Ungulates Start and Win

For the 70 year old period of the Prioksko- Terrasny Reserve’s existence, researchers have observed an increase in the species composition of ungulates, some species’ hybridization as well as the change of the dominant species in different periods of time: moose – until the 1970s, dappled deer and wild boar – 70-80 years, roe and wild boar – from the beginning of the 90s to the present.

This information was provided by senior researcher Sergey Albov at the Russian National Research and Practice Conference “Scientific Research in the National Parks of Russia”, which was held from August 29 to September 2, 2016 in Petrozavodsk and was dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the National Biosphere Reserve “Vodlozersky “.

The conference was attended by over 120 people from 43 organizations, including 64 scientists from the Russian Academy of Sciences, twenty university professors, twenty employees of national parks and reserves in Russia, as well as the representatives of environmental organizations and museums. The director of the Institute of Biology and Forest of the Karelian Research Centre of RAS, Kryshen A.M., opened the conference.

The main topics of the conference became the organisation and research methods, also the participants of the conference discussed around 100 reports on the topics of “Research of Biodiversity”, “Research of Ecosystems, Ecology of Species and Communities”, “Organisation and Research Methods”, “Socio-Economic and Humanitarian Aspects of Research”. The conference materials were published in a collection, which included 263 theses reports by 448 authors from Belarus, Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine and Finland.

In addition to the work of the conference, there was conducted an examination of a number of settlements of the European (Castor fiber) and Canadian (Castor canadensis) beavers. The natural habitat of the Canadian beaver is North America. The first Canadian beavers have appeared in Russia in the early 1950s. They moved from Finland into the adjacent areas of Karelia and the Karelian Isthmus. Canadian beavers quite quickly advanced to the south and the east, and in the late 1960s and 1970s they were additionally settled on the Karelian Isthmus and in Karelia.

The lifestyle of a Canadian beaver is similar to that of an ordinary one (autochthonous species). It also looks like one, but with a less elongated body, broader chest, shorter head with larger ear conches. Other distinctions include an earlier sexual maturation and high fertility. Beavers of these species do not interbreed with each other and are food competitors. The relationship between the two species has nor really been studied, but it is possible that the replacement of the European beaver by the Canadian beaver is taking place. Besides the examination of beaver settlements, the possibility of further research with the assistance of experts from the Institute of Ecology and Evolution, the Russian Academy of Sciences., the Rdeysky and the Prioksko-Terrasny reserves was discussed.