RMRS-P-4 Siberian White Crane on Protected Territories by jre15247


									                                     Siberian White Crane on Protected
                                     Territories of Yakutia (Russian Northeast)
                                     N. I. Germogenov

Abstract—The importance of existing protected territories of                   According to surveys of winter habitat in southeastern
the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) to the conservation of the rare                China, the current size of the white crane eastern popula-
Siberian white crane is evaluated based on range structure and              tion ranges from 2,610 to 3,000 individuals (Asia-Pacific
new estimates of the white crane’s eastern population in northeast-         Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 1996-2000;
ern Russia. The protection of the Siberian crane’s population is            Harris and others 1994).
mostly carried out within 13 territories, occupying 8,934.5 km2 or
2.6 percent of the Sakha Republic’s area. Three of these territories
are the Kytalyk Resource Reserve (16,080 km2), the Chaygurino
                                                                            Estimating Population Size in
(23,756 km2), and the Khroma (1,130 km2). Reservations are the              Northeast Yakutia _______________
sites of nesting and summering of more than 720 birds, or 37 to
43.7 percent of the eastern population. Various aspects of practical           During the last 40 years, volumes of material describing
and research activity related to the development and optimization           the Siberian crane’s population in northeastern Yakutia
of the population are examined.                                             have been collected by various investigators during special
                                                                            and passing aircraft surveys (table 1). The data collected are
                                                                            characterized by significant variation in population size
                                                                            and habitat size estimation. In all cases, the extrapolation of
   Conservation of the white crane (Grus leucogeranus), a                   survey data was made without use of any necessary correc-
globally imperiled species, is determined principally by the
                                                                            tion for methodical errors that can be introduced by conflict
condition of its eastern population. The breeding area and
                                                                            between aircraft and ground survey results.
main summer habitat of this population are subarctic tun-                      The cartographic registration of birds (scale 1:100,000)
dra, forest tundra, and northern taiga in a vast system of
                                                                            during aircraft and ground observations in 1993 to 1997
lake depressions in northeastern Yakutia. To various de-                                                                                    2
                                                                            (following banding in 1990 to 1992) within the 1,314 km
grees, the birds are found in the northern part of the                      control site in the Indigirsky population resulted in the
territory, in the area between the Yana and Omoloy Rivers,
                                                                            identification of 86 individuals: 38 couples, four single birds,
to the Kolyma River’s left bank—and in the southern part,                                                                                 2
                                                                            and two groups of three birds each (6.54 birds per 100 km ).
in the Indigirka and Kolyma River basins up to the Momsky                   Forty of these birds, including 17 couples, were found in the
Range’s northern spurs. The basic habitat area in Yakutia
                                                                            course of a ground survey on July 5 to 10, 1995, in an area
makes up between 220,000 to 300,000 km2. The main part of                              2
                                                                            of 502 km (38 percent of the control site). The local density
the nesting population is concentrated in the northern half                 of birds was 7.97 individuals per 100 km2 (Germogenov and
of this area—in tundra and in forest tundra, which makes up
                                                                            others 1996). A similar population density was observed
130,000 km2 (Flint and Kisshchinsky 1975). According to
                                                                            during a ground survey dated August 5 to 10, 1995, in the
recent investigations, the area of the population’s regu-                   territory adjacent to the control site—7.34 individuals per
lar habitat (no more than 82,000 km2) is composed of                                2                        2
                                                                            100 km (26 birds per 354 km ). Of the 38 couples recorded
three isolated centers of increased bird density: Khromsky,
            2                              2                                in the control site, 14 were observed during one season, nine
10,300 km ; Indigirsky, 7,900 to 9,700 km ; and Alazeysky,                  during two seasons, six during three seasons, five during
1,950 to 4,380 km (Degtyaryov and Labutin 1991).
                                                                            four seasons, three during five seasons, and one during six
   Some (probably nonbreeding) birds spend the summer
                                                                            seasons (1990 to 1997). This observation reflects the diffi-
beyond the bounds of the observed region—in the Lena River                  culty of yearly bird tracking, but suggests a strong attach-
basin (the Linde and Khoruongka River basins) west of the
                                                                            ment for the territory. Accounting for annual variability in
Zhigansk settlement (Degtyaryov and Labutin 1991).
                                                                            territorial fidelity and return rates, a population density
                                                                            from the control site of 5.4 birds per 100 km2, was indicated.
                                                                            Comparing this density with the estimates of Degtyaryov
                                                                            and Labutin (1991) for the same area (for example, 2.5
                                                                            birds per 100 km2 in 1985; 1.7 per 100 km2 in 1987; and 2.63
                                                                            per 100 km in 1989) suggests a correction factor (K + 2.46)
   In: Watson, Alan E.; Aplet, Greg H.; Hendee, John C., comps. 1998.       to convert aerial survey numbers to estimates of the true
Personal, societal, and ecological values of wilderness: Sixth World Wil-   population size.
derness Congress proceedings on research, management, and allocation,          Applying this correction factor to white crane numbers
volume I; 1997 October; Bangalore, India. Proc. RMRS-P-4. Ogden, UT: U.S.
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research          in northeastern Yakutia (670 to 790 birds) estimated by
Station.                                                                    aircraft survey (Degtyaryov and Labutin 1991) yields an
   N. I. Germogenov is Professor at the Yakutsk Institute of Biology,
Russian Academy of Sciences, Lenin Avenue, 41, 677891, Yakutsk. E-mail:
                                                                            estimated population size of 1,650 to 1,950 birds in this
wwf.sakha@rex.iasnet.ru.                                                    territory.

USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-4. 1998                                                                                            55
Table 1—Information on white crane habitat and numbers in the Northeast of Yakutia.

                                                                                 Area of main habitat
                                                                                (centres of increased               Number of birds in main habitat
  Information source                                 Period                      population density)           (centres of increased population density)
Vorobyov 1963                                     1957-1960                        —                           200-250 couples or 400-500 specimens
Uspenski and others 1962                          1960                             2,500-3,000                 500-700 couples or 1,000-1,400 specimens
Yegorov 1965                                      1963                             20,000                      900 specimens
Yegorov 1971                                      1963-1964, 1966                  32,000                      1,500 specimens
Flint and Kisshchinsky 1975                       1971                             130,000 (30,000)            300 specimens
Flint and Sorokin 1982a,b                         1977-1980                        —                           250-300 specimens
Perfilyev 1965                                    1960-1962                        —                           300-350 couples or 600-700 specimens
Perfilyev and Polakov 1979                        1975, 1977                       130,000 (30,000)            700 specimens
Vshivtsev and others 1979                         1978                             >130,000 (51,000)           325 (301) specimens
Labutin and others 1982                           1980                             65,560                      433 specimens
Degtyaryov and Labutin 1991                       1978-1989                        82,000b (21,530c)           670-790 (572) specimens
      Total area of the population’s main distribution.
      The population’s regular breeding area.
      Total area of the three centres of increased density of the population.

Particularly Protected Natural                                                          North East Asian Crane Site Network in 1997. Of the 13
                                                                                        protected territories in table 2, seven are included on the
Territories ______________________                                                      preliminary “List of Important Bird Areas” or I.B.A. (1996).
                                                                                           The Kytalyk Resource Reserve and the Chaygurino (two
   Preliminary population estimates are essential to evalu-                                                                            2
                                                                                        sites) and Khroma Reserves total 38,275 km or 12.8 percent
ate the potential of the Particularly Protected Natural
                                                                                        of the main range and 46.7 percent of the Yakutian
Territories system being developed in the Sakha Republic
                                                                                        population’s regular habitat area. These three reserves
(Yakutia) to help conserve the white crane.
                                                                                        carry most of the basic load of protection of breeding area
   Historically, indigenous Sakha people both revered the
                                                                                        and summer habitat. According to population estimates,
white crane as an image of purity and femininity, and relied
                                                                                        712 birds (37 to 43.7 percent of the population) nest or spend
on it for meat and eggs (Andreyev 1974, 1987; Beme and
                                                                                        summers within these territories. Within these reserves
Priklonsky 1976; Ergis 1960; Maak 1886; Mikhel 1935;
                                                                                        are several “centres” of markedly increased population den-
Vorobyov 1963). In the last century, legal measures for
                                                                                        sity. The Khromsky population centre accounts for 14 per-
white crane protection in Yakutia were established (Hunt-                                                                    2
                                                                                        cent of the territory (or 1,477 km ), the Indigirsky centre
ing Regulations of 1962) that forbade the hunting of this
                                                                                        makes up 33 to 40.6 percent (3,204 km2), and the Alazeysky
species. The first Particularly Protected Natural Territory,                                                                              2
                                                                                        centre (up to 1989) up to 90 percent (2,430 km ). Thus, the
which directly addressed conservation of the white cranes’                                                                           2
                                                                                        total protected area comprises 7,111 km or 29.2 to 35.3
eastern population, was established in the early 1980’s.
                                                                                        percent of the areas of increased population density and
   The long-term plan for the Particularly Protected Natu-
                                                                                        the habitat of 422 birds (21.6 to 25.6 percent of the total
ral Territory system was established by Sakha Republic
President M. E. Nikolayev’s Decree, “On Measures of
                                                                                           Beyond this main range of the population, white cranes
Particularly Protected Natural Territories Development.”
                                                                                        are sometimes found within territories and vicinities of
According to the federal-regional legislative base currently
                                                                                        the Ust-Lensky State Sanctuary situated in the Bulunsky
in force, Particularly Protected Natural Territories are placed
                                                                                        Ulus (Labutin and others 1982; Perfilyev and Polyakov
under the federal (State Sanctuaries and Reserves), regional
                                                                                        1979), the Ust-Viluysky State Reserve in the Kobyaisky
(National Parks, Resource Reserves), and local (Reserve Ter-
                                                                                        Ulus (Report Cadastre of white crane in the Sakha Republic
ritories) authority. Particularly Protected Natural Territo-
                                                                                        (Yakutia) 1991), and the Ungra State Reserve in the
ries of regional and local significance are developed without
                                                                                        Neryungrinsky Ulus (Perfilyev 1965). In addition, signifi-
their withdrawal from economic turnover, generally charac-
                                                                                        cant newly established Reserve Territories are situated in
terized by traditional nature use. According to the Decree,
                                                                                        the migration zone and supposed summer habitats includ-
no less than 20 percent of the territory will be particularly                                                            2
                                                                                        ing: the Badyarikha (3,000 km ); the Shangina River Basin
protected by the year 2000. At present, the Decree is in force                                     2
                                                                                        (2,000 km ) in the Abyisky Ulus; the Yasachnaya River
for 17 percent of the total area of the Republic.
                                                                                        Basin and Ozhogino River Basin (total 15,408 km2) in the
   Nowadays, white cranes are protected within their main                               Verkhnekolymsky Ulus; the Baraiyy (750 km ) in the
range in northeastern Yakutia and adjacent territories in                                                                          2
                                                                                        Tattinsky Ulus; the Amginsky (8,071 km ) in the Amginsky
13 Particularly Protected Natural Territories of republican                                                              2
                                                                                        Ulus; the Kuoluma (4,915 km ) in the Churapchinsky and
and local significance (81,934.5 km2 or 6 percent of the total                          Tattinsky Uluses; the Sunnagino-Siliginsky (10,000 km2) in
area of the Republic). Their importance in white crane                                                                                   2
                                                                                        the Aldansky Ulus; and the Chabda (6,638 km ) in the Ust-
conservation can be judged from the data in table 2.                                    Maysky Ulus. Evaluation of their contribution to the conser-
   The Kytalyk Resource Reserve, established in 1996 with                               vation of the eastern population is impossible (with few
the help and support of the World Wildlife Fund, joined the                             exceptions) due to lack of data.

56                                                                                                      USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-4. 1998
Table 2—White Crane in Particularly Protected Natural Territories of the Sakha Republic’s Northeast.

 Particularly Protected               Date of Particularly          Particularly Protected
Natural Territories number             Protected Natural             Natural Territories            Status of                    Relative species
and name of foundation                    Territories                     area in km2               speciesa                  (number of specimensb)
1. The Khroma State                           1992                            1,130                  N                                   39
Reserve of the
Allaikhovsky Ulus
2. The Chaygurgino State                      1982                          23,756                   N                                  300
Reserve of the Niznekolymsky
Ulus with the following plots:
   Alazeysky                                                                 6,154                   N                               160
   Chukochya                                                                14,911                   N                               140
   Omolonsky                                                                 2,691                   M                        Probably nonrare.
3. The Kytalyk Resource                       1996                          16,080                   N                                  382
Reserve with the following
   absolute seasonal                                                          6,246                  N                                  229
      rest (2 zones)
   traditional nature use                                                     1,411                  N                                   69
   license hunting the caribou                                                  281                  N                                    3
   summer fishery                                                                70                  N?                                   5
   holly land                                                                    66                  N?                                   2
   reserve zone                                                               8,006                  N                                   74
4. The Ozogino Lake Resource                  1996                            2,412.5                N, S?              Probably rare and extremely rare.
Reserve within the Allaikhovsky
and Abyisky Uluses;
5. The Sutoruokha Resource                    1996                            5,000                  M, N?, S           Probably rare to common. No
Reserve of the Abyisky Ulus                                                                                             more than 1-2 nesting couples.
6. The Saiylyk State Reserve                  1986                              246                  M, N?, S?          Probably common during migration and
of the Abyisky Ulus                                                                                                     possible transit stages. The rest of the
                                                                                                                        time is extremely rare (1-2 couples).
7. The Omoloy Resource                        1996                            3,325                  M, S, N?           Probably common. No more
Reserve Ust-Yansky Ulus                                                                                                 than 1 nesting couple.
8. The Ygynnya State                          1988                            1,856                  M                  Presumably common. Transit
Reservation of the                                                                                                      stages during migration possible.
UST-Yansky Ulus
9. The Eselekh Resource                       1996                          24,020                   M, N?, S?          Probably common during migration.
Reserve of the Momsky Ulus                                                                                              1-2 couples the rest of the time.
10. The Zhirkovo State                        1979                              110                  M                  Presumably extremely rare.
Reservation of the
Srednekolymsky Ulus
11. The Sededema                              1992                              650                  M, S?              Presumably extremely rare.
State Reservation of the
Srednekolymsky Ulus
12. The Sylgy-Ytar                            1988                              140                  M, S               Probably migration and possible
State Reservation                                                                                                       transit stages. The rest of the time
                                                                                                                        is extremely rare (1-2 couples).
13. The Yana River                            1997                            3,209                  O, S?              Probably not numerous.
Delta Reserve Territory
of the Ust-Yansky Ulus
    N = nesting (N? = presumably nesting), M = passing during migration, S = spending summer, O = passing occasionally.
    The numeric data on Particularly Protected Natural Territories were gained by extrapolation, with the exception of the Yelon zone of absolute seasonal rest of the
Kytalyk Resource Reserve.
  c                                                                                                                                   2
   Owing to foundation of the Kytalyk Resource Reserve in 1996, the one of the Khroma Reserve’s two plots (The Khroma-2, 4,100 km ) joined it as the Lower Khroma
zone of absolute seasonal rest.
    The territory of the Yelon Reservation (1980-1996, 11,336 km2) is included in the Yelon zone of absolute seasonal rest.

USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-4. 1998                                                                                                                    57
Protection and Research on the                                    Reserve and the Chaygurino Reserve and adjacent territo-
                                                                  ries. The rest of the Particularly Protected Natural Territo-
Particularly Protected Natural                                    ries have not been touched by ground researchers.
Territories ______________________                                  To increase the contribution of the developing Particu-
                                                                  larly Protected Natural Territory system of the Sakha Re-
  Potentials for white crane protection and monitoring in         public (Yakutia) for the protection of the white crane’s
the Particularly Protected Natural Territories of the Sakha       eastern population, the following measures are proposed:
Republic (Yakutia) can be judged from the example of the
                                                                     1. The existing Particularly Protected Natural Territories’
Kytalyk Resource Reserve of the Allaikhovsky Ulus. There,
                                                                  area expansion: The Kytalyk Resource Reserve—at the
a staff of four employees includes three huntsmen carrying
                                                                  expense of annexation of the Khroma Reserve (113,000 ha)
out protection duties and nature observation, primarily of a
                                                                  and new territories, adjacent to the Khroma (toward the
phenological character. Thus, each employee is responsible
                                                                  north and west up to the borders with the Ust-Yansky Ulus)
for over 4,000 km2 in need of protection. The population
                                                     2            and Yelon (toward the south up to the Kubalakh and
density of the Ulus is 4.94 persons per 100 km . During
                                                                  Alysardakh Lakes and toward the northeast up to the
June-September, the most important period for white crane
                                                                  Russkoye Ustye Settlement and the Indigirka River) zones
protection, protection is augmented by cordons and tempo-
                                                                  of absolute seasonal rest—500,000 ha more:
rary posts situated along the main sections of the Yelon
River, blocking water routes into the Reserve’s primary             • The Chaygurino Reserve’s Alazeysky site—at the ex-
protected zones, but this defense system does not work                pense of the Alazeya River right bank—300,000 ha more.
where poachers use air and ground transportation. To in-
                                                                     2. Creation of new Particularly Protected Natural Ter-
crease protection of the Reserve and carry out monitoring         ritories (Resource Reserves) on the basis of the Kuoluma,
observations (drawing researchers, specialists, and volun-        Chabda, and Yana Delta Reserve Territories (at the expense
teer assistants from local residents), a system of internal       of the eastern part of the delta and adjacent territories of
cordons is planned within key habitats.                           the Yana-Indigirka lowland up to the Allaikhovsky Ulus’
  In the last 17 years, there have been about 50 reported         borders).
violations of the nature protection legislation in the pro-          3. Completion of documentation preparation (and agree-
tected territories—mostly illegal hunting of caribou and          ment with appropriate bodies) for inclusion into the North
polluting of the territory by hunting wastes. One case of         East Asian Crane Site Network, following existing and
Siberian crane death (1992) has been reported, but the            proposed Particularly Protected Natural Territories in the
reasons are still unknown.                                        Sakha Republic. The most important for white cranes are:
  The first scientific study of the white crane was carried out
                                                                    • The Chaygurino State Sanctuary (the Alazeysky and
in the Reserve Territory long before the first Particularly                                                       2
                                                                      Chukochya sites with total area of 21,065 km )
Protected Natural Territories were established. Its results
                                                                    • The Nizhneyansky Resource Reserve
were cited in numerous publications where organizational
problems of Particularly Protected Territories were dis-            • The Kuoluma Resource Reserve
cussed (Beme and Priklonsky 1976; Flint and Kisshchinsky            • The Chabda Resource Reserve
1975; Flint and Sorokin 1982a,b; Labutin and others 1982).           4. Completion of project work to include the Yakutian
Since the 1980’s, research has been carried out principally       white cranes’ primary habitats on the “List of Important
by the Yakut Institute of Biology in close cooperation with       Bird Areas” (1996).
the International Crane Foundation, the Research Centre of           5. Acceptance by interested parties’ appropriate bodies of
Wild Birds Community of Japan, and the World Wildlife             the project, of multilateral “Agreement in the field of the
Fund and their representatives. This work includes the            white crane Grus leucogeranus eastern population and its
scientific foundation for the creation and development of         habitats investigation and conservation for the period of
Particularly Protected Natural Territories, mapping of the        1997-2000” (P.R. China, Heilonjiang Province-ICF-Sakha
population and banding birds, tracking of fall migrations         Republic [Yakuita]), discussed in its first reading at the
with tiny satellite transmitters (P.T.T.), and population de-     International Conference on protection of wetlands and
mography (Degtyaryov and Labutin 1991; Germogenov and             waterfowl of northeastern Asia (Beidaihe, P.R. of China,
others 1996; Germogenov and Solomonov 1997; Harris and            March 4-7, 1997) and envisaging, in particular, organization
others 1994; Nikiforov 1996). For the whole period, within        of international expeditions to the nesting sites (the Cadillac
the Reserve and adjacent territories, 18 adult birds (including   Resource Reservation in Acadia/Russia), migration routes
nonpubescent specimen) and 43 chicks have been banded.            and transit stages (territory between the Alan and Aga
Fifteen adults and two chicks have been fixed by the P.T.T.       Rivers, Acadia/Russia; Exhaling Marshes, Nature Reserve
A map (scale 1:100,000) of two bird populations has been          in Heilongjiang Province and Xiang Hai, Momoge Nature
compiled reflecting the distribution of 213 birds, including      Reserve in Jilin Province P.R. China).
98 couples. In July 1996, for the first time, a bird that had        6. Drawing international, government, and nongovern-
been banded as a chick in 1990 was caught 19 kilometers           ment organizations to support nature conservation, and
away from the place of origin.                                    scientific and elucidative projects concerning the problem of
  Research on the biology and conservation of the white           conservation of the white crane eastern population and
crane has largely been limited to the Kytalyk Resource            of the whole species.

58                                                                              USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-4. 1998
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                                                                          Germogenov, N. N.; Jingsheng, Z.; Nanjing Z.; Higuchi, H. 1994.
                                                                          Results of Chinese-Russian-American investigation of cranes
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  Sleptsov, S. M. 1996. New data on ecology of Siberian crane             1979. Aviauchyot sterkhov v Yakutii//Migratsii i ecologia ptits v
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  sotrudnichestvo po izucheniyu i okhrane sibirskogo zhuravlya v          nekotorykh drugikh ptits v del’te Leny i Yano-Indigirskoy tundre
  Yakutii: opyt organizsii, itogi i perspektivy//Nauka i obozreniye.      po materialam aviauchyota//Priroda Yakutii i yeyo okhrana.
  Yakutsk:Izd-vo Yakutskogo Nauchnogo Tsentra, 2 (6), 96-99/              Yakutsk: Yakutsk. knizhn. izd-vo, 124-127 / Condition of number
  International Co-operation in study and conservation of the             of waterfowl and some other birds in the Lena River Delta and
  white crane in Yakutia: organization experience, results and            Yana-Indigirka Tundra on the airsurvey data.
  perspectives.                                                         Yegorov. 1971. [Complete reference unknown].

USDA Forest Service Proceedings RMRS-P-4. 1998                                                                                             59

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