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Regulation of Spring and Autumn Hunting in the Kuma-Manych Depression, Russian Federation - 2010-2012

The recently project aiming to regulate spring and autumn hunting in the Kuma-Manych Depression near Kalmykia in south-western Russia has made very good progress in protecting this key site for the Lesser White-fronted Goose as well as other threatened species. Project milestones include an interregional meeting organized in June 2010 on the use of waterfowl between the three regional authorities (oblasts) in which the Kuma-Manych Depression lies. As a result the administration of Rostov Oblast decided to close spring hunting of waterfowl for the next five years. Spring hunting within the Kumo-Manych Depression area in the Republic of Kalmykia has been closed since 2009 and a further commitment was made at the meeting not to re-open spring hunting. An Interregional Working Group was established to continue work on these issues. A draft Action Plan for the optimization of the use of waterfowl at the Kumo-Manych stopover site has been updated by the Working Group and has been submitted to the local governments for adoption. Several workshops for hunters have also been organized concentrating on awareness-raising and identification skills and extensive monitoring was http://varley.net/online/ carried out in the area during spring and autumn migration. The results of the first year of the project were published within the AEWA Lesser White-fronted Goose International Working Group report series.

In its second year the project has focsed on further strengthen the established interregional cooperation as well as the cooperation with the local hunting organizations. This has  ensure that the Action Plan for the area is duly adopted and that the established hunting bans remain in place and are enforced. In addition, the project would in its second year also establish a network of feeding plots for the LWfG and Red-breasted Geese within the protected area at the Manych Nature Reserve through measures such as haying. Such activities have been successful elsewhere and would hopefully lead the geese to spend more time within the protected area.  The project would also cover spring and autumn monitoring. The project has been planned and coordinated by Ms. Sonia Rozenfeld from the Goose and Swans Study Group of Eastern Eurasia (RGG).