Ministry of natural resources of the Russian federation

       Polistovsky National Nature Reserve

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May 11 - Biotechnical measures in Polistovsky

Biotechnical measures or what else do Polistovsky Reserve inspectors do?

What do you think state inspectors of Polistovsky Reserve do? Of course, protection of the territory comes to mind first. However, apart from this they perform many important functions, one of which is helping the scientific department of the Reserve to conduct biotechnical measures.

What is the biotechnical measure? Its an action aimed at improving the living conditions of wild animals, their protection and increase of their populations. These measures are held in hunting grounds, and on protected areas. In Polistovsky Reserve several biotechnical measures are held regularly: equipping of "saline feeders" for moose, installation of bird houses and pebbles for birds. All these activities are carried out by the Reserve's inspectors.

"Saline feeders" for moose are installed in Polistovsky Reserve forests and on the islands in the bog, so that the animals have an opportunity to replenish stocks of minerals. Salt is especially necessary for moose in spring and summer, after winter time when mineral reserves are wasting away. Often photo traps are set near "saline feeders" to get interesting pictures and videos with moose.

Another important biotechnical measure is organization of pebbles for the Galliformes: hazel grouse, black grouse, capercaillie and partridge. For these birds it is necessary to have a small number of pebbles (so-called gastroliths) in the stomach for normal digestion; these pebbles help birds to grind roughage. In the absence of natural or artificial pebbles birds fly away from their homes to find them, and they often become victims of predators and poachers. To prevent this, artificial pebbles of gravel and coarse sand are organised in the areas where are no natural pebbles. This year 5 pebbles were equipped in Polistovsky Reserve for the first time.

One more biotechnical measure connected with the creation of more comfortable conditions for the birds - installation of bird houses for common goldeneyes. These duck houses look like usual birdhouses, but a bit bigger. In nature,  common goldeneye nests in hollows of trees near water. In the buffer zone of Polistovsky Reserve logging was actively held before creation of the PA, that's the reason why there are not enough of old trees for goldeneyes to make houses. Therefore, Polistovsky Reserve inspectors established 10 houses for common goldeneye on the banks of bog rivers, where the bids settle pretty often.

Biotechnical measures are carried out actively not only by protected areas staff, but also by hunters. Often they hunt next to the biotechnical objects to have kind of a guarantee to meet and shoot animals there. Polistovsky Reserve organize "saline feeders", duck houses and pebbles in order to make animals feel comfortable on the safe protected area and to maintain population stability.

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