AltSU ornithologists implement a project to recreate a rare species of falcons - Altai Gyrfalcon

2 April 2021 Department of Information and Media Communications
Specialists of the AltSU laboratory of rare birds Altai-Falcon, which since 2020 became part of the Zoological Center organized at Altai State University, today celebrate their professional holiday - International Day of Birds.

On the eve of this date, AltSU ornithologists started incubating the eggs of their Red Book species, and talked about the development of the scientific and infrastructural base of the laboratory of rare birds.

“One of the tasks of the Zoological Center of AltSU is to improve the infrastructure of the laboratory Altai-Falcon in order to improve the technology for breeding rare birds. So, for example, we are now working on the creation of a building with rooms for incubating bird eggs on the territory of the nursery, as well as rearing young animals with their replanting in nests to parent individuals. But this project is still in development, so while taking into account the veterinary and sanitary requirements and veterinary legislation, we are incubating eggs in one of the premises of the laboratory "Museum of Nature,” said Sergei Snigirev, Director of the Zoological Center of the Institute of Biology and Biotechnology.

At present, Altai-Falcon offers six incubators of various types, and at the expense of AltSU, the laboratory has purchased a BLITS-72 digital incubator with a capacity of 75 eggs, which will soon be delivered the university. In the future, the Zoological Center will continue to equip the laboratory of rare birds with new modern equipment, introduce advanced incubation methods, in order to expand the Altai State University program for the reintroduction of rare birds and the preservation of the biodiversity of  Altai Krai.

“This year, despite the difficult climatic conditions and sharp temperature changes, thanks to the experience of our specialists, we managed to survive the winter period with the least losses in the nursery stock, unlike our colleagues from other region,” specified S. Snigirev.

This year, the Zoological Center of IBB expanded cooperation with the State Veterinary Service of Altai Krai represented by the territorial administration for the city of Barnaul, as well as Rosprirodnadzor, thus strengthening the level of interaction with all regulatory bodies and institutions in the region.

In addition, within the framework of the cooperation agreement, AltSU and the Institute of Cytology and Genetics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences are implementing a program to identify the genotypes of falcons and study the genetic mechanisms of their speciation. One of the directions of the program is the recreation of a rare species of dark-morphous falcons called Altai Gyrfalcon, which lives exclusively in Altai Krai.

“Currently, only the laboratory for rare birds of AltSU has a unique livestock and genetic potential for breeding this species of falcons. There are only a few hundred individuals in the region, so we are faced with the task of restoring this unique species in the artificial conditions of our nursery and reintroducing it,” summed up the Director of the Zoological Center of AltSU.

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