Murmansk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society invites you to take part in the Phenological Day

Bird cherry blossoms. Photo: Elizaveta Nagaeva, participant of the RGS contest "The most beautiful country"

The Russian Geographical Society invites everyone to take part in the Phenological Day on May 15. Volunteers will have to determine their region's climate features by observing birch and bird cherry.

The initiative to conduct systematic phenological observations belongs to the outstanding Soviet scientist Vladimir Batmanov. In the middle of the XX century he was engaged in research of the Urals. Today, volunteers throughout Russia gather information about natural phenomena. The replenishment of long-term phenological databases by amateur observers gives scientists the opportunity to monitor global climate changes.

Since 2022, observations are carried out six times a year — in April, May, June, August, September and November. During these months, the changes in the flora and fauna are particularly contrasting. To identify regional climate features on selected dates, we suggest volunteers to evaluate the phenophases of two plants — downy birch and bird cherry. It is convenient to observe these particular trees, because you can find them in the forest, park and even in your own yard.

To become a part of the phenological monitoring on May 15, you need to choose new or re-visit your usual observation objects - birch or bird cherry growing near you. It is important to be able to constantly collect information about them.

If it is your first time taking part in the phenological monitoring, it is important to find healthy free-standing average age trees. Six times a year, they must be carefully examined and evaluated according to phenological point scales (they can be found on the RGS Phenological Network website separately for birch and bird cherry). For example, you need to specify whether the tree is in a state of winter rest, whether young shoots, buds or flowers have appeared. In autumn, you should also pay attention to the change in the foliage color.

In addition to the phenophases, noticeable weather changes are recorded at the observation point — the first thunderstorm, ice conditions on the river, when snow falls for the first time and when it melts away, and so on. You should upload your data to the Phenological Network of the Russian Geographical Society website, with a note "Phenological Day" in the observation program.