Digest July 2022

The Central European Bison Nursery is the first nursery in Russia where the ancient and largest animals of Europe live. It has existed in the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve for 74 years. It works without holidays and weekends providing comfortable conditions for 40-50 animals. It does its job well and every year bison which have grown up to one and a half to two years of age come out of here to replenish the free-living population. The farm of the nursery is an area of 200 ha with pens, outbuildings, haystacks and vegetable storehouses. All this is operated all year round and requires constant investment of effort and funds. Despite the difficult current economic conditions, there are companies with high social responsibility, ready to help in the conservation and protection of nature in our country. Last year RusHydro and the Khakass Republic Branch of the All-Russian Non-Governmental Organization Russian Geographical Society allocated funds for concreting feeding grounds in several pens of the Central Bison Nursery. This year, under a donation agreement for biodiversity restoration and conservation, RusHydro and the Russian Geographic Society again donated funds to the Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve. Now the trapping yard is being repaired. Repair work on the replacement of the canopy and fence was quickly and efficiently carried out by employees of the Limited Liability Company “SMZ PAK”. The fencing yard is used to house the animals. The bison are trained here to enter the transport cages before further transportation. Also, the quarantined animals are kept in these cages. The new shelter will protect the animals from precipitation and soft bed of fresh hay will help them gain strength faster. Vasiliy Demidov, Deputy Director for Scientific Work of the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve: “Many thanks to the grantor and the contractors for their help! Small things like this are the start of grand things of great importance. Now it will be easier to take care of our pets, send them off to live a free life, and treat them if necessary. We are all working together to bring to life the Federal National Project for the restoration and breeding of rare red-listed animals, the bison. We are doing an important thing!”

A volunteer event of an unusual format took place on July 15-16 on the territory of Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve. During these days the only nature reserve near Moscow hosted a group of winners of the Potanin Foundation School Scholarship Contest. Our reserve has opened the 2022 season of volunteer camps. By July 30, organized teams of volunteers will go to 14 other specially protected natural areas and cultural sites in Russia. This large-scale volunteer movement is organized by the Potanin Charitable Foundation together with the Charitable Educational Foundation for Assistance to Preservation of Natural and Natural Heritage “Zapovednoe Ambassade” and the Totemsky Museum Association. On July 15 a group of volunteers, full of enthusiasm and energy, arrived in Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve. Ahead of them were two days of bright impressions, useful exercise and communication. During this time our assistants had time to do many household chores in the Central Bison Nursery, see the bison up close and visit all the tourist sites. In the evening we had a long walk, where at each step small natural wonders opened up to our eyes: a shrieking shrike on a stalk, marvelous wildflowers, or a beaver, which had cleverly disappeared under water. The night was spent in the hospitable hostel “Cordon 19”, located in a picturesque pine forest near the small river Tadenka. The two-day volunteer event seemed like a multi-day adventure – the guys became friends and it seemed to everyone that they knew each other for ages! Sergey Maslov, head of the volunteer movement at Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve: “Our volunteer shift is over. All the planned work was done perfectly! We had time to work well and relax. It was very nice to meet such cheerful, smart and active people. We should definitely expand the practice of such camps in the future!” We are following the news with interest, because the next groups are already leaving for Astrakhan Nature Reserve, Chikoi National Park, Daursky Nature Reserve, Kavkazsky Nature Reserve, Krasnoyarsky Stolby National Park, and Altai Nature Reserve, Alania National Park, Volzhsko-Kamsky Reserve, Smolensk Lakeland National Park, Yasnaya Polyana Museum-Reserve, Taganai National Park, Zigalga National Park, Totemsky Museum Association and Visimsky Reserve. We wish all interesting acquaintances and bright impressions! We hope this summer will be one of the most memorable for them. P.S.: This year the School is held for the nineteenth time; the participants are supported in the form of charity for travel and participation in the volunteer program.

This year the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve was chosen as the venue. About 70 students from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus at the age of 14 to 17 years old participate in the rally. The federal stage of the All-Russian competitive selection of students of educational organizations from 24 subjects of the Russian Federation was held in May of this year. Today the best of the best came to the only nature reserve in Moscow region, which were interviewed in five thematic areas: botany, entomology, ornithology, hydrobiology and soil science. Since 2006, the Ecology Without Borders Forum has been held only once every two years. Traditionally, various specially protected natural areas of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus serve as venues. Here, the students have a unique opportunity to learn the principles of management of protected areas and to see untouched wilderness areas with their own eyes, and to gain experience of field studies. The ceremonial opening took place today at the Park-hotel “Vozdvizhenskoe”, where young ecologists were greeted by officials and were introduced to the curators and teachers. The atmosphere of the festival was created by performances of the Cossack song ensemble “Kladez” and the song duet “Russian soul”. After the official part, all participants went on an excursion to the Central Bison Nursery. Klavdiya Sencilova, deputy head of the methodological department for natural sciences at the Federal Center for Supplementary Education: “The gathering is an event of the Union State. Traditionally it is held one year in Belarus, the other one in Russia. Yesterday we visited sites, where young ecologists will carry out researches and met wonderful people – employees of the Reserve. Tomorrow the young students will take part in the work of field laboratories on such profile areas as botany, ornithology, entomology, hydrobiology and soil science in Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve. Teachers will be highly qualified specialists: PhDs and working scientists”. The event is intended to develop in the young generation an interest and understanding of the importance of environmental protection, to encourage them to practical participation in environmental protection, to broaden their outlook and form an environmentally responsible worldview, as well as to help them in their future professional self-determination. Rally of Young Ecologists of Belarus and Russia “Ecology without Borders” is supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus. It is organized by FSBEI “Federal Center for Additional Education and Recreation and Health Improvement of Children” and FSBI “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve”. The closing ceremony is held on July 24 at 10-00 in the Park Hotel Vozdvizhenskoe.

As part of the experience exchange program between veterinarians from the Serpukhov Animal Breeding and Control Station of the Serpukhov District of Moscow and the Vsevolozhsk District of Leningrad Oblast, a group of veterinarians from Leningrad Oblast came to Serpukhov. On the agenda – a visit to the Serpukhov Animal Disease Control Station and the Central European Bison Nursery, where they have been working with the largest mammals in Europe for 74 years! The veterinary scientists during their visit shared their experience in treating diseases and using laboratory techniques. The zootechnicians from the Central Bison Nursery demonstrated the modernization of the infrastructure – a week ago work ended as part of the implementation of a donation agreement between RusHydro and the Russian Geographical Society on the ongoing repair of the structural elements of the interior fencing of the bison nursery. Funding made it possible to repair the shed in the nursery yard and the sand storage shed. The new constructions will improve the living conditions of the Red Book species and increase the efficiency of their care. Specialists were also interested in the design of the blowgun used in the Central Bison Nursery for remote injections – specialists often face the task of administering medicine and vitamins to their pets, which often weigh several tons. Head of the State Budgetary Institution of the Leningrad Oblast “Animal Disease Control Station of Vsevolozhsk district”. Ruslan Idiatulin: “I and my colleagues from the veterinary service came to the Moscow region in this wonderful bison nursery to exchange experiences and learn how they solve problems with keeping and treating animals. In the future, this will help us avoid missteps in our work. Back in 2015, two bison were brought to our Rappolovo nursery from Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve, from which we have already had offspring. Irina Valentinovna Fedoseyeva, Chief Veterinarian of the Serpukhov Veterinary Station TVU No. 5: “It is very pleasant to meet our colleagues from the Leningrad region today. We enjoyed chatting and talking about our work. We can tell a lot about the bison of the Central Bison Nursery with their amazing specificity. Such events are very useful for professionals, we have a lot to learn from each other”.

The most responsible of our adopters, a regular guest at the Central Bison Nursery and a loyal friend of Muhomor is the theater and movie actor and TV host Sergei Burunov. The bison haven’t seen “The Policeman from Rublyovka” or “Soap Opera” and haven’t heard the voice of Leonardo DiCaprio, but it seems that soon they will be able to recognize this very visitor by sight because after his arrival at any time of year they get something tasty in their bird feed. The actor often visits a calf adopted from the Central Bison Breeding Center and always comes not empty-handed: during feeding, the growing bison get juicy apples and selected carrots from its famous patron. Muhomor is small and not greedy at all. Calves living with him and the old woman Mugdalena certainly enjoy the gifts. Sergey: “I like this reserve very much – the air here is so delicious that you just can’t get enough of it! If my route passes somewhere near this place, I always stop here – to see how Muhomor is doing and to distract myself from the bustle of the city.”