Federal State Budget Organization “Kronotsky State Natural Biosphere Reserve”
Funding support: State budget of the Russian Federation
Number of staff: 4 persons are working in the Ecological Education Branch. 9 persons are working in the Ecological Tourism Branch. Thus, 13 persons will be directly involved in development of ecological education activity, raising public interest to conservation and sustainable use of wetlands. They also will be involved in development of educational touristic routes on wetlands.
Overall aims of the centre
Main goal of visit centres’ creation is attracting attention of visitors to conservation ideas, issues of conservation of typical and unique natural complexes, plant and animal species, importance of protected areas’ activities and raising ecological culture level of population.
Description of the centre
Total area of the “Semyachik”visitor centre is 433 m2. The visitor centre is situated close to estuary. The estuary has inflow of thermal waters. Ebb-tide currents are very strong, in the outflow, extensive shore is exposed, providing rich waterbird habitat.
Marsh coastal zone is good for nesting. Aleutian tern (about 150 pairs), Common terns and gulls, hundreds of ducks, different sandpipers and other waterbirds nest here. About 1200 specimen of geese winter in the estuary basin. About 10,000 birds are found at this flyway site in spring, and about 15 species in autumn. Numerous packs of migratory sandpipers and gulls rest on the extended Semyachikskaya Spit.
One of the biggest colonies of Largha seal / spotted seal in the strict reserve forms at the estuary mouth in autumn and winter season. Seal lionfish, Ringed seal, Bearded seal and Sea lion also appear here.
The visitor centre in Koryaksky strict reserve is 95.5 m2 area and situated in school building of Tilichiki settlement of Olyutorsky District of Kamchatka Kray (Area). There are about 20 thousand lakes in “Parapolsky Dol” Ramsar Site/ Most of them can be referred to as one of five types: small lakes (more than 70% of total number), average lakes (13-16% of total number), average growing lakes, big lakes and alasa. The Ramsar site is situated on the main waterbird flyway from South-East Asia to Chukotka and Yakutia.
In spring, about 15 thousand geese are pass though the Ramsar Site. They stop here for several days near lakes Gytgynyakh and Vaygytgyn. Migration of river ducks is not so intensive. Common scoter, white-winged scoter and long-tailed duck arrive at the end of May in big flocks at height of 200-300 m. Several thousand birds are registered here during a day on daylight migration. It is impossible to separate migrating birds from local ones, because the Ramsar Site is a terminal for many migrants.
Autumn migration lasts form the middle of August to the end of September depending on weather conditions. In Penzhina Bay, more than 25,000 Bean geese and white fronted geese, AND around 12,000 river and diving ducks fly over the Ramsar Site.
Male wigeon congregate to moult at large lakes with much vegetation ( about 1-1,5 thousand specimens on one lake). Groups of moulting pintails form in July at lakes between estuaries of rivers Penzhina and Talovka. Scaups and long-tailed ducks moult at large open lakes – from several dozen to several hundred. It is quite difficult to estimate total quantity of moulting waterfowl at the all territory of Ramsar Site, because only some lakes were surveyed.
15-20 pairs of white-tailed eagle are nesting in Ramsar Site. A nesting gyrfalcon pair marked out in different years on a tree in floodplain of Belaya River. Osprey and peregrine have been observed in nesting period of time within the Ramsar Site borders.
Main CEPA work areas
Work with mass-media. In cooperation with regional and Russian mass-media, the Ecological Education Branch provides information to journalists on the activity of Kronotsky Strict Reserve. It informs them about natural processes, happening on its territory, organizes interviews with staff of scientific and protection branches, carries out press-conferences, organizes visits of journalists to the strict reserve territory, as well as to the State Natural Refuge of Federal Importance “Yuzhno-Kamchtsky”.
Advertising and publishing
Advertising and producing publications is one of the most important tools of forming positive relations with the local population to the strict reserve. Advertising booklets, guidelines, brochures, cards, calendars, magnets and others contribute to distributing information about Kronotsky strict reserve and “Yuzhno-Kamchatsky” refuge.
Creation of films and video
Films about the strict reserve allow us to demonstrate the beauty, wealth and variety of wildlife. Films are used for thematic lessons with children and during exhibitions. The video data base of the strict reserve is growing due to reserve’s staff and film crews of large TV companies as Russian, as foreign ones (BBC, National Geographic).
In recent years, films “Valley of Geysers”, “Fantastic Reality”, «Wild Russia» and others were produced in the strict reserve. Full-length documentary 3D-movie “Land of Bears” produced in Kronotsky strict reserve and Yuzhno-Kamchatsky refuge came out in January 2014.
Exhibition activity and development of visit centres
Activities in the exhibition hall and visitor centres is the traditional type of educational work with the local population and visitors. The Museum of Nature uses interactive methods, in the administrative building of the strict reserve. The ecological education centre of the strict reserve includes an interactive information booth providing visitors with information on flora, fauna, geological and mineralogical diversity of the strict reserve and the refuge, new touristic routes etc.
Besides this, the Ecological Education Branch tries new methods and types of work with visitors though developing specially equipped visit centres. Important role in education of ecological culture, organization of continuous ecological education system and involvement of local population in practical conservation activities is carried out by the centres.
Mobile exhibitions demonstrating the beauty and richness of protected nature (photo-exhibitions, exhibitions of children paintings etc.) are displayed not only in visitor centres but also in natural history museums, shopping and office centres and others.
Ecological festivals and events
Traditionally, Kronotsky strict reserve actively participates in such all-Russian actions as “March for Parks”. “Bird Day”, “White Trail”. Such actions are a very effective tool for attracting people’s attention to conservation issues. Ecological actions and festivals are usually carried out cooperatively with different educational bodies, involving local decision-makers and local self-government, mass-media and potential sponsors.
Cooperation with teachers and educational bodies
Ecological education work of the strict reserve is conducted in close cooperation with educational organizations, primarily with teachers of local schools and organizations of additional education. Staff of the Branch carry out training for teachers of basic and additional education, organizing round tables on conservation issues and activities of the strict reserve, developing and implementing education and conservation projects and actions.
Offside thematic events for children of school and preschool age are carryied out during the year as following: “About Kronotsky strict reserve and Yuzhno-Kamchatsky state refuge”, “World of Brown Bears”, “Salmon of Kamchatka”, “Birds of Kronotsky strict reserve”, “Plants of Kronotsky strict reserve. Poisonous plants of Kamchatka”.
There is not enough information about the visitor centre of Koryaksky state reserve at the moment, but from June 2015 we will actively start distributing information about the protected areas (including wetlands) and carry out education and conservation projects in the territory of Olyutorsky District.
Top three successes
We are experienced in organisation of ecological education events, creation of websites, always ready to share our experience, to consult partners on professional issues and share best practices.
Creating signage; site information; Producing written materials; Developing nature trails
Setting up a new visitor centre
Engaging young people; Engaging the local community; Working with volunteers
Education and communication
Early years education; Delivering adult education; Working with primary schools; Working with secondary schools; Developing resources / materials
PR and marketing