Only in the Altai Mountains and the most mountainous in Russia cormorant population has decreased by half over the past year due to prolonged cold spring, said on Monday Altai State Nature Biosphere Reserve.
Dzhulukol mountain lake located in the Altai Reserve — the most high cormorant habitat in Russia. The bird is included in the Red Book of the Altai Mountains. The researchers first described this breeding colony in the late 70's of the last century, when there were 13 nests. Since 1978, ornithologists Altai reserve trying to trace the development of the colony. Reserve Officer Oleg Mitrofanov nearly a month spent on the lake, studying the changes in the colony.
As explained by the RIA Novosti chief engineer Thematic Group of the Institute of Ecology of birds of Systematics and Ecology of Animals, David Haydarov, because it is a form of colonial nesting, reducing the number of nests testifies to the reduction of the population of the cormorant.
"You can really talk about reducing the population by half, as the number of nests reflects the number of breeding pairs," — he said.
According to an employee of the reserve, the largest number of cormorant colony reached in 1996, when there were 130 on Dzhulukole nests. Last year there were 15. Studies have shown this summer, the number continues to decline.
"In the colony of Cormorant Lake Dzhulukul I counted eight nests with clutches in the second half of incubation, compared to last year, their number decreased by almost half. Main reason is the weather factor: cold and prolonged spring to late descent of the ice on the pond. Said that is warming, and in fact, now there is the so-called Little Ice Age, that is, the spring comes late. Because of this, the lake is covered with ice, and the birds have been put off laying and so on. Such harsh conditions lead to the fact that masonry often die, so their numbers are declining, "- said ornithologist.
How to drown Mitrofanov Dzhulukol — the northern and alpine point in which they live cormorant. According to the scientist, the human factor in the reduction of the population has played a minimal role, though, and made a contribution to this process.
Lake Dzhulukol (Dzhulukul) — Lake in the east of the Altai Republic, the second largest lake in the country. Located in the Altai reserve included in the list of natural heritage by UNESCO, Ulagan Altai Republic.