TASS, July 1. Scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch found three species of orchids, which are on the Russian Red Data Book, next to facilities of the Bystrinsky Mining and Concentration Plant (owned by Nornickel) in the Trans-Baikal Region, the Great Scientific Expedition’s press service said on Friday.
"We have studied the biodiversity of terrestrial invertebrates and vertebrates, captured small mammals - primarily mouse-like rodents, studied insects, conducted visual observations, took soil samples for laboratory studies," the press service quoted an expert of the Institute of Natural Resources, Ecology and Cryology (INREC, in Chita) Yuri Bazhenov as saying. "Parallel to that, we have found three species of orchids, which are on the Red Data Book of the Trans-Baikal Region and on the Red Data Book of Russia."
Earlier biodiversity studies near the plant were conducted in winter. By observing traces on the snow scientists assessed activities of ungulates, rodents, hares, and predators. They found eight hunting species of mammals: Siberian roe deer, wolf, fox, columbine, sable, ermine, white hare, squirrel and two species of hunting birds - stone grouse and grouse. At the same time, the scientists observed a big number of roe deer, which indicates the plant’s low impact on the wildlife.
In July, experts of the Institute of Biophysics (the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch) will work near the Bystrinsky plant. Hydro-biologists will survey water ecosystems, seasonal dynamics in water plants, algae, invertebrates and commercial fish.
About Great Scientific Expedition
The basic biodiversity study continues the work, which the Norilsk Nickel Company and the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Branch began in 2020, and which since the Great Norilsk Expedition has spread into another three regions. The purpose is to identify the company’s impact zones and assess biodiversity in areas of the company’s operations. The research results will become the base for a corporate system to manage the impact on biodiversity and to develop programs for its preservation and monitoring.