Winter route accountings began in the Reserve
Winter route accountings of animals began in Polistovsky Reserve. This week, the Reserve staff counted tracks on two out of five survey routes, about 15 km long each.
Accountings of hunting species by their traces are held in the Reserve annually. The routes remain the same from year to year, and the accountants pass through them by snowmobiles and mark the gps-coordinates of all the tracks they have seen, indicating animal species. The accountings include mammals and grouse met on the route.
According to the method, it is necessary to take into account the traces left by the inhabitants of the protected area over the past day. Then, using these data, one can estimate the density and quanity of representatives of different species. Earlier tracks should not be taken into account, so the route either is visited twice (all tracks are erased first, and the next day traces are counted), or they are counted after a snowfall.
"This year, accounting was complicated by the fact that the bog did not freeze. In the first half of winter there were no severe frost, but a lot of snow fell. The snow blanket acts as a thermal insulator, and there is water on the bog under the snow . In such conditions, it’s not easy to pass the route by a snowmobile, so as soon as the air temperature had dropped and the snow had fell, we went to the route accountings," told Oscar Sayfullin, Polistovsky Reserve researcher.
This time, during the surveys, traces of hares, martens and foxes were noticed. Black grouse and Central Russian willow ptamigan (Red Data Book of Russia) were also encountered .
Winter route accounting at Polistovsky Reserve will be continued; departure to the more remote northern part of the protected area will take place in the nearest future.