Kronotsky, Koryaksky reserves and South Kamchatka federal sanctuary with their rich flora and fauna, active volcanism manifestations, landscape diversity are in the focus of attention of international scientific community. The results of diversified scientific investigations form the basis of Kamchatka wild nature conservation strategy.
Fundamental research is executed by the specialists of the scientific department of FSBI “Kronotsky state reserve”. The staff of the organization includes an ornithologist, an entomologist, a marine biologist, a mammalogist, an ichthyologist, a geobotanist, a recreation pressure specialist, a geographer and other experts. Many research projects are implemented in collaboration with various leading scientific organizations of Russia.
The work is performed according to three fields:
1. Study and monitoring of natural complexes, development of their conservation strategy.
Scientists conduct monitoring of Kamchatka’s last wild Northern reindeer population, examine places of its habitation. There are about 500 animals left, their single group dwells in Kronotsky reserve.
A multi-year project devoted to the study of Kronotskoye Lake ichthyofauna is still continued. Specialists revealed eight endemic species of char which orifinated from one and the same ancestor in the conditions of the lake’s isolated ecosystem. The project is implemented with the financial support of the President Grant Foundation.
Work on mapping the vegetation of thermal areas in the Geizernaya River valley and the Uzon Volcano caldera is being performed. The monitoring of a unique natural site – the Graceful Fir Grove, where Abies gracilis, a Kamchatka endemic, grows – is being conducted. The resulting data supplement the fundamental scientific work – Nature Records.
The study of nesting biology of rare poorly explored bird species – the Aleutian tern and Far-Eastern curlew – is being performed. The population of Steller’s sea eagles is being also investigated.
The monitoring of sea-otters, sea lion rookery on Cape Kozlova, the census of Pacific gray whales in Olga Bay are being conducted. The scientists care conducting the monitoring of sea mammals on Utashud Island in south Kamchatka federal sanctuary.
2. Scientific support of ecological tourism. Enhancing the social and economic significance of conservation areas.
On the basis of scientific data specialists estimate the maximum permissible environmental load on the ecosystems: determine the maximum number of excursion routes visitors, provide recommendations on infrastructural arrangement and exploitation of the routes, offer ways of the route network optimization for reducing anthropogenic pressure on the excursion objects that are the most popular among tourists.
The “Ecotourism in the land of bears – rules of bear hospitality” project is being executed which is devoted to the study of the South Kamchatka federal sanctuary named after T.I. Shpilenok visitos’ influence on the behavior of brown bears. The project is implemented with the grant support of the Russian Geographical Society.
Interdisciplinary scientific investigations are conducted in the south of Kamchatka. Experts hold social polling of conservation areas visitors and residents of the nearby settlements; teach local people the basic principles of agricultural and ecological tourism organization in order it could be an economic alternative for poaching (organization of receiving and accommodating tourists, providing excursions, selling wild harvest and homemade souvenirs); organize work on the promotion of ecological culture of the younger generation. Some projects are implemented with the support of the President Grant Foundation and Timchenko Foundation.
3. Working out recommendations on issues of ecology, natural resources exploitation and strategic development of Kamchatka krai. Expert assistance to other specially protected natural areas. Experience exchange.
Intellectual capital accumulated for many years allows the institution to respond to the inquiries of the organs which are responsible for social and economic developments of the region, to provide them with expert assessments and practical recommendations. Among them we can mention the contribution of the institution to the “TOR “Kamchatka” project and participation in the “Strategies of tourism development in Kamchatka krai for the period up to 2025” project development.
Every year specialists if the scientific department present the results of their research at Russian and international scientific conferences. For the recent years dozens of scientific works, articles, monographies, field guides and atlases have been published.