Mammal research and conservation in Belarus. The next level.

Siberian flying squirrel (Pteromys volans) (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda)

The Siberian flying squirrel is one of the very rare mammal species living in Belarusian forests (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda).

In 2012 volunteers of The Habitat Foundation trained 20 Belarusian biologists, foresters and students in bat research and conservation. Ten of them received bat detectors. Since then research on bats in Belarus intensified, resulting in locating new maternity colonies of bats. The national Red List of threatened mammals was revised.

During the Second phase we aim the same boost, but in research and conservation of the other mammal species. The Belarusian biologists came with the proposal for a follow-up of the workshop and extend it to research techniques for all mammal species.

Belarus has large areas of natural forests with a unique fauna. Timber wood is an important source of income. For the exploitation the Belarusian Forestry Service strives to receive FSC certification. This offers the opportunity to combine economic gains with nature conservation. FSC implies a sustainable forestry and that requires knowledge on the dynamics in the forests. Yet, little is known about the (small) mammals in the forests.

Dutch, Ukrainian and Belarusian mammal specialists will give a workshop in National park Naratsjanski, where the participants will learn about:

  • patterns in distribution, habitat use, population dynamics and conservation of mammals;
  • modern survey techniques;
  • mammal friendly forestry best practises.
PROJECT OBJECTIVES
  1. involve more people, especially young biologists, in mammal research and conservation;
  2. increase the awareness among foresters about mammals and their requirements in forests;
  3. improve the collaboration between European mammal specialists.

Target groups: Belarusian biologists, foresters and nature conservationists. The workshop will be held in June so students can incorporate the workshop in their curriculum.

Publicity: The workshop will be announced among governmental and non-governmental organisations, and the media. The participants will receive a certificate, the presentations and a compilation with relevant additional information.

PROJECT PARTNERS
  • The Belarussian Academy of Sciences.
  • BirdLife Belarus APB. APB has a bat working group under its wings.

Both organisations are involved to assure that the material received and the knowledge gained during the workshop is used by both GOs and NGOs.

Striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius) (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda)

Striped field mouse. One of the more common mammal species in Belarus (Photo: Rollin Verlinde / Vilda).

PROJECT OUTCOMES
  • More Belarusians with knowledge and experience in mammal research and conservation.
  • Increase in knowledge about mammal friendly forestry among Belarussian GOs and NGOs.
  • Belarusians have survey material and know how to use it.
  • Improved contacts between Belarusian and other European mammologists.
  • Publicity about mammals in Belarusian [and Dutch] media.
  • Stronger positioning of mammal research and conservation in Belarusian nature management.
  • More knowledge about distribution and habitat use of mammals, resulting in a better understanding of the importance of Belarus for mammal populations in Eastern Europe.
  • Intensified contacts between Belarusian, Ukrainian and Dutch mammal specialists, stimulating the exchange of knowledge and experience.
  • This project is part of the capacity building program Discover the mammals of Europe.
BUDGET NEEDED

€ 12,780.-

DURATION

2018

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