Digest October 2022

A new resident appeared in the Central Bison Nursery – a baby calf was born by the female Muzka on September 22. Having thought a little bit and having looked over the breeding book (in which there are about 700 names of bison born here over 74 years); we decided to give him the name Muzgard! In autumn calves are born rarely in the nature – the baby calf has no time to gain strength and prepare for the long winter. However, in our cattery, in conditions of semi-open keeping it does not happen often, but there have been cases of calves born even in winter. The fact is that we have very good conditions of housing. During the cold season, bison are fed with hay and root vegetables, and mixed fodder is given out all the year round. Therefore, the little calf on an increased diet, even in winter, feels great and grows fast! Nevertheless, the mother gets busy – she has to make sure that the calf does not lie on the cold for a long time, she has to make it move more often and she has to give it a drink of tasty and fat milk. It is also unusual in Muzgard’s story that female Musica brought him into the family group almost immediately, even though it usually takes three to four days. Therefore, the mother gives the baby time to get stronger and adapt to the new environment. You can see little Muzgard almost every day. The calf is easy to recognize: it is the smallest in the paddock and the most obedient – it stays near its mother all the time. You can watch the fellow with the inventory number 988 grow up and mature by becoming his foster parent. Take a good example from our most responsible foster dad – the famous actor Sergei Burunov. He often visits the calf named Mukhomor himself or gives him tasty presents. P.S. Since 2004, Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve has had a sponsorship program “Adopt a Bison”, and anyone can take part in it. Sponsorship money is used to buy fodder, veterinary care, and maintenance. Once a year there is a “Parents’ Day” where a full financial report is given to the adopters. However, adoptive parents can visit their wards at any time and monitor their lives.

The Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve is again in the focus of TV cameras! On Friday, October 7, a 360° TV crew came to visit us to shoot an episode of “Taste of the City”. The young family chose the city of Serpukhov for their gastronomic journey, and as a tourist site – the Central Bison nursery, the ecological park “Tree House” and the ecological trail “Through the leaves. We are looking forward to the release of the program!


On Saturday, October 08, the Reserve specialists visited the State Darwin Museum and took part in the Great Exhibition “The Bison Returns”. The exhibition features unique exhibits, valuable in terms of science and history, paleontological finds, archival photographs and works of animalistic art, many of which were created in the Central Bison Nursery. The exhibition will run until December 11, 2022. A visit is recommended!

The ecological competition “The bison visited the bison” for young athletes of the Bison sports school was held on Sunday, October 09, on the territory of the Central estate of the reserve. The event was timed to coincide with the start of the new sports school year. All crosswords were solved, environmental mistakes were found, birds’ voices were guessed, and most importantly – new knowledge and unforgettable impressions were obtained.

The annual campaign “The Chest of Kindness”, aimed at collecting tasty additions to the diet of the Central Bison Nursery bison, continues. We were grateful to receive products like apples, zucchini, carrots, pumpkins and cabbage from volunteers and guests of our reserve. The bison enjoy tasting the gifts of autumn!

FGBU Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve continues to implement the art project “Reserve: seasons” in preparation for the celebration of the 78th anniversary of the reserve. Last Tuesday, October 11, an autumn plenary session with the students of the Buzovkin Art School was held. The Central Bison Nursery was chosen for the class. The object of the plein air was its inhabitants – the bison. Tatiana Petrovna Malakhova, teacher at Buzovkin Art School: “At the end of each school year, in June, we organize outdoor activities for our students – summer plein airs, and today was an unusual plein air – autumn, which gave the opportunity to see and capture amazing animals surrounded by many natural colors of gold, scarlet, green and azure. Students of the Buzovkin Children’s Art School toured the Museum of Nature and walked the environmental trail “The Road to the Bison”. Anatoly Valentinovich Anokhin, Deputy Director for Safety of the A.A. Buzovkin Art School: “Bisons make an indelible impression: they look powerful and invincible, although a little clumsy and ungainly. When you look at them it’s hard to believe that these huge beasts weighing about a ton are the contemporaries of mammoth and can jump over a fence more than 2 meters high”. As part of the joint event, staff from the Environmental Education Department conducted a conservation quest for the boys and girls, “Secrets of the Forest and Its Dwellers,” which took place on the high-altitude “Through the Leaves” eco-trail. Young artists received interesting information adapted for their age about the flora and fauna of the Priokskiy forest, solved puzzles and crossword puzzles. The art project “Reserve: seasons” will have continuation, and with the advent of a new season, the next meeting with the students of A.A. Buzovkin Children’s Art School will be held during winter vacations. Irina Pushkova, chief specialist on environmental education of FSBI Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve: “We plan to hold two more plein airs – in winter and spring, so that in the summer of 2023 to organize a work opening ceremony, timed to the birthday of the reserve. To show everyone the beauty of the reserve nature, seen and captured by children”.

During the autumn vacations, the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve presented an environmental education project “Touch Wildlife” at the Palace of Culture in Bolshevik village.Pupils in grades 5-9 in Serpukhov were able to visit the vernissage “4 Seasons of the Reserve Forest” and listen to a tour by a reserve employee and get to know the animals of the Priokskoye Forest. The children were also shown a film based on V. Bianki “The Sinichka Calendar” made in the style of sand animation by the sand drawing studio of the Lyra Children’s Cultural Center.

On Tuesday, October 11, students from the Buzovkin Children’s Art School came for an autumn plein air (active link). The Central Bison Nursery was chosen for a painting session, and its inhabitants, the bison, were the subject of the plein air. No sooner had the paint dried than the staff of the environmental education department invited the children to take part in a conservation quest, The Secrets of the Forest and its Inhabitants, which took place on a high-altitude environmental trail, Through the Leaves. We hope that in the summer of 2023 we will be able to organize a vernissage of works by young artists, timed to coincide with the Reserve’s birthday.


On Wednesday, October 12, employees of the reserve became the heroes of a new series of programs “Ecology of Moscow region” with Yana Rozova on Radio 1. The presenter talked with the specialists of the scientific department Pererva V.I. and the leading specialist of the environmental education department. The theme of the program was, of course, bison – which have been inhabiting the Central Bison Nursery for many years.

On Thursday October 13th, on the Day of Protected Areas Workers, the Open Studio of Radio 1 in Krasnogorsk was visited by specialists of environmental education department. The guests chatted with host Vladimir Vakhrushev, summed up the results of the tourist and volunteer season 2022, presented new services and talked a lot about the bison.

On Saturday, the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve held its annual autumn census of grouse. At the same time, censuses were conducted along 11 routes, whose task was to mark all encounters with grouse, grouse, grouse and partridges. News with the results of the census will appear on the website soon. This event is conducted annually in the fall in order to obtain data on the number of species. The method is based on a simultaneous passage of eleven routes, which cover the entire territory of the reserve with a dense network. During movement along the route, the spotters have to determine the observed birds visually and by ear, by distinctive whistling. Specialists of the scientific department of the Reserve, ornithologists, state inspectors in the field of environmental protection, specialists of the Department of Environmental Education and Cognitive Tourism, volunteers from Serpukhov and Pushchino took part in the counting. All successfully coped with the task, identified the met birds, without wandering and delays went on their routes. The greatest pleasure was given to the enumerators, who managed to see wood grouse. This bird is not easy to see nowadays in Moscow region, and even in the reserve the meeting with wood grouse leaves unforgettable impressions. Well, to tell the truth, the passage on the long route in the heart of reserve, where people appear extremely seldom, can present in itself a lot of positive emotions to those who loves and appreciates the nature. According to the results of the counting it is possible to say that the quantitative and species composition of the species of ptarmigan in the Prioksko-Terrasniy Reserve is quite stable. The regime of strict protection, which has been in effect since 1945, since the moment of the reserve’s establishment, allows birds to feel much more relaxed on its territory than in the forest districts of the Moscow Region frequently visited by mushroom hunters and hunters.

An important project was completed in the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve! A new spacious hay shed was added to the infrastructure of the Central Bison Nursery. The construction of the shed for the storage of 40 tons of hay was made under a contract of charity between the Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve and the famous Grass, a Russian manufacturer of professional car care products and detergents. Mikhail Grachev, the founder of Grass, considers it essential for every successful organization to implement not only social but also environmental projects. That is why the management decided to support those rare animal species which are on the verge of extinction due to human fault. One of them was the bison – an animal that was almost completely exterminated in the early twentieth century and is still on the IUCN Red List and the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Thanks to the receipt of financial aid from Grass, it was possible to reconstruct the infrastructure vital to the functioning of the Central Bison Nursery. The contractor who carried out the work was SMZ Pak LLC. At the beginning of summer the preparatory work phase began. In order to ensure the durability of the structure, they installed strong foundation, the supporting columns were securely strengthened and concreted. Finally, the frame was securely clad with polycarbonate, a strong and durable material. This help was timely and extremely necessary – the previous structure had to be dismantled after a hurricane wind and bad weather. The nursery faced the problem of how to store hay for feeding the bison in the coming season. During the cold season the hay must be stored under a shelter protecting it from precipitation. Currently, the number of animals in the nursery has reached 49 and all of them have an excellent appetite. Each adult bison needs about 15 kilos of hay a day from autumn until the appearance of fresh greenery, not including root crops and mixed fodder. Now we know that our pets will have a good winter and they will please us with their offspring in spring. And thanks to the appeared reliable structure we can qualitatively store the prepared and purchased hay. For many years, work has been underway at the Central Bison Nursery to restore the bison population. The “Road to the Bison” route runs throughout the year, and its visitors, whose number reaches 130,000 people, are constantly asked: how do the bison feel and are they not cold in winter? And they always get a comprehensive answer – if the animal is not hungry and has enough food, no frost is a problem for it! A new batch of fodder for the inhabitants of the Central Bison Nursery was delivered last week. On Thursday 15 tons of beet were delivered and unloaded into the vegetable storehouse and the new shed renovated by the Grass Company was enriched with 40 tons of fresh hay. So it is safe to say that the bison will have enough succulent forage this winter!

On Friday, the “School of Protected Friends” continued its work. “The lesson” was held by Vasily Demidov, Deputy Director of the Federal State Budgetary Institution “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve”. The students of the SEBEI “Serpukhov College” with a specialty in tourism learned the history of the formation of Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve and the changes that have occurred with the territory, from antiquity to the present day.

On Saturday, October 22, the Reserve hosted the closing of the volunteer season. Volunteers from Moscow, Serpukhov, Pushchino, and even the Tula Region came to help with household chores. Thanks to the help of the volunteers the fodder beet that was placed in the vegetable storehouse was sorted. We thank each and every person who participated in the life of the Reserve this year. We will surely gather the most active helpers of the year 2022 at the event coinciding with the International Volunteer Day.

Also this Saturday the specialists of the reserve took part in the International Festival of Wildlife “Golden Turtle”. October 22 was declared the Day of Protected Russia and was held jointly with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. Visitors took part in master classes. “We also participated in the quiz “Who’s hiding in the woods”, listened to the presentation “Winter Road to the Bison,” and the most attentive ones won gift certificates for the excursion ecological trail. FGBU Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve presented a photo exhibition Reserve Photo Album. The focus is on the untouched nature of the southern suburbs, where in the most densely populated region of Russia many species of animals and plants feel at home. The exhibition brings together the best photographic works of the last few decades. Next to the photos made with modern cameras there are photos from the past. The exposition “Reserve Photo Album” consists of 80 photographic works, the authors of which are Igor Zubkov, Olga Kalinina and Alexander Kulichenko. You can get acquainted with the best pictures of professional photographers and employees of the reserve on the second floor of the Central City Library named after A.P. Chekhov. A.P. Chekhov on any day except Thursday and Sunday from 10 to 19 o’clock. The exhibition will last until the end of 2022.


FGBU “Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve” joined the charity event to raise funds to help the families of servicemen and mobilized soldiers. On October 25, as part of the campaign, employees of the State Institution of Social Services of Moscow Region Family Assistance Center for Families and Children “Serpukhovsky” gave children from the area of Special Military Operation a gift – a tour of the ecological trail “The Road to the Bison”.

On October 28, FGBU Prioksko-Terrasny State Reserve presented a photo exhibition “Zapovedniy photo album”. All who came on the opening day had a rare opportunity to hear the story of the creation of some pictures from the first person – wildlife photographer, leading environmental education specialist Olga Kalinina. You can see the exposition of 80 works made by both professional photographers and the staff of the reserve on the second floor of the Central City Library named after A.P. Chekhov. Chekhov on any day except Thursday and Sunday, from 10 to 19 o’clock. The exhibition will run until the end of 2022.