As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

In Russia, are loggers an owl's best friend?

Date:September 29, 2015

Source:Wildlife Conservation Society

Can owls and loggers get along? A recent study conducted in Primorye in the southern Russian Far East suggests it's not only possible, but essential for endangered Blakiston's fish owls to survive there. The study was conducted by the WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society), the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the University of Minnesota.

Results showed that the greatest proportion of suitable fish owl habitat in a 20,213 km2 [7,804 square mile] study area was located in lands leased to logging companies (43 percent). Only 19 percent of such lands (enough for only eight owl pairs) were protected in nature reserves. The study, "Blakiston's fish owl Bubo blakistoni and logging: applying resource selection information to endangered species conservation in Russia," is available free online for a limited time in the peer-reviewed journal Bird Conservation International.

While this might sound like a setup for "Spotted Owl vs Loggers II: Russia Edition," the relationship between fish owl advocates and logging companies in Russia is not nearly as contentious as the bitter conflict between spotted owls and loggers in the American Pacific Northwest in the 1990s.

In fact, one of the biggest logging companies in northeastern Primorye, OAO Amgu, is already working with biologists to identify select patches of riverine forest on their lands crucial to the fish owl's survival: huge trees for nesting, and stretches of river where the owls can hunt their favored prey: salmon.

Continued ...

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