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The White Crane’s Flight - Race for the Bird of Happiness
The White Crane’s Flight birding race - for the first time in Russia. The birding race is dedicated to cinsrevation of the rarest crane species - White Siberian crane. In Yakutia, where the White Siberian cranes are nesting, they are percieved as birds of luck and happinness.

Birding is the most popular hobby aborad, and birding competitions are quite often, however such large scale competition will be held in Russia for the first time. The race organizers hope to make such competitions a tradition, supported by public.

The White Cranes Flight birding race will go through Moscow and Ryazan region in September, during the autumn migration, the route is drafted through most bird-inhabited areas, including water birds’ and crane migratory feeding and rest areas. The race finish is in Brykin Bor - Oksky Biosphere Reserve visit center.

The race will last for more than daynight, the competitors’ task will be to observe and photograph as much birds as possible. The picture should allow to define birds species. For observation and photographing the race participants will have to stop along the route.

People with different background and birding experience are invited to join the race. All of them will be istructed before the reace starts, will recieve check lists and bird species handbooks. The winner must complete the route and bring the largest number of birds’ pictures before 12 am on Sunday, September 14.

The White Crane Filght race finish is in Brykin Bor - visit center of the Oksky Biosphere Reserve. Here, in the Rare Crane Species Nursery rare crane species live. Special part of the nuresry work is breeding and growing of White Siberian Cranes. The race will end with the Crane Day celebration, devoted to White Siberian Crane conservation.

The competition is organized by Birds and People birding club, International Socio-Ecological Union Forest campaign, Oksky State Biosphere Nature Reserve, The UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetland Project

Information Partner: Off-road Drive magazine

Additional information
Nina Gorelova
ngorelova(a)birder.ru

Olga Zakharova
oz_forest(a)mail.ru

Preliminary route map is here:
The White Crane Flight

More about the Siberian Crane and The UNEP/GEF Siberian crane Wetland project

The UNEP/GEF Siberian Crane Wetland Project is aimed on conservation of Siberian Crane nesting grounds in forest tundra of Ob river basin and in Eastern Siberia in Arctic tundra of Sakha Republic (Yakutia). These wild wetlands of tundra and forest tundra are vulnerable to climate change and are already affected by it. The Siberian Crane nesting grounds may be also threatened by oil extraction. To protect and conserve these grounds for Siberian Cranes, special management plans for these area are developed during the project, these management plans will protect the interests of endangered species.

Siberian Crane is one of the unique species well-adapted to severe conditions of tundra. Russian tundra is the only nesting ground of Siberian crane. Tundra is the Cranes’ home for four months, and then they travel to wintering grounds in China through Russian and Kazakhstan steppes. Once multiple, like white clouds, now the Siberian Cranes may be only tracked by ornitologists. The reasons for extinction - hunting and degradation of wintering grounds - lack of water and overpoplulation make winter a hardship for the Cranes.
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