International ornithology expedition counts population of grey cranes, which migrate from Siberia to India

The action named “The day of crane” was held in 21st comprehensive school of Beyik Turkmenbashy etrpa of Lebap velayat ubder support of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environment Protection and Land Reserves as well as local administration. The place of event was not chosen occasionally. This is the place, in the south of Lebap, important ornithological territories are located, where grey cranes feed and gain strength before the long trip. Some of them stay for hibernation on this territory.

Ecological action gathered pupils and teachers of several schools of the etrap. The hosts prepared topical concert programme. Outcomes of the contest of children paintings, dedicated to grey crane, were summed up during the event. 74 works were presented to the competent jury. The best works was defined not only by the drawing technique but also by relaization of the subject of interrelations between the human and nature. Documentary “Durnaly – crane paradise”, made by Turkmen filmmakers in Ahal velayat, was demonstrated. Exhibition of books, booklets and brochures on cranes and other bird species and nature of Turkmenistan was organized.

The hosts mentioned that ecological action is summoned to attract attention of the community to protection of cranes and the area of their population. This work is coordinated by the Working Group for Cranes in Eurasia, which unites professional ornithologists and activists participating in international and national projects, scientific researches, ecological educational actions. At the end of the event, Head of the Laboratory of the Red Book of Russian Research Institute of Ecology Anna Belousova, who arrived to Lebap with international scientific expedition, expressed common opinion of her colleagues-scientists:

- First of all, we were impressed that remote region has such modern school, which is not yield by its equipment to the capital ones. It was pleasant to observe reverent attitude of the kids to the nature of native land, their interest in study of the fauna. Ecological education is moral aspect in personality development.

The scientists from Russia, Great Britain and Turkmenistan counted the population of cranes and other wintering birds, located the places of their gatherings in the territory of Beyik Turkmenbashy, Dovletli and Atamurat etraps. In order not to disturb the birds, the ornithologists used powerful optics. Director of international group for study of the cranes of Eurasia Elena Ilyashenko told that grey cranes migrate from West Siberia via Turkmenistan to India and several thousand birds stay there for wintering for last ten years. This is related to the development of virgin takyr lands for crop cultivation, availability of forage base and climate warming.

- I observed birds migration in forty countries, that is why I highly value research potential of Tallymerjen and Zeyid territories where places of food consumption of rare Steppe Stint – the plover and winter stay of grey cranes, - the expert of Royal Society for Protection of Birds of Great Britain Jeff Welch.

The work for counting of the crane population was held in accordance with the Law of Turkmenistan on “Specially Protected Natural Territories” under cooperation of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Environment Protection and Land Resources with Royal Society for Protection of Birds of Great Britain (RSPB), - Professor Eldar Rustamov, the Doctor of Biological Sciences summarized. – The partnership of the ornithologists is aimed at definition of the population of migrating and wintering cranes promoting protection and sustainable management of national territories, which are attractive wintering, migrating and nesting birds.