Karimova T.Yu., Lushchekina A.A., Neronov V.M., ArylovYu.N., PyurvenovaN.Yu. The Past and Present of Saiga in Russia: Is There a Future? // Ecosystems: Ecology and Dynamics. No. 4. 2022. P. 28-49. | Abstract | PDF | Reference |
The evolutionary strategies of the saiga antelope, such as an early reproductive ability, high female fertility, polygamy, herd instinct and migration, have been helping them to survive since the Late Pleistocene in the changing environmental conditions. In the Holocene they were forced to coexist with humans, and so a new stage in their history began. Aside from the mass hunting, exterminating the saigas, the human impact on their habitat has also increased due to the widespread agriculture, especially in Western Europe, which eventually reduced the species’ range. By the early 20th century, only a few patches of their large range remained: the untouched areas of the lower reaches of the Volga River in Europe; Ustyurt, Betpak-Dala, the Ili-Karatal interfluve, China and Mongolia in Asian territory. The conservation measures implemented in the 1920s by the Soviet Union government preserved five saiga populations that currently exist in the world. Four of them (Northwest Pre-Caspian population in Russia; Ural population in Kazakhstan, Russia; Ustyurt population in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Russia; Betpakdala population in Kazakhstan, Russia) belong to the nominative subspecies S. t. tatarica, while the fifth one (S. t. mongolica (=S. borealis)) inhabit Western Mongolia. Since the end of the 20th century, the state of the Northwest Pre-Caspian population has been of particular concern. The reason for that is the severe decrease in its number (from 800,000 in 1958 to 5,000 in 2015), and of its main habitat (from 60,000-70,000 km2 to 2,000-3,000 km2). A significant part of this population switched to a sedentary lifestyle in the protected areas of the “Chernyye Zemli” ecological region. A long-term shortage of mature males (<10%) slowed down the population growth and, consequently, decreased its numbers. However, thanks to various protective measures, the Northwest Pre-Caspian population has been gradually growing since 2016, and reached 18,000-19,000 in 2022. The further growth depends on the effectiveness of the actions that are supposed to be carried out as part of the “Strategy for the Conservation of the Saiga in the Russian Federation”. In addition to effective protection and full-scale monitoring, the strategy includes the removal of various obstacles that hinder saiga migration and cause habitat fragmentation; improving the quality of the habitats; creating new protected areas on different levels in the most suitable habitats and their integration into a single network via ecological corridors; development and expansion of environmental education activities.
Keywords: saiga, saiga population, animal numbers, range, Northwest Pre-Caspian Region, saiga preservation.
Acknowledgements. The authors express their sincere gratitude to the staff of the “Stepnoy” sanctuary and its director V.G. Kalmykov for all these years of fruitful cooperation. The authors also thank A.N. Gilev for the photographs that were taken in the “Stepnoy” sanctuary.
Funding. The work was carried out for the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences as part of the research work “Fundamental Problems of Wildlife Protection and Rational Use of Bioresources”, State Assignment No. 1021062812203-8, as well as for the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as part of the research work for 2022-2024 “Study of Geoecological Processes in Hydrological Systems of Land, Formation of the Quality of Surface and Ground Waters, Problems of Water Resources Management and Water Use under Conditions of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact”, No. FMWZ-2022-0002, State Registration No. AAAA-A18-118022090104-8.
Shapovalova I.B. Dynamics Of Ornithocomplexes Of The Forest And Forest-Steppe Zones Of The Ivanovo And Tula Regions When Changing Background Climate And Water Content Of Rivers In Conditions Of Anthropogenic Impact // Ecosystems: Ecology and Dynamics. No. 4. 2022. P. 50-70. | Abstract | PDF | Reference |
In this article we present the results of monitoring of ornithocomplexes of floodplain ecosystems of the basins of small rivers of Tula and Ivanovo regions on the example of the rivers Ptan and Vyazma for the period 2019-2022. There is given a characteristic of the composition and structure of the floodplain ornithocomplexes of small rivers of the zone of mixed forests and forest-steppe zone. The analysis of seasonal and multi-annual dynamics of the floodplain ornithocomplex is according to the main transformation indicators (species diversity and abundance). The previously developed methodology for assessing the transformation of coastal ornithocomplexes of regulated sections of small rivers located in intrazonal conditions has been tested. The relationship between the species composition and abundance of coastal ornithocomplexes has been established.
Keywords: Russia, Ivanovo Region, Tula region, monitoring, dynamics, assessment, impact factor, zone of mixed and broad-leaved forests, forest-steppe zone, floodplain ecosystems, river floodplain, intrazonal landscape, aridization, hydrological regime, climate, precipitation, humidity, species composition, number, population density, abundance, ornithocomplexes, population, rare species, Red Book, swamp-near-water complex.
Acknowledgements. The author would like to thank the chief editor and reviewers of the “Ecosystems: Ecology and Dynamics” for their assistance with this publication. The author also expresses a special gratitude to Zh.V. Kuzmina and E.I. Tobolova.
Funding. The work was carried out for the Water Problems Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences as part of the research work for 2022-2024 “Study of Geoecological Processes in Hydrological Systems of Land, Formation of the Quality of Surface and Ground Waters, Problems of Water Resources Management and Water Use under Conditions of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impact”, No. FMWZ-2022-0002, State Registration No. AAAA-A18-118022090104-8.
Sheinkman V.S., Sedov S.N., Bezrukova E.V. Paleoecology of the North of West Siberia in the Last Epoch of the Pleistocene: New Evidences And Scenarios // Ecosystems: Ecology and Dynamics. No. 4. 2022. P. 89-104. | Abstract | PDF | Reference |
In this article we present the materials in respect to the Quaternary paleocryological, paleosoil and paleobotanic development in the north of the West Siberian Plain. Data demonstrating wide distribution of polygonal-wedge structures in the region are elucidated. The structures represent polygonal ice wedge pseudomorphs and initially ground wedges. The former developed in the terminal phase of the Pleistocene in the end of marine isotope stage-2 (MIS-2), and are the successors of the epigenetic polygonal ice wedges which cut the Karginian (MIS-3) alluvial mass, whereas the second formed in the syncryogenetic alluvial deposits in the course of MIS-3. Redeposited material of cryohydromorphic paleosols has been revealed in the filling of the pseudomorphs; fragments of humus horizon are included – they are used for 14C-dating. Spore-pollen spectrum in that filling shows prevalence of boggy tundra and tundra-steppe vegetation. The set of obtained data casts doubt on hypothesis of prevalence of cold deserts and ice sheets in the study area and shows existence of developed vegetable cover at a background of sufficient and, in places, superfluous moistening. It occurs on account of close position of the permafrost roof. Also the conclusion in respect to non-glaciated development of the region in the cryochrons, which are similar to MIS-2, is concluded.
Keywords: permafrost, paleocryogenesis, polygonal-wedge structures, paleoecology of West Siberia, spore-pollen spectra, Pleistocene paleosols, polygonal ice wedge pseudomorphs.
Funding. This research was funded for the State Assignments No. 121041600042-7 of the Earth Cryosphere Institute of the Tyumen Science Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Researching the Ways of Formation, Structure and Variability, and Forecasting of the Cryosphere Condition, Including Permafrost and Cryogenic Landscapes”; No. 121042000078-9 of the Tyumen Science Center of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Development of Methodological Foundations for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Role of the Cryosphere in the Evolution of Substantial and Energetic Interactions on the Earth’s Surface, in the Life Support Mechanisms of the Biosphere and the Ecological Aspects of Human Life. Assessing and Forecasting the Changes in Cryogenic Landscapes and Ecosystems in the North Part of West Siberia under the Influence of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors”; No. 0284-2021-0003 of the A.P. Vinogradov’s Institute of Geochemistry of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences “Spatio-Temporal Ecosystems and Climate Variability in Eastern Siberia during the Late Pleistocene-Holocene”.