Wildlife and environment
Swans are returning to Yamal following winter
© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Vyatkin

Swans are returning to Yamal following winter

Bewick's swans, an endangered species listed in the Red Data Book, are returning to the Yamal Peninsula after spending the winter in China, according to an article on the government site of the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area.

The information was provided by the Bird Ringing Center of the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution.

Dr. Sofya Rozenfeld (PhD in Biology) said a two-year-old female that spent the winter in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China is now 1,300 kilometers from the Yamal Peninsula. The last time migration data was collected from her satellite ring, she was 6 km away from the village of Poltavka in the Novosibirsk Region.

Two other Bewick's swans that wintered on Poyang Lake in China's Jiangxi Province have reached the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area, 650 km away from their nesting ground. A swan returning from Uzbekistan is a comparable distance away. The distance between the Poyang Lake swans and the swan from Uzbekistan is 413 km.

"Considering the speed with which the swans are flying to Yamal, spring is approaching fast," says the statement on the area's government site.

Bewick's swans are being monitored as part of a multiyear project monitoring rare Arctic birds, which was launched in the Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area in 2010. Apart from purely scientific goals, the project includes conservation and maintenance measures. The monitoring of the migration routes of the Yamal swans that were ringed in Baydarata Bay in 2015 and 2016 has shown that these swans spend the winter in places located thousands of kilometers apart: in the Greater Black Sea region (the Evros Delta), in the Caspian Sea area (the Volga Delta), in China (Xinjiang, Poyang Lake and Shanghai) and in Central Asia (Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan).