Surveys and Conservation of the Scaly-Sided Merganser in Russia

Surveys and Conservation of the Scaly-Sided Merganser in Russia

Project Animal(s) : Scaly-Sided Merganser
Project Category : Birds
Project Region : Asia
Project Type : Conservation
Project URL :
Project is timebound? : Yes

Project Start Date : February 27, 2012

Given the success of work to date, we are firstly going to provide artificial nest sites for female Scaly-sided Mergansers to improve habitat quality on other key breeding rivers in Russia. In recent years, we have found high heavy metal concentrations in Scaly-sided Merganser females and eggs presumably picked up on the wintering grounds in South China. As there are only an estimated 200 pairs of Scaly-sided Merganser breeding in China, survival of the species depends on the Russian breeding population (currently estimated at 1,600 pairs). The rivers of Far Eastern Russia are cleaner than those in China, with no industry and a much lower human population density. They are therefore the perfect place for another “SSM incubator”.

We aim to increase the breeding population in the Zhuravlevka catchment to 10-15 nests a year and plan to replace old AN along the Avvakumovka River where there were up to 3 nests a year. We also need to repair old AN in the Kievka catchment. We expect a higher occupation rate as we believe ducklings previously hatched from ANs are likely to be imprinted on this type of nest site. As AN removal by local people was found to be a contribute to nest failures, we plan to involve more local people and respected community members in our work in order to increase community information and interest and to reduce undesirable events such as illegal shooting, bycatch in fishing nets and AN destruction. We plan to open a visitor centre (currently under construction) where we can demonstrate nest box construction and the expected conservation effect of the work planned under this grant.

Project Researcher : Diana Solovyeva

Project Researcher Contact :