do not make it into the hunt, games, etc."

According to the "BelaPAN", by Vasily Semashko
October 03, 2012 Website "Wild Nature" The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" can become an international research center

An international seminar to discuss the issues of dynamics of the natural ecosystems within the historic part of the Reserve, as well as the possibility of applying the concept of natural savagery for areas affected by human activities was held in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".

The seminar was attended by Igor Kachanovsky, head of the Department of Natural Systems and Agriculture at the Office of Affairs of the President of Belarus, scientists from Belarus, Poland and Germany, as well as representatives of the Public Organization "Belarus Birds' Life". Topics of reports related to a wide range of issues - from the management of the bison population in Pushcha to the restoration of the original beds of the small rivers straightened once for the economic activity. For example, the Polish Association of Bird Protection is now actively and successfully pursuing such work.

Scientists from Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZO) admitted that they are particularly interested in old-growth forests and in their response to changing environmental conditions. The fact is that the strictly protected zone of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" doubled its area this year due to the recent expansion of the boundaries of the Reserve. It was decided to move all plots for fertilizing of wild animals to the edge of the forest. If some part of wild ungulates will change the location from the core to the new fertilizing sites, how will this impact on the undergrowth as before they ruthlessly destroyed it? How will predators react to this, particularly wolves?

  • Recall: the Frankfurt Zoological Society is working with BBL for many years and now funds researches on the possibility of returning the brown bear to the natural environment of Belovezhskaya Pushcha as this species was destroyed many years ago.
Participants of the workshop identified priority areas for joint activities. These are the study of old-growth forests, monitoring the migration of wolves with satellite transmitters and continued work on the restoration of the hydrological regime in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.

In addition, the possibility of creation on the basis of a National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" an international research center for the study of natural processes in the reserves and other protected areas will be analyzed. "This would help the Belarusian science not only to strengthen their material and technical base, but also to develop professionals who are in very deficit to cover all the areas of researches," the director of the NGO "BBL" Victor Fenchuk believes.

Source: The Evening Brest
October 02, 2012 Website "BelaPAN" A young elk wounded by Polish hunters ran abroad and died on the territory of Belarus

The border guard of the Grodno region found a dead elk carcass in the frontier zone in the morning of 2 October, 50 meters from the signaling complex, as the press center of the State Border Committee of Belarus reported. As it turned out, the wounded animal fled to Belarus from Polish hunters who shot the animal in their territory.

The elk was delivered to the local forest enterprise.

It was said in the frontier department of Belarus that such cases occur on the border from time to time. For example, a border guard found an elk calf in Belovezhskaya Pushcha last year as wounded by Polish hunters.

By Vyacheslav Budkevich
October 01, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Participation in the conference

From 24 to 26 September, the International Scientific and Practical Conference "Current state and prospects of development of especially protected natural territories of the Republic of Belarus" was held in the Berezinsky Biosphere Reserve. The conference was attended by representatives of the Presidential Office of Affairs, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, the Academy of Sciences, nature reserves, national parks and other institutions of our country, and from abroad. Two reports - "Dynamics of age and sex structure of wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Belovezhskaya Pushcha" by A.Bunevich & S.Korotya and "State of Silver Fir (Abies alba) in Belovezhskaya Pushcha by Zh. Petrikova & D.Bernatsky were from the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha".
October 01, 2012 Website "The State Nature Protection Establishment "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"" Trilateral Summer Academy

Within the trilateral cross-border co-operation project between especially protected natural areas of Germany, Poland and Belarus (the National Park "Lower Oder Valley", National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and "Bialowieza National Park"), a training module for undergraduate students from partner universities working for these parks (Eberswalde Sustainable Development University - Faculty of Forestry and the Environment, Belarusian State Technological University - Faculty of Forestry and Bialystok Technical University - Faculty of Economic Management in Hajnowka) is developed.

To implement the program a working meeting on the organization of the Summer Academy - lectures, seminars, tours and practical workshops for students above-mentioned institutions was held in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" on September 12 and 13. As part of the Summer Academy, students will be offered a wide range of topics related to the environment, ecosystem functioning and environmental management, as well as socio-economic aspects of these disciplines. It is planned that each group will have a summer internship to 30 students (10 from each country) that will help better use the experience of different countries to train the young people and establish contacts among future professionals.