How Students Enjoy Life Between Exam Weeks!

The students of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia passed their winter field internship at the Prioksko-Terrasny State Nature Biosphere Reserve named after M.A.Zablotsky.

Holidays before the next term are obviously the most fun time of any student’s life. However, students do no rest for the entire time free of study. From January 22 to 26, the first and second-year students from the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia had their first ever field internship at the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve.

In their first day, the group, which consisted of 11 people, the university students and teachers, visited the Bison Breeding Centre and the Museum of Nature and also got familiar with the work of the station of background monitoring. After such a busy schedule, the participants went to rest at the lodge №19, where after having dinner, they shared the impressions of the first day and discussed the upcoming challenging and at the same time exciting program.

The main aim of the internship was to get to know the methodology of conducting the annual winter route animal census on the territory of the reserve. During next three days, the students conducted the research in two routes, starting each of them together and then in a kilometer dividing into two groups to go deep in the south and the west of the territory. For better learning and more efficiency, the winter route census was conducted in the full mode with hiding the footprints of the first day and a two-day “tax” afterwards.

The work on the routes was really extensive and challenging. Every day the participants got up at 7.00 a.m., listened to the instructions after breakfast and put on their skis: they had to walk over ten kilometers till dark, noticing and counting the tracks of the animals. In the evening tired but satisfied with the results of their hard work, the students shared their impressions and feelings. They have got lots of emotions as their observation lists after three days of internship included meetings with a roe, wild boars, a marten, a field vole which had just finished her breakfast, and also the tracks of elks, deer, foxes, hares and squirrels.

The staff of the research and security departments have kept their keen eye on the students for all the period of the internship. Together they followed the routes, analyzed the results of the census, shared their work and rest with the students. During all that time, the staff talked about the species of animals living in the Moscow region, their habits, the form of their tracks and peculiarities of their manner of walking.

Judging from the enthusiastic reviews and long moving farewells, the first winter student internship organized at the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve went off with a bang. All the members of the reserve staff hope that they managed to show the students all the beauty and significance of the wildlife in the Moscow region.