May 25, 2020 - ALROSA takes part in preparatory works to create a specially protected natural area to preserve and increase the number of wild reindeer in Yakutia.
The scientists of Yakutia together with the ecologists of ALROSA carry out remote satellite monitoring of wild reindeer. The data indicate the importance of a specially protected natural area (SPNA) for protecting deer at the places of calving, hatching and feeding of young stock.
The project was discussed at the online meeting of the Commission of the Scientific and Technical Council of the Ministry of Ecology, Nature Management and Forestry of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia).
Currently, the Ministry of Ecology of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) and the government of Yakutia prepare to establish a protected territory at the area of 64,152 hectares. Future “ALROSA-Rangifer Chekanovsky” nature reserve is intended to preserve the summering sites of the brood stock of the Leno-Oleneksky population of wild reindeer and the calving and feeding areas of young.
As part of a large-scale project to create protected areas in Yakutia in 2019, the ALROSA Ecology Center together with the relevant authorities and scientists of Yakutia carried out aviation monitoring of the Chekanovsky Ridge area of more than 3,000 sq.km. According to the director of the Institute of Biological Problems of the Cryolithozone of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IBPK SB RAS) Innokenty Okhlopkov, this is currently the only calving, summering and feeding area for young Leno-Olenyok populations of wild reindeer that needs protection.
“Every year starting from 2016, ALROSA in collaboration with IBPK SB RAS monitors the migration of wild reindeer of the Lena-Olenyok population through the use of satellite radio collars. In February 2019 the company signed a long-term agreement with the Directorate of Biological Resources and Specially Protected Natural Areas of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) to assess the current state of tundra populations of wild reindeer in Yakutia. These include the Taimyr population coming to Yakutia from the Krasnoyarsk Territory,” said ALROSA Chief Ecologist Polina Anisimova. “ALROSA provides financing for activities needed to create a new specially protected natural area at the Chekanovsky ridge in Bulunsky district of Yakutia. This financing let to fly around the area and initiate research on justification of the location of protected area. For this year cadastral works are planned.”
Wild reindeer monitoring is a result of the long-term cooperation agreement between the ALROSA Ecology Center and the SBPK SB RAS. The employees of the IBPK SB RAS tagged wild reindeer with Pulsar satellite radio collars. ALROSA, in turn, monitors deer near the company’s Verkhne-Munskoye diamond deposit.
According to Mr.Okhlopkov, an analysis of the population size as well as the age and sex composition indicates a relatively stable condition, a high level of fertility and survival of young stock. The ratio of males and females are close to optimal. The Leno-Olenyok wild reindeer population totals 84,000 individuals. Today it is the only one in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) of commercial importance.