In Krasnoyarsk Territory, for the first time since 2014, an aerial survey of the number of wild reindeer in wintering grounds has been carried out. The processed materials will form the basis for the population conservation recommendations, the rational use of its reserves and the creation of new specially protected natural areas in the Arctic zone of Russia.
The wild reindeer living in the north of Krasnoyarsk Territory has been exposed to significant negative anthropogenic influence in recent decades. The animals die as a result of hunting, pollution of pastures, construction of various objects in the tundra.
As noted by Pavel Kochkarev, a director of the Tzentralnosibirskii State Nature Biosphere Reserve and head of the Turukhansk Branch of the Russian Geographical Society, as a result of human impact, the number of wild reindeer in recent years had decreased by 2–2.5 times. The region needs to create new specially protected natural areas.
“It is very important to organize such protected areas in the wintering grounds of wild reindeer,” the press service of the Krasnoyarsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society quotes Pavel Kochkarev.
Now the first stage of the aerial census of the animals is coming to a conclusion. The second will begin in July – at this time, research will be carried out in the summer pastures of Taimyr.
In the course of the spring flight, despite the difficult weather conditions, it was possible to survey from the air the main places of reindeer concentration in the wintering pastures. Primary material was received in the form of several thousand photographs and tens of minutes of video footage.
The population of wild reindeer is monitored within the framework of the state program "Environmental Protection, Restoration of Natural Resources".
From November to April, reindeer come to Evenkia from Taimyr for the winter. The duration, timing and distance of winter crossings of the animals depend on the abundance of snow and the degree of depletion of grazing areas. In winter, reindeer can gather in one place or break up into groups and stay in several areas. In severe winters, up to one thousand deer can sometimes graze on a relatively small area at the same time.
Unique footage of reindeer herds taken from a Cessna aircraft was provided by the Tzentralnosibirskii Nature Reserve.