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Entries for 'jslaght'

AN UNLIKELY PAIR

(March 28, 2018)   -   Like old friends meeting for lunch, a cinereous vulture and a juvenile Steller’s sea eagle pose for a camera trap set along a game trail in the Sikhote-Alin Reserve in Russia.  While both cinereous vultures and Steller’s sea eagles are winter visitors to this corner of the southern Russian Far East, it’s possible that these two individuals had never encountered a member of the opposite species before.

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EAST OF SIBERIA: BY CHANCE, FOOD AND SHELTER

(September 27, 2016)   -     North of Ternei, in the province of Primorye where I conduct most of my research, there are no hotels and no restaurants. There are barely even people. There are only a half-dozen small settlements, logging towns or subsistence villages that are remote islands of humanity scattered broadly across a rolling sea of mountain and forest. When I travel to this wilderness it’s usually in a huge truck that doubles as a cabin, a hulking diesel we pack tightly with food and other supplies an...

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EAST OF SIBERIA: ARSENYEV IN THE LAND

(September 06, 2016)   -     I feel a kinship with Vladimir Arsenyev, the Russian topographer who explored Primorye a hundred years ago. We both know the secret places of these forests: the rivers where salmon spawn and the rocky outcroppings where tigers den. Arsenyev left an indelible mark not just on me, but on people across the province, with an entire city, a river, several museums, and multiple streets named after him today. Jonathan C. Slaght’s translation of Vladimir Arsenyev’s 1921 book Acro...

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EAST OF SIBERIA: TIGERS AND THE ART OF PERSUASION

(July 02, 2016)   -     The temperate rainforests of Primorye become dense and green in summer, a vastness lost on those within it. Visibility can drop to almost zero along shrub-crowded game trails, where dew-drenched grasses cling like needy toddlers and spider webs tangle in the unshaven faces of those pushing through. Animals, resting nearby in the daytime heat, crash away unseen, and a discordant symphony of birdsong pulses from the canopy. Everything is immediate and aromatic; a box packed tight with veget...

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EAST OF SIBERIA: THE OSPREY UNTIL IT WASN’T

(May 27, 2016)   -     In autumn 2012, hunters found a young osprey wandering the forest of coastal Primorye. Whereas most of these fish-eating raptors had long flown south for the winter this one walked, dragging its broken wing behind it through the fallen leaves. The hunters chased the bird down, put it in a cardboard box, and brought it to Sergei, a colleague of mine they knew worked for a bird conservation NGO. By the time the raptor reached him, however, the broken wing had fused. The osprey would never f...

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EAST OF SIBERIA: WALKING RIVERS WITH TIGERS

(May 05, 2016)   -     Why do tigers always seem to turn up when I’m looking for owls? My Russian colleagues and I spent about a month surveying for Blakiston’s fish owls in the Sikhote-Alin Reserve this winter, but mostly what we found was snow, cold, and tiger tracks. In fact, if we had been searching for tigers instead of fish owls, our expedition would have been a resounding success.   Read more here.  

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EAST OF SIBERIA: WHERE THERE IS NO TRACTOR

(April 20, 2016)   -     One of my favorite Russian sayings, roughly translated, is that the better your off-road vehicle, the further you’ll have to walk to find a tractor to pull you free when you get stuck. I consider this phrase regularly during each Blakiston’s fish owl winter field season. We purposefully seek out the hard-to-reach places; the quiet corners of Primorye these secretive owls might be found. We cross narrow mountain passes, struggle through gauntlets of willow along overgrown fores...

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VLADIMIR PUTIN VISITS TIGER REHAB CENTER IN PRIMORYE

(September 30, 2013)   -   Vladivostok — September 25, 2013 — In  late August, the WCS Russia Tiger Conflict Team worked with a variety of partners to translocate two orphaned tiger cubs to a rehabilitation facility. The resulting events included a cameo by Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin himself. Read more here.

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EAGLE VERSUS DEER

(September 29, 2013)   -   NEW YORK (September 23, 2013) — A camera trap set out for Amur tigers in the Russian Far East photographed something far more rare: a golden eagle capturing a young sika deer. The three images only cover a two-second period, but show an adult golden eagle clinging to the deer’s back. Its carcass was found two weeks later, just a few yards from the camera, initially puzzling researchers.The images first appeared in the September issue of the Journal of Raptor Research, and quickly ...

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GIANT OWLS NEED GIANT TREES

(August 15, 2013)   -   New York, N.Y. — August 15, 2013 — A study spearheaded by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Minnesota has shown that the world's largest owl – and one of the rarest – is also a key indicator of the health of some of the last great primary forests of Russia's Far East. The study found that Blakiston’s fish owl relies on old-growth forests along streams for both breeding and to support healthy populations of their favorite prey: s...

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