Monitoring and scientific foundations for the conservation of birds of the Russian Arctic: Arctic expedition of BirdsRussia

Monitoring and scientific foundations for the conservation of birds of the Russian Arctic: Arctic expedition of BirdsRussia

Annual complex ornithological research in the Arctic started on Taimyr in the late 1980s. Initially guided by Academician E.E. Syroechkovskiy (sen.), they still run nonstop. After BirdsRussia foundation, the studies organization and management within the Arctic expedition passed on BirdsRussia. With the change of ornithologists generations, expeditions geography has also shifted: since the mid-1990s, they mainly moved to Yakutia, Chukotka, and Kamchatka. Particular avifauna observations also occur in other areas of Russian Arctic.


Annually several field groups of ornithologists up to 20 people conduct faunistic studies in various, primarily poorly studied, parts of the Russian Arctic and Subarctic. Work areas are shown on the map. At first, the main goal was “white spots” covering. Since 2012, stationary monitoring works in Chukotka have become a significant part of the studies.

As the result of the first stages of data processing, collected over many years, the Atlas of Nesting Sandpipers of the Russian Arctic was published. It included all known information about sandpipers of the Russian North with up-to-date materials collected during these expeditions. About 50 articles have been published, based primarily on the research of the Arctic expedition of BirdsRussia.

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The ranges and trends in the numbers of many arctic bird species were specified. For the first time, Wandering tattler nesting in Russia has been proven; Black turnstone, Wilson's snipe, Lesser scaup, Canvasback, Western meadowlark and a number of other species were registered. Massive data was collected on breeding biology, recommendations for the management of populations and the protection of many species, especially Anseriformes, were developed. BirdsRussia continues annual studies of the Chukotka avifauna and advises the region administration on birds protection. During four years at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the expedition has been cooperating with the GEF EKORA project.

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For the first time the largest bird colonies of Chukotka of around 1.5 million birds were investigated. Meynypilgyno station is registered as a biological station within international network of Arctic monitoring INTERACT. Avifauna here is being monitored for 18 years. “Birds of Southern Chukotka” monography is being prepared. The design of the largest nature park in Chukotka, “Spoon-billed sandpiper Land”, has begun. Recommendations for the conservation of rare birds and resources management of hunting birds of the Arctic are being developed and implemented for the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia and CAFF Working group of the Arctic Council.

Project Manager:   Evgeniy Syroechkovskiy (ees_jr @

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