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Tunnels to protect rare turtles in South Stream area

January 29, 2014, 20:40 UTC+3 29
To keep turtles out of the territory, a special plastic fence is to be erected all around the construction site
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© ITAR-TASS/EPA

KRASNODAR, January 29. /ITAR-TASS/. South Stream pipeline’s operator, South Stream Transport B.V., has drawn up a strategy to save a rare Nikolsky turtle, when the pipeline begins to be laid, the company’s spokesman Arkady Shadrin told the ecological forum in the southern city of Krasnodar Wednesday.

“Nikolsky turtle is a long-living and slowly reproducing species, especially protected in Russia, so death of even every few reptiles may have an adverse effect on the entire population,” he told Itar-Tass. Since turtles sleep in winter in underground burrows, “digging works in this period may cause the death of many animals”, said Shadrin. In summer time reptiles may move over a radius of 300 meters seeking food, so they can be found almost in the whole area of construction.

To keep turtles out of the territory, a special plastic fence is to be erected all around the construction site. Before heavy equipment comes to the site, all turtles found on the fenced territory will be carried away.

Special tunnels under roads are also planned to protect the rare animal, Shadrin added.

The Gazprom-led project will have a capacity to deliver 63 billion cubic meters across the Black Sea to Southern and Central Europe, diversifying natural gas transportation routes and excluding transit risks.

Its surface route will cross Bulgaria into Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to terminate at the gas distribution station in the Italian town of Tarvisio. Spur branches will be laid from the main line to connect with Croatia, a 51 kilometer-section, and with the Republika Srpska, travelling 109 kilometers.

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