the Village of Chersky, where the headquarters zimova and his team, caught in the mouth of the Kolyma river up to the Arctic circle by hand. Here queer people academic tribe began to build a… Park of the Pleistocene.
– That is the Precambrian period?
– No, after the Cambrian, – says Sergey Afanasievich Zimov, author of the project is quite modern, born in 1988, i.e. during the Soviet Union.
Well, let “after”… But dinosaurs are not yet gone?
– There, on the edge was. But we intend to revive them. The main thing – that was pasture. More precisely, the mammoth steppe – which dominated the pre-tundra open spaces in the Pleistocene period. They were grazing mammoths. And they are not alone.
– the Ministry of natural resources in September 2019 has submitted a report that counted all the natural wealth of Russia, – says Sergey Kostenko. – Turns out: the income from wildlife exceed the income from timber and gold mining. For residents of big cities deer meat – exotic. But for many regions and Nations – this is a common food. Wild animals is an important part of the budget the Russians. (But not Russia.)
Mineral resources are not renewable, forests grow slowly, and the number of game animals can evolve quickly. In the nature of Russia returned to the previously decimated our smaller brothers: back in the Przewalski’s horse in Central Yakutia and in the North-East appeared the bison, the musk ox inhabited the North of Siberia, its population exceeded 9 thousand heads. A growing number of tigers and leopards. In many regions the number of animals can be increased ten times only security measures. For example, climate and vegetation of Alaska close to Sakha, but the density of moose in Alaska is 4 times higher, and surrounded by icebergs Newfoundland moose density above 40 times, they are 150 thousand. All of them are descendants of four moose introduced here in 1904.
In many regions of Russia the density of wild animals can be increased hundreds of times. In our “Pleistocene Park” in Orenburg and Park “Wild field” has already created a model ecosystem with a density of herbivorous 10-30 tons / km in These ecosystems we can create across the country.
Permafrost is 60 percent of the territory of Russia. Especially fast climate warming in Northern Siberia. Here the temperature has risen 2-3 C, and in the coming decades, as the climate models, will rise another 3-6 S. Nature will react to it. First thaw the permafrost, then shrink ground water, dry soil, pests will appear.
If the old ecosystem to save, you need to learn to create new ones. And such experience in Russia. In 1948-53 he destroyed, hungry country, designing new landscapes, changed the nature and climate on the territory of more than one million square kilometers. Was created a dense network of shelterbelts, they stopped dry��Wei, the snow ceased to blow from the fields in the ravines. The result is a huge area turned into a zone of sustainable agriculture, the landscape became more comfortable. Most of the trees that are growing today between the Tula and the Caucasus, appeared at the time. Functionally the steppe turned to Savannah.
– Let’s look at the story differently – suggests Sergei Afanasievich starts with… sable. Thanks sable and expense Russia became the largest country. 400 years ago it was the same for Russia that oil today. Russian sable was in Europe more expensive than gold. Ermak, Khabarov, Dezhnev… went to Siberia and came to Alaska in pursuit of him. In the end, this “sable fever” he was cut off almost everywhere. In 1917, in the midst of war by decree of the last Emperor, around the asylum where I was hiding last 30 Sables, was organized by Russia’s first nature reserve. One of his first decrees of the Soviet government resumed its funding of works for restoration of sable. As a result, he once again spread across the whole of Siberia, and the skins again were sold at international auctions at the price of gold.
Kolyma lowland was inhabited by a million wild deer. Just opposite the mouth of the river Anyuy Royal Sergeant at the crossing of the Kolyma, numbered in the autumn of 150 thousand heads. Pile of deer produced each year was longer than a kilometer. In the twentieth century, the last “savages” in the area were destroyed. Began a period ballestero home of reindeer herding, there were tens of thousands of domestic reindeer (wild reindeer and reindeer herding in the same territory are incompatible. “Savages” will take home.).
On the Taimyr Peninsula in the 80-ies of the last century it was the opposite: here in deer farms were tens of thousands of deer. Economy collapsed, and soon there was a million-strong population of wild deer.
Wild deer can live settled. For example, in the most severe conditions in the North of the Peninsula in the Gulf of Ob (away from people) wild deer are sedentary. And the herders are forced to migrate. Tundra rich foods, and herders tend to use them to the maximum. But to live in the tundra in the winter without firewood and carolinathe herd in a Blizzard during the polar night is difficult. Winter nomads goes South to the wood, under the protection of the forest. And in the mossy forests under the shade of the trees aft a little, here a lot of only lichen moss. But moss grows very slowly, millimeters per year and it takes decades to recover. Therefore, as it did not have a lot of grass in the tundra, the productivity of reindeer herding is limited by the productivity of lichen, and reindeer herding – the poorest sector of agriculture – 1 reindeer (100 kg) per one hundred hectares of pasture. Wild deer are not tied to the lichen, and on the same area can support more.
On the Arctic Wrangel island – the climate suthat. Nevertheless, Wrangell – not a desert. In the 30-ies of the last century there worked a botanist B. N. Towns. He calculated that the island will be able to feed 300-400 deer. In 60-ies here, has released 150 of the domesticated reindeer, and in the ‘ 70s – 20 musk oxen. And in our century, the herd is already fully feral deer reached 10 000 horses, and musk oxen (they are 3 times bigger deer) – 1000. The herbivorous population of snow geese has risen here to a few tens of thousands of pairs. And this is, by mass, in terms of deer, 3,000 heads. In the result, the mass of herbivores exceeded the estimated 40 times. It happened because they change the vegetation, trampling the slow-growing inedible moss, fertilize the ground and stimulate the growth of productive grasses. The result among reserves in Russia today, the island of Wrangell (the poor climate) became the richest in number of animals.
the People of Sakha are the most numerous of the northerners. The Yakuts live sedentary. For their cows, they winter on hay, and their semi-wild horses all year round independently of grazing on meadow Elasah. Even in the harshest places in the district of Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon. One of the Yakut horse for a year need only 4 hectares of meadow pasture, and she’s bigger than a deer 4 times. Therefore, the breeding productivity per unit area 100 times higher than for reindeer herding. 400 thousand Yakut horses in Soviet times, gave the production as much as all the reindeer.
In ancient times every square kilometer of grassland North of Yakutia on average lived 5 Buffalo, 7 horses, 15 reindeer, 1 adult mammoth, and even fewer musk oxen, deer, rhinos, bighorn sheep, saiga antelope, elk, and sometimes yaks, 1-2 wolves, wolverines, Arctic foxes, ground squirrels… By weight approximately 10 tons. It is – as today’s density of horses in the meadows of Yakutia.
the Soils are poor, waterlogged. Especially on permafrost, which does not allow water to go into the ground. The biological cycle is slow. Plants take from the soil the nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and until they die off and rot, the nutrients in the soil are not returned. And decay in cold wet soils is slow, so organic matter accumulates. Because of its abundance of acidic soil, of which leached nutrients.
nobody eats Moss, so moss territory is a biological desert. But mosses are not able to completely defeat throughout. On the floodplains they are not, as moss cannot withstand periodic flooding. It is brittle, so it easily destroy the animals and the process of erosion: frost heave, thermokarst, and fires, which in this supersaturated organic landscape is inevitable. Turf burn, appear mineral soils. If the number of remained trees, and productive on seeds, then there is perekoshennyy highly productive young forest, up to 3 million young larches GEchar. It looks like bamboo. But most often in loamy soils the surface quickly overrun the grass. But these communities without external assistance unstable – accumulating herbal rags, soils get poorer, and herbs are eventually replaced by shrubs, trees, mosses.
the polar opposite of moss ecosystems for life – flemingovia meadows of the North. Lemmings over the winter under the snow on their pastures mowed all the vegetation, eat all the grass here does not accumulate organic matter, and nutrients are quickly returned to the soil. The productivity of the vegetation here is much higher than in the tundra moss. A rapid biological cycle occurs in the pastures of the Yakut horses. Soil organic matter is rotting over the years. And in the warm stomachs of lemmings and horses in summer and in winter it is digested in just one day. All nutrients are quickly returned to the soil.
About the nature of the North and Siberia often say – “pristine”. This is incorrect. Tundra, mossy forests, dense taiga appeared only 12 thousand years ago. And before that they never had. In the past on the territory of Russia was dominated by grass.
Previously, the main ecosystems on the territory of Russia was the mammoth steppe and savanna. It was a highly productive rich ecosystems like the African Savannah. In the mammoth steppe animals maintained their grassy pastures. Therefore, they did not depend on climate and existed at the same time from Spain to California, and from China to the Arctic Islands. This whole area is full of bones of bison, horses, mammoths, deer… During lednikoviy because of the cold decreased the number of trees in the North dominated the steppe, and during warm milenkovi on poor soils, where poorly growing grass – appearing parkland. 12 thousand years ago, this ecosystem has disappeared everywhere. All plants survived, most of the animals preserved and the ecosystem is gone.
We know a lot about this ecosystem, because it has been preserved in the permafrost. During glaciations it was cold and windy, there were many areas with sparse vegetation. With the ridges of the mountains, river and sea banks, with sand dunes wind blown dust. She settled in quiet places, including the plains of Northern Siberia. Annual layer of dust was on average only 0.1-0.5 mm. But for 40 thousand years of dust on the plains have accumulated 4-20 m, and all she had left in the permafrost. All of these precipitation in the past was soil mammoth steppe. In Siberia they are called Edom. Edomi filled with fresh roots and herbs, the living germs, seeds, bones, and sometimes animal carcasses. On the nature of the vegetation of the region in the past, scientists judge the composition of spores and pollen from edomi. In Edom, a strange mixture of herbs and low vegetation. This is because to passTimah all a sidelong look, pollen is not matured, and to this territory the wind brings dust, pollen and spores from bare areas where vegetation was poor. On the Peninsula Kenny (AK) in the permafrost preserved even vegetation and snow cover that era. There are 18 thousand years ago in April the volcano erupted, and the cold ashes filled all around. Somewhere a layer of this ash was higher than a meter, but thaws over the summer, less than a meter. Under a layer of ashes of the snow melted, and the entire ecosystem went into the permafrost. In these places it is evident that it was a grassland ecosystem, and all the grass in April, was already eaten (the cut), and turned into manure.
the mammoth steppe Soil fertile. The nutrient content in them is much higher than in modern tundra soils. The richness of ecosystem and says the number of bones. For locals, the collection of tusks – the most profitable business.
Man, as a species, appeared in grazing ecosystems, the richest but also the most dangerous. Here were all well armed – fangs, claws, horns, hooves, and a man a serious weapon did not appear immediately. The man was the most slowly reproducing species, the most numerous are burdened with defenseless brood.
What he ate in the wilderness? Herb “not tough”, the stomach is weak. Seeds regularly mowed grasses matured rarely hunt large animals was dangerous. The wolves have 8 puppies that are a year or almost adults. For the wolf pack losing 2-3 wolves per year is acceptable. Man was multiplied 100 times slower and could not risk hunting. But the man had a reliable grocery base that no one could take away: powerful liver people can eat even raw onions, garlic, sorrel, dill… Thanks to fire these inedible to most grazing animals, the weeds become sweet.
In Africa, people lived in balance with nature, and nature in Africa (South of Sahara) grassland ecosystem preserved. But in North America, after the appearance of man disappeared 33 species of megafauna; South American disappeared almost all species of large animals – 50 species. The animals here were not frightened, and killing them was easy and safe. Large animals killed for one Breakfast. Animals were so much that it was easier to kill the new beast than to carry supplies.
On the territory of the present Russian man lived for a long time and destroyed wild animals not all and not immediately. In the most inaccessible places, for example, in the North of the Taimyr Peninsula, they still lived a long time. Here, the musk oxen survived to historical times. Pre-historic times, the mammoths lived on Wrangel island.
Initially, the man only reduced the number of animals. But it was enough to destroy a single grassland ecosystem. Bioregulator slowed down, the soil began to lose pplodorodie, the productivity of grasses decreased, food for herbivores became less and hunting press all increased, the weapons were improved quickly. 7 thousand years ago, forests occupied most of Europe. Wildlife was very little, and in order to survive, people engaged in agriculture has domesticated many plants and animals. In fact, he has created under your full control a new, highly resourceful grassland ecosystems – the cereal fields (wheat, barley, rye, rice), hayfields and pastures with cows, sheep, horses, and actually started a fire ax to win from the forest land for their “pastures”. Rich people in Europe, most deciduous forests have been destroyed, and the remainder grazed cattle, and they became parkland. And then came the turn and up to pine forests.
Grassland, already home again seized the territory.
In our country a lot of free land. Used agricultural land and forests with a drill wood make up only 20 percent of the territory. We have tens of millions of hectares of arable land and former grasslands overgrown with weeds and bushes; lots of grassy river valleys, hosereel, ulasov of forest burnt areas, and their area every year is growing and will grow.
Yes, the wildlife is dangerous, but with the advent of light metal grids “wild” and “home” – site can be reliably separated.
Wild ecosystems with many millions of animals can be a global food reserve. In an emergency of them without much damage, you can withdraw half of the biomass. For two years the ecosystem will be restored.
the Big problem of the country – fires. Every year we have to mow and aphivat vast territory. In grassland ecosystems, fire is not possible, the cloth does not accumulate here. Perekoshennyy, overloaded with organic matter of the forest hurt and burn like gunpowder. The trees here do not grow mighty. Forests need to be cleaned and thinned. This hard work always gave the animals. Park forests do not burn. In the spring of hungry animals eat even the fallen leaves (and mushrooms in the Park forests more).
Grassland ecosystems will help to maintain the traditional way of life of the peoples of the North and Siberia, provide them with a decent earnings.
While the nature of the poor, all whose life is connected with it, including service for the conservation of nature, environmental scientists… are not rich. Lichen science will not support. Not having their income and live from other people’s graces and here, “on the porch” – more serves the one terrible rags, “who the vulnerable nature”.
will be Able to increase the productivity of the Northern territories a hundred times, and everyone who is able to work in harsh conditions in emergency mode will be provided with a decent earnings.
Sergei Afanasyevich, would you which option to choose?
the fence. Fenced territory with aboutbaliem herbs, where they produce all potential inhabitants, all former “citizens” mammoth savannas. That is, immediately gives the density, close to the limit, such that the system works in the first year, so that by spring, almost all was eaten. It immediately begins to develop a social structure. Experiments in “Pleistocene Park” and “the Wild Field” has shown that animals that previously lived in the same ecosystem and separated for thousands of years, met again, quickly reminded that they are on the same team.
it is not necessary to populate the parks wild animals. Today wild animals are animals with a bad mentality, they have never been masters of their own land, they are afraid of man. New pasture ecosystems is easier and cheaper to settle not wild, and polulokalnye animals. Home red deer, reindeer, yaks, mouflons, Kalmyk and Kazakh cows, Bashkir and Yakut horses, deer, camels in the agricultural markets of Russia, many thousands, and their price is usually 100-200 rubles per kilogram of body weight.
In Canada and the United States each year for meat sell tens of thousands of bison. Bison meat – a product with premium, is it twice as expensive as beef. In Australia, domesticated camels were released into the wild. Now here totally 1.2 million wild camels.
best of all dig a snow horse, reindeer, musk oxen and bison (they dig head). Wherever a lot of snow and little bushes, these animals are likely to be the most numerous. All the snow is dug to the ground. Therefore, near these large animals can feed themselves, and small – deer, saiga antelope.
domestic reindeer in Western Siberia used in the winter to feed on moss. They are hard to turn on grass. It might be better to experiment with Chukchi charginos or deer of southern Siberia and Mongolia.
because of the coronavirus, called for climate activists, it happened: the planes do not fly, many plants do not smoke. The emission of CO2 in the atmosphere decreased. But this does not solve the problem of warming. Soon, the major challenge that climate may be the melting of permafrost.
the Permafrost is the largest reservoir of organic carbon. It is stocked 1670 billion tons. It is 12 times more than all the tropical forests, 30 times more than all the timber reserves in Russia, more than all the world’s oil reserves, and two times more than it is contained in the atmosphere.
due to climate warming this permafrost is already beginning to melt. And not just over its southern border, but even in the most inhospitable lands. In the past soil in the lower reaches of the Kolyma river over the summer thawed at 35-160 cm, and in November-January were completely frozen. In the summer of 2017 in places where there is no moss, turf, power melt layer increased sharply to 0.8-2.2 m. During the winter in all these places due to the abundance of snow the soil is frozen only nand 0.4-1.0 m, all of the remaining melt layer. In the fall of 2018, the roof of permafrost in some places fell to 3.5 m (At this time our monitoring station in the Bay of Ambarchik recorded a sharp increase in atmospheric CO2).
Winter 2018-2019, was cold and snowy, and seemingly melt layer would have to re-freeze. But this did not happen. On the contrary, the melting of permafrost has continued, and highs in the fall of 2019 its roof fell below four meters. It happened because in the thawed permafrost woke up microbes, and the decomposition of ancient organic matter; this releases heat, it is enough to restrain the freezing of the soil.
against the background of warming, the only way to stop the melting of permafrost is to reduce the thickness of the snow. If you compact the snow, the temperature of permafrost will decrease by a few degrees. This work is ready for free all winter to deal with herbivores.
– You mean your Park animals of the Pleistocene?
– in the first place. All that is required to slow down the melting of the permafrost, to increase the number of animals. They will find all the places where melting permafrost, and new grass will come here and cool the permafrost.
– a Couple of hundred ungulates and they will cope with the climate, Sergei Afanasievich, Oh it?
– the Animals strongly influence the climate. Animals thinned dark bushes and trees, the landscape becomes brighter and reflects more solar heat. The number of herbs and their productivity increases. The soil dry and organic matter begin to accumulate for all its depth. Grassland soils accumulate humus and organic matter more than it accumulates in forests. Moreover, this organic matter will not burn and will not return to the atmosphere. Marshes, shallow ponds, the main producers of methane, dry up and cease to isolate it. This outweighs methane emissions ruminants are herbivores.
the Speed of warming in the North is frightening. Do we have time to get ahead of the melting of the permafrost?
to significantly destroy the snow cover, you need 10-20 animals per square kilometer. If the melting of the permafrost will cover millions of square kilometers, to stop him, in the near time it will take tens of millions of animals. We have 2 million wild and domestic reindeer live on permafrost half a million elk, two hundred thousand Yakut horses, thousands of ROE deer, deer, musk oxen, bighorn sheep. When increase of 25.9 percent a year herbivores increase in numbers for 10 years, 10 times, 20 years – 100 times. We have a chance to significantly slow the melting of permafrost.
In 2019, the government of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) included the program “Pleistocene Park” in the list of main directions of state policy of the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) in the Arctic for the period up to 2024.