In the middle of autumn, the staff of the Reserve, during raids and conducting environmental excursions, noticed that the water in the rivers of Polistovye was rapidly decreasing.
We asked the director of the Polistovsky Reserve, Nikolai Korablev, to comment on the phenomenon:
“The reason for such a significant drop in water, of course, needs to be clarified, and for an objective answer it is necessary to know the quarterly amount of precipitation over several years, ideally for one or two decades, and compare with similar indicators this year. Unfortunately, we currently do not have such data. Probably, this phenomenon can be caused by the relatively dry year and the fact that a small amount of precipitation fell in the fall. The water accumulated in the Polistovsky Bogs Reserve ran out, and there were no sources to feed the rivers. From this the rivers dry up. Now, for example, in short boots you can cross the Plavnitsa River, when earlier, at this time, its level was kept at least one and a half meters.
It is important to note that from the very first day of the formation of the Reserve, we have been engaged in long-term observations - monitoring the Polistovo-Lovatskaya system of wetlands, tracking its condition and changes. All data are registered, processed, archived and presented in the annual collection "Chronicles of Nature". It will take us some time to take stock and analyze the current situation with the hydrological regime. Based on the data obtained, we can say with accuracy how much this dry period has affected various representatives of flora and fauna.
Ofcourse, for the plant and animal population of our wetlands, this is not the first or the last drop in the water level. The nature of Polistovye has in its arsenal many adaptations that allow representatives of the flora and fauna of Polistovye to survive such short-term adverse events.
As for the near-water mammals, namely the beavers, which I study, I can say that a decrease in the water level of this magnitude is not a big catastrophe for them. They compensate for the low water level by building dams and deepening the bottom of the reservoir.
If these methods do not help, then the animals leave low-water reservoirs and move to where the water level is higher. There are many places in our Reserve and protected area that are favorable for the habitation of near-water animals."