The Ways of White Cranes Rescue

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The Ways of White Cranes Rescue

In Russia, in 1979, under the guidance of Professor V. Flint, the white crane hatchery was founded on the territory of the Oksk biosphere reserve where ornithologists started breeding them.

During the last 10 years Alexander Sorokin, the Head of the Biodiversity Department of Federal State Biological University of “All-Russian R&D Institute” is the National coordinator of the white crane rescue project.

Starting from 1990-s more than 100 white cranes were liberated. However the death rate of the wild chicks in the natural conditions during the first year of life is 50-70%. The survival rate of the artificially grown chicks of the white cranes even less and does not exceed 20%. That is why the scientists started looking for the more effective methods which allow increasing the survival rate of the strange chicks.

The method of teaching the young chicks to fly for the long distances with the help of the specially designed motorized hang gliders was offered. In the result of the special training the small white cranes grown in the hatchery take the motorized hang glider for the leader of the flock and follow it till the place of wintering, having a rest in the special places chosen beforehand. Following this method more than 90% of the strange chicks get back to their place of birth after wintering.

This idea offered 10 years ago by the American scientists was embodied and developed in the project “The Flight of Hope”. The first Russian flight took place in 2006 – 5 motorized hang gliders were built that led the young white cranes, grown in the Oksk hatchery. The birds were taken up to the border of Russia where they joined the common cranes and left for wintering.

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