Digest December 2022

The bison won! On Monday, November 28th, we summed up the results of the All-Russian Ecological Contest “Decade of Recovery”, which was conducted by the All-Russian Society for Nature Conservation. The film “Present” (2020), telling about the Central European bison nursery, its unique inhabitants and those who are eternally in love with their job – the conservation and restoration of the population of red-listed animals – won first place in the category “In contact with nature”. We are sure that the victory is absolutely logical! After all, the contest is not just a creative competition of the masters of words and photoreporting. The center of attention is the state of ecosystems of the country. And Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve is a pearl of Southern Moscow region! The Reserve congratulates the TV channel OTV-Serpukhov and its editor-in-chief Olesya Akinfeeva on the victory.

World Volunteer Day! On Saturday, December 3, Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve invited its most loyal friends-volunteers of the season – 2022.They, in spite of the frost, steadfastly walked many kilometers of excursion along the northern border of the protected area. Specialists of the department of ecological education and informative tourism conducted a local history tour of the historical sites, a unique master class, during which the participants closely examined the dried plants after their growing season, identified their names and recalled how they were very recently, as well as solved ecological crosswords and charades. All attendees received souvenirs. The event was held in celebration of World Volunteer Day, celebrated in the world on December 5.

On November 24, a new resident appeared in the nursery – a little bull Murmansk! A bison cub born in late autumn, almost at the very beginning of winter, is a rare case, but not an exception: this sometimes happens at the Central Bison Nursery. To think of an appropriate name for the baby – that’s quite a challenge. In this name must sound the cold winds of the north, frost and snow. The parents of the little calf could not help in any way, the male Murakami is too stern to pay special attention to his next child, and the mother Murnik, calling him to herself with a quiet rumbling, in which a hint of a name could not be heard as well. Andrey Stefutin, deputy director of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve: “If the baby was adopted, we could give sponsors the right to invent a suitable nickname for the bison, but since he has no adopters so far, let him enter the breeding books of the Central Bison Nursery and the International Breeding Book under the nickname Murmansk! Sound and rather cold”. Murmansk grows strong and active: vigorously studying the extensive corral, where his family group lives. Naturally gives a lot of trouble, as he is still small and needs to be constantly looked after. His mother makes sure he doesn’t lie on the bare ground for too long, doesn’t run far away, and eats on time. Getting Murmansk personal adopters certainly wouldn’t hurt! The Bisons have no idea about this, but, in fact, sponsorship funds are used to acquire the needed in a huge The Adopt a Bison Breeding Program has made an invaluable contribution to the conservation and breeding of the bison in Russia. The Adopt a Bison Program has made an invaluable contribution to bison conservation and breeding in Russia!

December 8 is the holiday of creative people, artists! Not only professional workers of this sphere, but also all lovers of painting are related to this event. The Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve has recently gained many friends-artists. Young talents from MOU DDE “Children’s Art School named after A.A. Buzovkin” several times have come to us for plein air painting in a relaxed atmosphere to be inspired by the beauties of nature. They were the first who responded to our request to help us create the emblem of the Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO. The task is not an easy one, as the Reserve already has an emblem. The other day the Reserve specialists visited the walls of the art school to meet and personally accept the work of the students. In a friendly atmosphere boys and girls talked about their drawings. Despite the very young age of the artists, all the works are made with love and deserve attention, each of them is interesting in its own way and has new ideas. If you are a person of art – depict your vision of the emblem on paper or in design editor programs, even schematic sketches can be very useful to us. Terms of work: you do not need a symbol of Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve, but a symbol of the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the core of which is a reserve, with a protected area and a zone of cooperation around it. Create and send your works to ecoeducation@pt-zapovednik.ru.

Activities under the national Ecology Project and the action plan of the Russian Bison Conservation. Program continue: On December 7, 2022, eight bison left the Central Bison Nursery of the PriokskoTerrasny Reserve for a new home in the Mordovsky State Nature Reserve. The trip was a long one – no less than 800 kilometers between our protected areas. But the animals survived the trip absolutely easy, thanks to the professionalism of the Moscow Region nursery staff and the well-organized means of transportation. Exactly according to the plan two trucks loaded with transport cages with the precious cargo arrived in Temnikovsky region of Mordovia Republic. In sturdy crates with metal fringes and soft sacking inside arrived to explore their new territories in the wild: the adult wise cow Murianna and seven young bison born in 2021 with sonorous names – Muradi, Mugorka, Museuka, Mummy, Munaliza, Multik and Mulenty. We were especially sad to say goodbye to Mulentiy, a bison that the nursery staff rescued and fed at an early age. The baby boy grew strong and completely tame. Several months ago Moulentius was put into a group of youngsters so that he could become a free bison and be socialized among his kindred. He differs from other young animals by his complete lack of fear of humans, which could be a problem since the “little guy” has already gained more than 150 kg and is ready to assert his opinion. Unfortunately, however, it’s time to leave, because this is the main task of the Central Bison Nursery – to replenish the free population of the bison. The doors of the transport cages opened, and the bison immediately rushed to freedom. But unexpectedly it turned out that there was no Muzuke among the freed travelers! The little female was looking out of the cage and did not want to come out. Only after long persuasion, she finally joined the others. The new arrivals will be quarantined for a month, because they must adapt to the local conditions and food. During this adaptation period, the animals will be carefully monitored by veterinarians and the reserve’s staff. After these mandatory procedures, the bison will be released into the natural environment of the protected area. In winter, until the grass appears, the bison will remain in the feeding ground next to the quarantine enclosure. Deputy Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve for Bison Keeping and Breeding Stefutin Andrey: “The bison removal event was preceded by a period of serious preparation. Back in the spring, the bison were weaned from their mothers and moved to a separate enclosure, the so-called youth herd. More than half a year were spent getting acquainted, defining their “senior” and building the hierarchy, we can say, forming the “team spirit” inherent in the bison of Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve. And our pets certainly have it! They demonstrated it by enduring 10 hours on the road, and after arrival, they went with vigor to explore their new place of residence. The cubs were kept in conditions as close to natural as possible in the Central European Bison Nursery, and I’m sure that they would quickly adapt to life in the wild. Our bison were not the first representatives of this species in the Mordovia reserve, the first wild bulls appeared here in November 2019, when they were brought in from the Oksky reserve in the Ryazan region. In December 2020, four more bison arrived here from the Murom reserve. Now the herd of bison on the territory of the Mordovsky reserve reaches more than 30 animals.

A gift from artists! Young talents from the Children’s Art School named after A.A. Buzovkin have already come to the Reserve for plein airs several times. They were the first who responded to our request – to help create the emblem of the Prioksko-Terrasny Biosphere Reserve of UNESCO. On December 8, on the International Day of Artists, specialists of the Reserve visited the walls of the art school to meet with creative young people and personally accept the works of students. In a friendly atmosphere, boys and girls talked about their drawings. Despite the very young age of the artists, all the works are made with love and deserve attention, each in its own way interesting and carries new ideas.

The bison changed Moscow region for Mordovia. Eight bison moved from the Central Bison Nursery at Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve to a new home in Mordovsky State Nature Reserve on December 7, 2022, as part of the National Ecology Project and the action plan of the Russian Bison Conservation Program. The adult cow Mourianna and seven young bison born in 2021, named Mouradi, Mugorka, Museika, Mumia, Munaliza, Multik and Mulentii, arrived to explore their new territories in the wild. Now the number of bison in the Mordovia Nature Reserve reaches more than 30 animals.

“Bisons” – helpers of Santa Claus. On December 10, employees of Prioksko-Terrasnaya Reserve took part in the Reserve New Year Tree held and organized with the support of the Russian Geographical Society at the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation. Besides Santa Claus and his granddaughter Snow Maiden, the children saw Manul Cat, Bars, and life-size puppets Bisons. Children didn’t get bored – they sang and solved New Year riddles, took part in dance competitions. Not only the children but all their parents tried to make a picture with the furry “Bisons”. The reserve would like to thank its indispensable assistants, the volunteers, who are always ready to participate in all our activities and events.

December 16, in the walls of the Central City Library. A.P. Chekhov held another lesson for the students of the state educational institution “Serpukhov College” in the specialty of tourism. Leading specialist in tourism development of FGBU Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve. Inna Sukhanova shared the secrets of excursion activities in the Reserve. The presentation included the specifics of working with freelance guides, tourist companies and large park-hotels located within transport accessibility. Particular attention was paid to the guides who lead our guests along the route “The Road to the Bison”. These are very wide specialists, on whom a lot depends – from the mood of the visitors, to the safety of people and animals. They must be well erudite and in love with their work. Therefore, the department of educational tourism of the reserve has a difficult task: to find such people, train, certify and competently build labor relations. Inna Sukhanova: “Even if not everyone will work in tourism in the future, but the guys will benefit from the knowledge gained today, they will better understand the organization of tourism activities and the hard work of a tour guide. In the coming year there will be a number of lectures from the employees of Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve, several practical classes and a volunteer event.

On Tuesday, December 20, the Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve held a meeting of the Academic Council. Deputy Director for Scientific Work Vasily Eduardovich Demidov made a report. He told about the work of his department in the second half of the year, reported on summer student practices and the holding of the Forum of Young Ecologists in Belarus and Russia, and also spoke about the plans to analyze the state of the Reserve’s vegetation at the time of its organization on the basis of aerial photographs taken in 1942, 1943 and 1946. Then the word was taken by Victor Ivanovich Pererva, Senior Researcher, who presented to the Council the study of the impact of ungulates on the ecosystems of the Reserve, which began in 2022 and is planned to be continued in the future. The analysis showed significant suppression of tree undergrowth in almost all habitats of the Reserve. Next, botanist Mikhail Mikhailovich Shovkun made a report on the rare flora of dry meadows of the Reserve. His research will make it possible to assess the state of meadows and identify the most valuable areas in order to recommend further measures for preserving and maintaining the biodiversity of meadow flora. The teriologist Anna Yurievna Rodnikova proposed to supplement the scientific program of the Reserve with the study of hand-wings (bats). Having heard the reports, the members of the Academic Council approved the necessity to continue the research and approved the Scientific Work Plan for 2023. In the second half of the meeting were solved questions facing the Reserve, including the relationship with the administration of the Serpukhov urban district and with the residents whose houses are located on the territory of the protected area. The Department of Protection also raised the issue of safety on the road m. Danki – Turovo village due to the risk of collisions with wild animals. The Scientific Council recommended to give up the options of erecting fences or building special crossings in the reserve, and instead demanded to provide an additional to the existing (60 km/h) speed limit at the most dangerous sections (turns), and also recommended timely removal of young trees on the roadside, which attracts ungulates (elk and deer) and increases the chance of accidents. We take this opportunity to urge all residents of Serpukhov City District, traveling by motor vehicle, to pay attention to the signs of ungulates crossing the road, to observe the speed limit and additionally reduce the speed at night. We continue to summarize the results of the outgoing year! The second most important function of the FSBI “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” is the study of nature. The scientific department of the reserve has something to tell about its activities! So in 2022 the ecological monitoring program “Chronicle of nature of Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve” was successfully carried out. It is possible to get acquainted with the work in the electronic Scientific Library on the Reserve’s website in the Activity section. In addition to the works on ecological monitoring. The study of alien flora of the Reserve with mapping of the areas of growth of the most aggressive species was carried out. Application of new research methods (air laser scanning) made it possible to build 3D models of the relief of sand dunes in the southern quarters of the Reserve, where pine forests and areas of rare for Moscow region steppe plants are concentrated. Specialists of the scientific department in the summer of 2022 supervised holding of the most important event for the preparation of scientific personnel on the territory of the Reserve and its protected zone – the “Ecology without borders” meeting of young ecologists of Belarus and Russia, as well as providing practical training of students of the Biology and Biotechnology departments of Moscow State University.

At the end of the year 2022, we traditionally sum up the results. We start a small column in which we will tell about what each of our departments can be proud of. The activity of FSBI “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” is carried out without weekends and holidays 365 days a year. The first important task of a specially protected natural area is to protect it from human impact. Environmental inspectors are engaged round-the-clock in control of the reserve’s regime, patrolling the core of the reserve and its buffer zone, suppressing, preventing and detecting violations in the sphere of nature management. Declared on April 11 in Moscow region increased fire danger level, forced to increase multiply patrolling of the territory. Fire drills with the use of special equipment and means were constantly conducted. Joint raids with employees of the Branch “Russian forest” of GKU MO “Mosoblles” on the territory of the protective zone of the reserve became a good tradition. This work has given its results and for the past period not a single fire in the protected area has been noticed. At the end of the year, the firefighting team of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve received a new UAZ Patriot with additional firefighting equipment. In the fall on the territory of the Bashkir State Nature Reserve held a training seminar among state inspectors in the field of environmental protection of federal and regional specially protected natural areas. Employees of the department of territory protection of FSBI “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” participated in the event for the first time, but showed a decent result. In addition, this year the inspectors attended weekly training lectures on various issues of both legal and general educational nature. A series of seminars on the science of trace detection will begin in the very near future. The knowledge gained will be put into practice – the territory protection officers assist the scientific department every year and participate in the Winter Trail Count.

Meeting of the Scientific Council. On Tuesday, December 20, the Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve hosted a meeting of the Scientific Council. Reports on the work done were made by: Deputy Director for Scientific Work Vasily Eduardovich Demidov, Senior Researcher Viktor Ivanovich Pererva, botanist Mikhail Mikhailovich Shovkun, theriologist Anna Yurievna Rodnikova. The second half of the meeting was devoted to solving the issues facing the Reserve, including the relationship with the administration of the Serpukhov urban district and the residents whose houses are located on the territory of the protected area.

Bisons in winter. On Saturday, December 24, shooting took place in the reserve again. A short report about the life of the bison in winter in the Central Bison Nursery was filmed for “Russia-1”. We look forward to seeing the program!

A new home for Mulagres. On Friday, December 23, a female bison named Mulagres arrived in the Ugra National Park at her new home from the Central Bison Nursery of Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve. Now in the demonstration enclosure, located in the Berezichsky uchastkovoye lesnichestvo, live two adult females from Moscow region. We would like to remind you that since the beginning of December, a female bison named Muribella is already here. The enclosure was built as part of the Bison House project and is sure to become a good home for animals that, for whatever reason, will never be released into the wild.

“Winter Holiday.” On Saturday, December 24, at the Central estate of Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve a “Winter holiday” for children of employees was held. Our staff is young and the assembly hall was naturally filled with children whose parents tried to make them a real New Year’s holiday. There were master classes, theatrical performance, a photo session with Santa Claus and the Snow Maiden and a tea party.

The Central Bison Nursery, located on the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve, continues to carry out its task of preserving the bison gene pool and replenishing the population of these wild bulls in Russia. The kennel is designed for 50 animals, and during the past year 2022, 11 bison were born here. The young bison, having matured, go to a new place of residence. This year 8 calves born in 2021 were released into the forests of the Mordovsky Reserve. A young bison cub named Medsi was brought from the nursery of the Oka reserve to the Central bison nursery, and a male bison named Munmedzhiksoon left for Ryazan oblast (many people remember his games with a log). Our zootechnicians have much to be proud of! They know each bison “by sight”, worry about them, notice when they are unwell, and can tell a lot of interesting things about each enclosure and the relationships occurring there. The nursery is a complex farm consisting of 8 pens of 6 to 50 hectares, 5 captive yards, 3 hay barns, vegetable storehouse, feed store, medical enclosure, observation tower and kilometers of fencing. There is a constant need for maintenance and overhaul, improvement and modernization. Sponsors and patrons help a lot in this. In 2022 thanks to the financial assistance under the contract of donation of PJSC RusHydro in partnership with the Khakass Republic Branch of the All-Russian public organization “Russian Geographical Society” the canopy in the observation tower was repaired. The Grass company financed the erection of a shed to store 40 tons of hay. Our old friends and volunteers from Mosinzhproekt also became adoptive parents this year for a little female bison named Mugli. The sponsorship proceeds from the adoption came very timely and were used to buy succulent fodder for the winter. This year, ordinary people also helped out a great deal: hundreds of kilos of apples, zucchini and carrots were collected for the Central Bison Nursery during the annual Tree Chest campaign, and during volunteer days the pens were regularly cleaned and fences were painted. According to the general opinion of the nursery staff, Sergey Burunov, a theater and movie actor, was recognized as the most responsible adopter, who never forgets to give tasty gifts to Mukhomor the Bull and his friends.

Specialists of the Department of Environmental Education and Cognitive Tourism 365 days a year to promote environmental culture among residents of both nearby communities and the entire region: worked on the creation of daily content on the Internet, held themed events, took part in conferences and photo exhibitions, and organized contests and events. Our bison puppets “Mulya” and “Musya” were in great demand and entertained children and adults both at the territory of the reserve and at sites in Serpukhov and Moscow. This year we have established a tradition of public events: Ski race was held in the reserve for the first time on February 19, we celebrated the Birthday of our protected area on a grand scale on June 19, and a real “winter holiday” for the kids was held on December 24. In 2022, the Department of Environmental Education and Cognitive Tourism implemented a project to introduce a new tourist service – from November 1 guests of the reserve take part in master classes to decorate a panel “Bison” and create a fashion accessory with a unique design “bag-shopper with the logo of the reserve. Reserve specialists continued their work at the School of Reserve Friends and launched the art project “Reserve: Seasons”. Summing up the results of the year, we would like to recall a new environmental education project “Touch the Living Nature”, implemented during the autumn vacations at the Bolshevik Recreation Center and the Recreation Center “Lyra.” Its participants – schoolchildren not only visited the vernissage “4 Seasons of the Reserve Forest”, listened to a tour of the Reserve employees and got acquainted with the animals of the Prioksky Forest, but also became participants in the film show. The children were shown a film based on a story by V. Bianki “Sinichka’s Calendar”, made in the style of sand animation by the sand painting studio of the Lyra Children’s Club especially for the project. Volunteer season was active – about 500 volunteers took part in 18 volunteer activities. On July 15-16 we hosted a group of winners of the Potanin Foundation Scholarship Contest. In addition to individuals, we received voluntary help from such organizations as the pharmaceutical company ASNA, Mosinzhproekt, Smith & Nephew, Globus Hypermarket, DHL Express, LLC “TransneftElectrosetService, school students from the village of Zaoksky, pupils of the Kashira Children’s Environmental Center, and students of the Guberniy College. This year we launched a new direction – media volunteering. Young advertisers helped to design the brochure “Passport to a Protected Friend”, which has already been published. During the annual “Trunk of Kindness” campaign, people who cared collected hundreds of kilos of apples, zucchini and carrots for the Central Bison Nursery. According to the results of the year, we are proud to note an increase in the number of guests. Thus, our business card – the ecological route.  “The Road to the Bison. This year we conducted almost 4,000 excursions, which were attended by 120,000 guests of the reserve. Thank you to everyone and everyone who is interested in the cause of preserving natural treasures: by a kind word on social networks, by sincere actions at volunteer days, by their visits to tours and participation in our activities, thereby giving attention and support in the work of specialists from the department of environmental education and educational tourism of the FSBI Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve.