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WWF-Russia and HSBC Bank joined efforts to save the Oriental white stork

11 august 2014
WWF-Russia with the support of HSBC Bank launch the project to increase the number of the Oriental white stork.

Oriental white stork is an indicator of the quality and purity of the water of the Amur River, one of the 10 world's greatest rivers. Stork disappeared from Japan and South Korea in the 1970s due to the significant use of pesticides. Now Amur River and wetlands is the only breeding ground of this extremely rare bird.

Habitat degradation and poaching are the main factors limiting the growth of the stork. Steppe fires and logging in stork nesting sites also have negative impact on the population status.

The big danger is contamination of the environment with pesticides that birds get with fish, the main food for storks.  The decrease in stork population is also caused by illegal mining as well as by draining reservoirs in dry years and the death of freshwater organisms in winter period. Many of these factors can be substantially reduced. For this purpose a joint WWF-Russia and HSBC Bank project of plans to implement the following tasks:

  1. Conduct stork nests inventory.
  2. Carry out monitoring of the condition of trees with nests.
  3. Spread “Stork nest keepers” public movement
  4. Prevent nest trees from fire.
  5. Maintaining stork habitat and food resources.

For 10 years with the support of WWF Russia Amur Branch area of ​ protected areas of the Russian part of the Amur basin within Oriental white stork nesting grounds has been increased by 2.5 times - up to 15,594 km2. Annually specialists prevent nesting trees from fires and actively work with the local population for better awareness of this rare bird species conservation.

More than 10 years public organizations perform work for the conservation of storks in the Amurskaya and Evreiskaya provinces, including public movement “Stork nest keepers”. According to the research the number of Oriental white stork in Amurskaya province from 1999 to 2011 has increased from 530 to 1150 individuals.

«The support for the project “Stork nest keepers” is provided from various organizations. In recent years, this program was supported by Amway and Boeing companies. The partnership with HSBC Bank will not only increase the number of stork nests on model areas by 20%, but will also improve the living conditions of the stork in the Far East »- says Peter Osipov, coordinator of the ”Amur” program  at WWF-Russia Amur branch.