2017 year will be the year of ecology in Russia.
Baikal, without a doubt, is a unique lake: there are a lot of words written about it and much is said about its nature or rather its flora and its fauna. Nowadays they are often talked about with the prefix "rare" or "endangered" attached to them.
Plants and animals native to Lake Baikal are under the threat of extinction because of the rapidly changing ecological situation around the lake and the increasing flow of tourists.
2017 year will be the year of ecology in Russia.
This decision was made in January 2016 by Russian President Vladimir Putin. This action was taken in conjunction with the global trend of seeking public attention for the environmental problems in each country and of the whole world. The year of ecology in Russia is dedicated to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the creation of the first Russian state nature reserve – Barguzinsky, which is located in the territory of the Baikal region.
As part of the Year of Ecology, leading Russian industrial group, En + Group, in conjunction with the National Foundation "Protected Land" initiated a number of programs approved by the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. Among them is the popular science project "Rare Specimen". More than 100 experts in the field of environmental conservation were attracted to its creation, as well as staff from the parks. As a result of the project two books were released, they became the official publications of the Year of Ecology and contained information about rare animals and unique natural and cultural sites of our country.
"There are a lot of books on specially protected natural areas. But it was the first time that two books dedicated to rare species and unique items in the protected areas were released. The books are very well done, in an interesting way, using infographics and illustrations. It is worthy of a deluxe edition for the 100th anniversary of the conservation system of our country ", says Irina Sannikova, director of the National Foundation, "Protected Land".
The first book of the series is called "Rare Specimens: Animals of Russia". It includes 17 sections devoted to such rare animals as muskrats, brown bears and polar bears, the Amur tiger, Amur and Persian leopards, snow leopards, muskox, Przewalski's horses, walruses, bison, the Baikal seal, reindeer, whales, sables, beavers and manuls. All of them are under protection of the Russian Federation’s conservation system, they are living symbols of our country. It is noteworthy that almost half of these animals live Baikal Lake or in the forests of the Siberian taiga.
The second book, "Rare Examples of Cultural Monuments from Russia" includes 19 chapters devoted to archeological, historical and architectural monuments located on the territory of Russian nature preserves and national parks.
The book speaks about great Russian monuments like the Tower on mount Akhun, Ahshtyrskaya cave, the Volkonsky dolmen and the Burkhan-Baabay, Bukha Noen and Oglakhtinskaya burial grounds. A separate Chapter is devoted to the memorial complex marking "The Great Standoff at the Ugra River". The book also speaks about the missing old-Russian city of Verzhavsk, the Kaverinsky hillfort, the Devil's hillfort, the Severodvinsk sluice system and the cultural landscape of the Kenozero. Monuments from the Second World War, and testimonies and artifacts from the time of the development of the North, as well as monuments from the Samara bend were not neglected.
The creators of the project from the En+ campaign note that the publications are written in plain language that will appeal to both adults and children.
Simple texts, clear facts, heroes which speak: this motto was the guide for all of the authors of the "Rare Specimen" book series.
In addition to publications, the "Rare Specimen" project also suggests the creation of an interactive portal. This portal is kind of a virtual expedition to objects in the Russian conservation system. The portal will include a detailed map of Russia’s protected areas, personal pages of its inhabitants, as well as a cognitive quest, as a tool to be used for self-testing. Photos, videos, animations, and audio tracks with the "voices" of the heroes will allow you to travel without getting up from the computer. Whether you are sitting on the subway or in a cafe, on the way from work or in line in the supermarket, you can explore the monuments to the development of the Arctic or observe the habits of wild tigers.
"Rare Specimen" is an uncommon opportunity to dive into the world of wildlife and the mysteries of history, here and now.
Answering the most common question: why fluctuations in the water level influence the lake ecology and could it be harmful to Baikal.
We had a talk with the young scientist Daria Bedulina about how Baikal endemics make it possible to assess the state of the lake now and in the future.
The beginning of the year was marked by a huge environmental scandal. One of the tour operators of Irkutsk offered an unusual service: hunting Baikal ringed seals.
Do you know that in addition to the Pribaikalsky National Park, there is also an eponymous game reserve? It was established in 1981 to preserve and restore the population of wild animals of Lake Baikal.