Globally threatened birds of the valley of the Desna River and their protection

Gleb Gavris

The Desna River in the Ukraine is one of the Eastern Europe's largest undeveloped wetlands. Working in a 172 sq. km. area at the top of the river this project will investigate the status, distribution and habitat requirements of several globally threatened species, including the White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla), Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga), Corncrake (Crex crex), Great Snip (Gallinago media) and Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola). The information gathered will be used by this team of Ukrainians from the Institute of Zoology, Kyiv National University, Bryansk University and the 'Bryansky Les' Reserve to identify prospective Important Bird Areas and assist with the creation of protected areas. Preliminary report received on July 11 1997, no Haliaeetus albicilla or Acrocephalus paludicola found, further work is needed on Aquila clanga, lek of 15 male Gallinago media found. A number of other rare bird species were found, some with proven breeding for the first time. Suggestions for the creation of a protected area at the site of the Great Snipe lek were made and data from the expedition will be used for the expansion of the 'Bryansky Les' reserve in Russia and the creation of a new reserve in the Sedyna-Buda region of Ukraine. The results will add to the possibility of the creation of an International Russian-Ukrainian reserve on the valley of the top of the Desna River.