Unusual expeditionary practice

First-year students of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia passed an expeditionary practice in the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve.

Less than a month ago, the winter route tracking counting ended on the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny Reserve. It was very difficult to choose the right time for it, as the snow cover appeared and disappeared and did not lie down for a long time. The survey took three days and gave good data on the abundance of all recorded species.

Taking into account that this year’s winter is very warm and not very snowy, the scientific department of the reserve decided to spend many years not taking into account the number of animals by noise running. Try it out for the future.

Noise run is a good method of accounting for the number of hunting animal species in those cases when conducting route surveys is difficult. It is quite effective in areas with unstable snow cover, in snowless winters, such as this year. The method is quite simple: counters surround the selected quarter of the forest from three sides, and beaters enter from the fourth side. Beasts, leaving the quarter, are registered by observers.

Such an event requires a large number of participants and it is almost impossible to hold it only with the staff of the reserve. But if there is a problem, there will be its solution.

On the very last day of winter, Saturday, February 29, first-year students of the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia arrived in the reserve under the supervision of a senior teacher.

The goal of the two-day practice was to study lichens on the territory of the Prioksko-Terrasny Zapovednik and familiarize themselves with traces of animals. The first day was devoted to a field exit for the detection of mosses and lichens, and the day ended with an excursion to the Central Bison Nursery.

The second day of practice was devoted to acquaintance with animal tracks. A little snow fell at night and in the morning all the tracks were fresh and clear. Also, students were happy to volunteer to help in conducting a trial registration of animals by the noise run method, which has not been done in the reserve for many decades.

Students received detailed instructions from the reserve staff. Then the reserve staff carefully arranged the observers and beaters. Unfortunately, walking a straight chain over a kilometer through an unfamiliar forest without seeing the neighbors on the right and left is very difficult – most of the students almost immediately converged in one group and left to the side. When everyone gathered again, it turned out that not a single beast came out of the quarter. Later, following the traces, it was determined that there was only one boar here, but even that one left shortly before.

In science, a negative result is not a cause for sadness, but also a result. We have gained important experience in organizing such events. Students received important skills that will be very useful to them in life!