NEWS: OCTOBER 2013
We are asking KIND PEOPLE, SPONSORS, COMPANIES and ORGANIZATIONS for financial DONATION of our public activities on protection and conservation of the Belarusian part of the Bialowieza Forest (Belovezhskaya Pushcha). Even small-sized contributions are very welcomed because of the dramatic situation. We are also asking TRANSLATORS and other experts for help and bilateral cooperation to protect and conserve the Bialowieza Forest. We will also be VERY GRATEFUL for your technical and other assistance. Thank you in advance.
With your offers, please address to our email pushcha-XXI@tut.by. Your questions and other related information are also welcomed.
October 31, 2013
The situation regarding the spread of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease in Belarus is rated as "moderately stressed"
The situation regarding the spread of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease in Belarus is rated as moderately intense and unstable, as the deputy chief physician of the Republican Center of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Public Health Ludmila Naroychik said at the International Scientific and Practical Conference "Modern Problems of Human Infectious Diseases" on October 31, according to BelaPAN Information Agency.
According to the expert, , the dynamics of tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease over the past five years had a significant trend towards growth - an average of 13 % per year. According to the Republican Center, there were revealed 118 cases of tick-borne encephalitis and 1,096 cases of Lyme disease in 2012. That is respectively by 11.3 % and 2.6 % more than in 2011. 54 thousand people took medical help for tick bites last year.
Ludmila Naroychik noted that the epidemic situation on these diseases has been somewhat improved this year. According to her, in order to prevent the incidences, the immunization of people from the risk groups who go to Belovezhskaya Pushcha
or Russia for seasonal works is carried out.
The expert also noted that, in addition to tick-borne encephalitis and Lyme disease, seven more types of infectious and parasitic diseases potentially hazardous to human were in found in Ixodidae ticks in Belarus. At the same time, as Ludmila Naroychik stressed, the infection of ticks by rickettsials (rickettsial agents) is not inferior to Borrelia infection (Lyme disease agents). However, more than a thousand cases of Lyme Borrelia disease are registered among the population each year and no one of tick-borne Rickettsial diseases.
October 24, 2013
"Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper
Santa Claus from Belovezhskaya Pushcha will be on "the spree"
The official website of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" presented a program celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Estate
of Father Frost on December 13 to 15. The first day of the festival will take place under the sign of the main spruce tree in the Estates, the highest living Christmas trees in Europe, which will be 150 years old.
Numerous fabulous guests from other countries Ц starting from the all-Russian Father Frost from Veliky Ustyug and ending to Yollopukki (Finland ) Ц will bring Christmas toys to decorate the tree. On December 14, a procession of fabulous characters will be at the main entrance to the Park, headed by a brass band of Santa Clauses. There will also be an opening ceremony of the 1st International Fabulous Mile and a presentation of Fairytale Map of Russia and Belarus. Finally, on December 15, the Father Frost from Belovezhskaya Pushcha will celebrate the birthday of his Estate. Tickets for the holiday period are increased in prices - 110,000 Rubles (~$11) for adults and 90,000 Rubles (~$10) for children.
October 20, 2013
"Vecherniy Brest" (The Evening Brest) newspaper
An environmental project to implement in the Belarusian-Polish border area close to Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Within the territory of the Belarusian-Polish border zone adjacent to the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", a large-scale international environmental project will be implemented the next two and a half years, as BelTA learned from Leonid Biruk, Chairman of the Vysokoe Town Executive Committee.
The International Technical Assistance Project "Development of Cross-border Protection of the Urban Environment of Towns of Czeremha and Vysokoe by Extending the Sewer Structure" has passed the governmental approval procedure and was approved by the Council of Ministers on September 13 this year. The project involves four partners - the Czeremha Commune (Republic of Poland), Vysokoe Town Executive Committee, Association of Local Government of the Euroregion "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" and the Kamenets Housing and Communal Services.
In the town of Vysokoe, 17.5 km of new sewers will be constructed and 10 pumping stations will be installed. The old sewage treatment plant will be rehabilitated and all urban waste water will be redirected to facilities with biological clearance. Over 3 million people - almost the entire private sector of the town - will get the connection to the central sewerage network.
In the Czeremha Commune, a network of sanitary sewers of the length of 4.1 km will be created.
"The project will significantly improve the social conditions of life for the local population. At the same time, with eliminating household pits, we will can limit the uncontrolled discharge of wastewater into the environment and improve the overall environmental situation in the area," Leonid Biruk said. The modernization of drainage structures will be the beginning of large-scale improvement of the former district center.
The total funding is 3.8 million Euros. The Belarusian part of the Project involves the allocation of 1.6 million Euros, including 1.4 million Euros from the European Union.
After the signing of the grant contract, the Kamenets Housing and Communal Services will hold an international tender. It is assumed that the work will begin in late spring or early summer of next year. The implementation of the project will last for two years. The Brest Regional Executive Committee will provide the monitoring of the project implementation.
October 15, 2013
Website "APB BirdLife Motherland"
A new level in the study of forest ecosystems
A bison, wolf, badger and even a bat - new research methods allowed to see the secret life of animals in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
Wolf, red deer, raccoon dog, bison
In early October of this year, a series of international seminars on the development of long-term studies of the ecosystem response to the strengthening of the wild nature protection were held in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. During the workshops, Belarusian and German scientists discussed new approaches to the study of the dynamics of forest ecosystems. In particular, they used such new developments as photo-traps for animals and automatic recorders of bats.
The first trial application of photo-traps already confirmed their effectiveness for the study of both ungulates and carnivores. Almost all big animals occurred in the focus of the automatic photo cameras.
According to the representatives of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, the results of research will also be useful for Germany. According to the national strategy for the conservation of biological diversity, to 2% of the territory in Germany must be given for natural processes (wild nature) by 2020. In most cases this will be achieved through strict protection of nature on earlier heavily used areas in the industrial Germany.
The program of the development of researches is realized in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha" in cooperation with the NGO "APB BirdLife Motherland" and supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Ermine and marten
October 15, 2013
Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
Seminar on bats in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
A workshop on the study of bats was held in Belovezhskaya Pushcha.
Representatives of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha", the Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the Public Organization "APB BirdLife Motherland", students of the Belarusian State University and Grodno State University, as well as specialists in the study of bats from Germany Markus Dietz and Mod Erazmi brought together at the round table in the Count Tyszkiewicz's House (Grodno region, Svislochskoe forestry area). Foreign guests shared their experiences and talked about modern methods of studying bats in western Europe and also expressed interest in developing a program for the study of bats in Belovezhskaya Pushcha with financial support from the Frankfurt Zoological Society.
Next, the theory came into the practice. Workshop participants replaced a warm conference room for "forest laboratory" where experts demonstrated how to catch and measure the bats and to conduct surveys using acoustic detectors of various modifications. A caught European barbastelle (Barbastella barbastellus) (the species is listed in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Belarus and neighboring countries) has added warmth and optimism for researchers in a cool autumn evening.
October 14, 2013
Up to 10 bison annually to kill in Belarus
In Belovezhskaya Pushcha
alone were six times to hunt for bison in the year.
To kill the young bison costs 30 million Bel.Rubbles for Belarusian and 2.5 thousand Euros for a foreigner, as we read in the Council of Ministers' Enactment
of the 1st October. Is it already out of the Red Data Book, if one can shoot the young bison?
"The species is still the Red Data Book, but there is extraction when it is clear that the animal is sick. It is also when they were born with some genetic modifications",
the ERB was explained in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.
The officials said the hunt is possible only for sick bison from the reserve gene pool fund.
The foreigner, by the way, can not only shoot but also hurt the bison. We read in the same Enactment of the Council of Ministers that the price for this kind of fun is 3,000 Euros.
"It is no hunting until not giving the permission, until no decision by the Commission that the animal is sick and should be culled. Do not worry. Belarusian, if he hurts the bison, must pay 50% of the cost of the bison,"
as explained in the Ministry of Forestry.
No one bison can be killed in the year or a dozen can be shot, as officials added.
Mostly foreigners hunt Belarusian bison. It is because expensive for Belarusians, as said in the Ministry of Forestry.
"Belarusians little hunt bison, as there are no such "new cool" guys as in Russia. Foreigners are mainly ones."
In Belovezhskaya Pushcha
there were six times to hunt bison this year. Even hunters from the United Arab Emirates go here to hunt for the giant in the forest.
"" Hunters come from Russia, from Europe. There were from the United Arab Emirates a couple of years ago. Last year, four bison were killed, while this year there were six times,"
as said in the administration of the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
There is a list with young bison which could be killed.
"This happens rare. There are rejection criterions. Example, young animals can be when have cataracts, as being blind. The herd banishes it. It walks with suffering. It is recorded and taken pictures. Representatives of the Ministry and State Inspection also record it, and then the shooting is done,"
as told in the administration of the Park.
According to the Ministry of Environment Protection, the number of bison in Belarus is currently at the level of the middle of the XVIII century. According to data of 2012, more than 950 bison live in the Belarusian forests.
October 08, 2013
Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
For bison to save
On October 2 to 4, an International preliminary seminar on the concept of the Union State "Creating the optimal natural habitat of European bison as a guarantee of its long-term preservation" was held in Belovezhskaya Pushcha. The seminar brought together scientists and experts from Russia, Belarus and Poland. The issues of the state of populations of bison in Russia and Belarus and the creation of the optimum natural habitat of bison for the existing and newly made high-grade populations were discussed. This will ensure the preservation of bison as a species in the long term.
October 04, 2013
Hogs are sappers cleared the Bialowieza Forest (Poland)
Wild boars dug from the moss the mortar shells of time of the Second World War on the Polish territory of the Bialowieza Forest.
Tourists have discovered this combat projectile during a peaceful walk in the forest. After their message, military and forestry services arrived to the place of their finding. The military after a survey has found a few more ammunition at a shallow depth in the soil. Employees of the Bialowieza Forest also explored the territory and said that the place with the shells were visited by wild boars and someone of this group of boar-sappers dug out the shell hidden under the moss.
Wild boar-sappers could come to Poland from Belarus, as the so-called "green border" between Poland and Belarus in the section of the Bialowieza Forest allows the animals to move freely between the two countries, although recently Poland was planning to build a fence all along the border with Belarus in order to protect from such "illegal" immigrants.
October 04, 2013
Bison to attempt getting back to the wild
There will be attempts to get bison back to the wild nature, as BelTA learned from Mikhail Nikiforov, Director General of the Scientific and Practical Center for Bioresources at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus.
Methods for solving this problem is now being discussed at the international kick-off meeting on the concept of the Union State's Program "Shaping the optimal natural range of European bison as a guarantee of its long-term preservation ("Road Map for Bison") for 2014 to 2018". The meeting is held in the National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha"
from 1 to 4 October. The meeting is attended by representatives of the Permanent Committee of the Union State, the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, observers from Poland and representatives of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus.
As Mikhail Nikiforov explained, there are problems that can be solved only through the efforts of the countries - main holders of bison. It is known that at one time the population of this species had to revive from only five surviving animals. This has led to the depletion of the gene pool, the decreasing the ability for adaption and, consequently, the weakening the recovery ability of the population. Now there are no large populations of bison in the world, only relatively small isolated groups. The lack of free communication and genetic exchange between these micro-populations causes the inbreeding. As a result, losses in genetic diversity and reduction of the life potential of bison become bigger.
The Program "Road Map for Bison" is aimed at restoring the former natural range of this species in the Union State. "We are going to settle animals of this rare species on the territory of Belarus and Russia in the form of two large populations, numbering one thousand and more individuals in each," Mikhail Nikiforov said. For these purposes, areas of many thousands of square kilometers favorable for the species will be selected. "Creation of big stable populations may lead to the situation in the future when bison will become a regular species of the fauna to the extent allowing it for the commercial use - hunting and sightseeing tours," the representative of the National Academy of Sciences accentuated.
According to Mikhail Nikiforov, serious scientific work is planned to improve the gene pool in the new populations of bison. "In the process of genetic research and breeding, bison with different genetic parameters will be selected from micropopulations living in the various countries - Belarus, Russia, Germany, Poland and others. They will be used in the nurseries to get the breed with the best possible range of useful genes to the population," the scientist clarified. "Selection will be done on the basis of hybrid-breeding center, which will be created in Belovezhskaya Pushcha, as well as in bison nurseries of Prioksko-Terracny and Oksky reserves in Russia. They, as part of the program, should be reconstructed," General Director said.
The concept of the Program of the Union State of Russia and Belarus "Shaping the optimal natural range of European bison as a guarantee of its long-term preservation ("Road Map for Bison") for 2014 to 2018" was reviewed in April of this year and was approved by the Standing Committee of the Union State. Now the proposition should be agreed at the level of public authorities of both countries and should be approved by the Council of Ministers of the Union State.
Bison has a status of "recoverable species". It is in the IUCN Red List, Appendix III of the Convention on Protection of Wild Fauna and Flora and Natural Habitats in Europe, in the Red Books of Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Lithuania. Bison is under special protection in Belarus since 1946 and currently. Today 9 micropopulations (Belovezhskaya Pushcha, Berezina-Borisov, Volozhin, Naydyany, Ozerany, Lyaskovichi, Ozersk, Osipovichi, Polessie)of freely living bison form the population of Bialowieza bison totaling 1,134 animals. The number of bison has increased by 3.3 times in the last 20 years. Belarus ranks second in the world (after Poland) regarding the number of bison of the Bialowieza line.
By Maria Dmitrieva
October 03, 2013
Website "The National Park "Belovezhskaya Pushcha""
IUCN Expert Mission is complete
From September 22 to 24, the expertise of the Belarusian National Park as continuation of the Mission of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on the re-nomination of the World Heritage Site "Bialowieza Forest" was held.
During the field visit, the valuable protected area, which is proposed for inclusion into a List of World Heritage Sites, was inspected. This area covers the old-aged forests with different duration of the strict nature protection status, the forest bog "Wild", the floodplain ecosystems of rivers of Narewka and Narew, and other natural sites. The experts were able to personally assess the state of environmental systems and their compliance with the new criteria of the nomination.
After examination, a workshop with participation of representatives of the local governmental bodies, NGOs and the media was held.
The experts noted a well-planned and rich program of the visit of the two national parks and surrounding state-owned forests, as well as a great work conducted for the World Heritage Site by Polish and Belarusian specialists. In their view, only a few countries are able to take responsibility and to conduct the work on a similar promotion of cross-border areas.
The report of the experts and their recommendations to the UNESCO's Committee on World Heritage Sites adopting specific solutions will be considered at a meeting of the Committee of IUCN in December this year. The Belarusian-Polish working team has yet to provide the headquarters of IUCN (Switzerland) with the complementary materials regarding the joint management system and harmonization of the functional zoning of the area in accordance with territorial structure of Biosphere Reserves and the World Heritage Site.
October 03, 2013
"Sovetskaya Belorussia" (The Soviet Belorussia) newspaper
Express exhibition of live fungi of Belovezhskaya Pushcha opened in Brest
A unique exhibition of live mushrooms picked up in Belovezhskaya Pushcha opened at the Brest Regional Museum on October 2. A few days ago they were like decoration among moss in the forest, and now more than 60 species of fungi presented in the exhibition are a living visual aid for mushroom enthusiasts. Such exposure is for the first time in the Museum.
Natalia Murygina, head of the sector "Nature and Environment" of the Brest Regional Museum, told our correspondent that since yesterday a unique smell of mushrooms and forest reigns over the museum. It is immediately detected by the museum visitors. Unfortunately, the exhibition is limited by 4 days, because mushrooms are not conserved. Each fungus was carefully unscrewed from the ground to allow visitors better to see the fungus as a whole.
Women from the village "White" in Belovezhskaya Pushcha helped in collecting mushrooms. They are sisters - Tatiana Isaeva, who is an owner of the Argo-farm "Polish Estate", and Natalia Zemlyanik of Agro-farm "Forest".
"If the exhibits will retain its appearance for a longer time, the work of the exhibition will last," Natalya says. "For example, a puffball is already blooming. One of the Phallus fungi released the arrow and is distributing an unpleasant odor."
"There is a representative of the Red Data Book among the forest fungi at the exhibition Ц sparassis. It is prohibited in Belarus to pick up it and our collection has only part of this fungus that was taken by one of the inexperienced mushroom hunters," Natalia Murygina said. "The fungus is still young. Its size is about 20 centimeters. Some bodies of this sparassis reach a diameter of half a meter. Outwardly it resembles coral. It is popularly called "mushroom cabbage" or "Mushroom happiness." It grows on the roots of pine trees or stumps. This is an edible mushroom with a pleasant nutty flavor.
The Museum was also promised to get the real Belarusian truffle. It was found in the woods as being dug by wild boars.
As said Natalia Murygina accentuated that the employees of the Museum have long dreamed of such the exhibition and are now very happy that their dream come true.
By Lyudmila Martinovic
October 01, 2013
Website "Green Grodno"
200 bison are not "fit" in the designated area in the Agricultural Enterprise "Lake", Grodno district
To see bison is no need to go to Belovezhskaya Pushcha
. They live near Grodno too. The Agricultural Enterprise "Lake, Grodno region" is one of the few farms in the country, where the animals are bred. True is bison became very numerous in the Lake woods.
They appeared here in 1996. In that time the environmental services have begun to worry Ц the overpopulation of bison is clearly observed in Belovezhskaya Pushcha
and they had forage not enough. So, 18 animals were transported to the Agricultural Enterprise "Lake, Grodno region." A comfortable environment has been created for the animals. The herd began to grow rapidly. An inventory of animals has been conducted earlier this year. The Commission consisted of not only employees of the National Landscape Sanctuary "Lake", Grodno Forest Enterprise and representatives of environmental organizations, but also scientists of the National Academy of Sciences. According to their calculations, the Lake Forest is home to over 200 bison. 20 animals are born each year. Animals live on the area of 11,700 hectares. But this area is designed for only 80 to 90 bison.
According to the Chairman of the Agricultural Enterprise "Lake, Grodno region" Alexander Shishko, there are two ways to solve the painful problem. The first is to increase the area. But there are no free forest lands for lease nearby. The second one is the relocation of bison. A proposal from Vitebsk region is under consideration. If all goes well, only about 30 animals will be transferring to the north of the country.
Bison is a hunting species. To do this, you must obtain permission of the special commission, because the species is listed in the Red Data Book of the Republic of Belarus. At best, up to 5% of the total herd of bison can be eliminated in the year. The cost of hunting for one bison is 16,000 Euros. This is why there are a small number of people willing to hunt forest warrior. They are basically foreigners. An Italian hunted here this year. Last year there was no willing all. In neighboring Poland, this kind of hunting is worth 8,000 Euros.
To keep the herd of bison is not cheap. On average, it takes annually about 400 million Rubles ($45,000) to feed them. If to stop to feed bison, it will look for forage in agricultural fields.