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British researcher will accompany rare Tundra swans to wintering grounds on paraglider

September 04, 2015, 13:13 UTC+3 ARKHANGELSK

The researcher will fly with swans along their migration routes over the course of eight weeks

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© ITAR-TASS/Alexey Druzhinin

ARKHANGELSK, September 4. /TASS/. Specialist from UK’s Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Sacha Dench will fly a paraglider with rare Tundra swans from the Nenets Autonomous District in Russia’s north to their wintering grounds through 10 countries, the Nenetsky wildlife reserve told TASS on Friday.

Dench presented her project "Migration of Tundra Swans" in Naryan-Mar. "For the first time in history, a person will accompany Tundra swans in their migration. The researcher on a paraglider will join them on their nesting grounds in the Nenetsky wild nature reserve in September 2016," the press service said.

The researcher will fly with swans along their migration routes over the course of eight weeks. The birds spend winter in north-western Europe. "The aim of the expedition is to draw attention and bring together for protection of Tundra swans different people along the birds’ migration route - schoolchildren, hunters, ornithologists, ecologists and politicians," the press service continued.

The Tundra swan, included in Russia’s federal and regional Red Books of rare and endangered species, has been observed in the Nenets Autonomous District for 20 years. Using satellite transmitters attached to the birds’ legs, the scientists discovered that swans can fly to the Netherlands in three days covering the distance of around 3,000 kilometers. The birds make only two stops on the way - in bays on the White Sea and in the Baltic States.

Around 150 pairs of swans are nesting annually in the Nenetsy wildlife reserve. More than 13,000 Tundra swans are gathering there before flying to the wintering grounds. According to British ornithologists, the European population of Tundra swans stands at around 23,000-25,000 birds.

The Nenetsku wildlife reserve is located in the northern part of the Nenets Autonomous District on the area of 313,400 hectares, with 58% in the sea. The Eastern-Atlantic migration route passed through the wildlife reserves which is widely used by birds nesting in eastern and western Siberian tundras and spending winter in western European countries.

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