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Aves, 40/1-4 | 2003 | 202-205

  Amur wetlands conservation in the breeding area of Black Stork (Ciconia nigra) and Oriental White Stork (Ciconia boyciana).
Darman, Y.

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The total surface of wetlands in the Amur/heilongjiang river bassin in the Russian Federation is up to 147,000 Km2, the most important wetlands are concentrated in flood-lands of Amur valley and its biggest tributaries (Amgun, Ussuri, Zeya)as well as the Amur great plains (Zeya supérieure, Zeya-Bureya, Middle-Amur, Evur-Chukchagir, Udil-Kizi, Khanka Lake). The plaines and valleys are largely transformed by human activity, about 24,000 Km2 of wetlands have been changed to cutting hay fields and pastures. More than 2,450 Km2 were drained and ploughed, for example as the massive drainage system of up to 100-150 Km2 in Khanka Lake shores and Arkhara lowlands. The fragmentation of wetlands and human disturbance cause the decrease of water bird’s breeding capacity on remaining small patches of wetlands around lakes and bogs. In the neighbouring Heilongjiang province of China, from former 50,000 Km2 of wetlands now only 11,300 Km2 are still available for water birds. In this case, the breeding range of many birds now looks like the narrowing belt along the Amur/Heilongjiang river and only the regular flooding save these wetlands from agricultural developing. The China economy is emphasizing fast development on northern territories, so the bordering Amur/Heilongjiang river wetlands becomes more and more important for conservation of many endangered species. These wetlands of the still undamed river are the main breeding area of Oriental White Stork (Ciconia bayciana about 95 % of world number), Red-crowned Crane (Grus japonensis - 65 %), dWhite-napped Crane(Grus vipio - 50 %) and Hooded Crane (Grus manacha - 30 %). In 1992, the international conference “Cranes and Storks of the Amur/Heilongjiang river” proposed to establish 22 Ramsar sites in Amur/Heilongjiang river basin. Based on subsequent studies, the government of Russian Federation has launched 6 sites in 1994 (Torey lakes, Khanka lake, Udil lake, Bolon lake, Arkhara lowlands and Zya-Bureya plain). By now, about 21% of existing wetlands of Amur/Heilongjiang river basin on russian side are under protection, including 4 state nature reserve (strictly protected territories), 1 nature park and 23 wildlife refuges. The breeding area of Storks is protecting about 20,300 Km2 of these nature reserves and wildlife refuges. A number of protected area are established in northeast China (Liaoming, Jilin, Heilongjiang provinces and et de inner Mongolia provinces) and they cover at least 12,200 Km2 of former breeding area of Oriental White Stork. Some of listed reserves and wildlife refuges play an important role as stopover for migratory Storks (Momoge, Xianhai). As this was done on both sides of Amur/Heilongjiang river, we shall promote the international co-operation to cover all river catchments. We should continue the inventory of wetlands to the Ramsar classification for foregoing compilation of database, mat to the scape 1/1,000,000 and reference book on the Amur/Heilongjiang river wetlands. During this work the proposed territoires for new Ramsar site will be investigated and scientific background will be prepared. The draft list of such possible site is: - Tumen river delta wetlands - 87,400 ha (Primorski Krai); - Tom’-Tashina inter-fluvial wetlands - 250,000 ha (Armurskaya Oblast); - Aldicon-Ulma inter-fluvial wetlands - 256,250 ha (Amurskaya Oblast); - plain between Amur-Bira-bidjan rivers - 60,000 ha (Evreiskaya Oblast); - Evron-Chuckchagir lake lowlands - 300,000 ha (Khabaravski Krai); - Alchan-Bikin river inter-fluvial wetlands - 84,000 ha (Primoski Krai);` - Khor-Podkhorenok inter-fluvial wetlands - 30,000 ha (Khabarovski Krai); - Ussuri-Iman inter-fluvial wetlands - 40,000 ha (Primoski Krai); - Honghe nature reserve - 21,835 ha (Heilongjiang Province); - Sanjian nature reserve - 198,000 ha (Heilongjiang Province); - Xingkaihu nature reserve - 222,288 ha (Heilongjiang Province); - Naolinhe nature reserve - 59,000 ha (Heilongjiang Province); - Qixinglue nature reserve - 30,000 ha (Heilongjiang Province); - Shuangtaihe nature reserve - 128,000 ha (Lianing Province); - Yellow river delta nature reserve - 154,000 ha (Shandong Province). The Sanjian plain in Heilongjiang Province of China and Middle Amur plain in Evreiskaya Oblast and Khabarovsky Krai of Russia is one of the last opportunities to save intact wetlands as the habitat for many endangered species. It comprises 5 nature prtected areas of different levels in China side of amur/Heilongjiang river and 4 nature protected areas at the Russian side. While some of them are located jsut face to face on different banks of Amur or Ussuri rivers, there are no good contacts and coordination in wetlands and water birds protection.

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Ciconia nigra

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Ciconia boyciana

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