Winter feeding of animals began in protected areas

Winter feeding of animals began in protected areas

Traditionally, winter animal feeding activities have begun in specially protected natural areas. During this period, it is difficult for ungulates to get food for themselves because of the snow cover, which makes herbaceous plants difficult to access. Other animals also have a hard time in winter. The Roszapovedcenter reported on its website how this problem is being solved by protected areas.

So, in the national park "Shushenskiy Bor" (Krasnoyarsk Territory), measures are being taken to support the Siberian roe deer - they create forage fields and a system of salt pans. This contributes to the concentration of roe deer on the territory of the Perovsk cluster, where there is a strict security regime that excludes hunting and anxiety.

"In order for ungulates not to compete for food, fertilizing using birch brooms soaked in saline solution is organized on the territory of the Perovsk cluster of protected areas. This type of top dressing is especially relevant in the presence of a crust, when it is more difficult for a roe deer to get food <...> Observations of roe deer using camera traps help to clarify its number in this area of the national park," Elena Shikalova, deputy director for scientific work of the joint directorate of the Sayano–Shushensky Reserve and the Shushensky Bor National Park, is quoted in the message.

In the Moscow part of the Moose Island park, hay and a mixture of grain are laid out daily on feeding grounds in winter.

"Without fail, the feeders are also replenished with salt. The national park notes that moose, feeling the need for salt, sometimes go out on the roads in search of this important mineral supplement. In order to avoid incidents, Moose Island places pink Himalayan salt on the feeding grounds. It contains a large number of useful micro- and macronutrients, including iron, iodine, magnesium, calcium, copper, and potassium. It promotes proper digestion and supports the animal's body in winter," the Roszapovedcenter said.

Moreover, not only moose, but also deer, hares, squirrels and many mice come to artificial feeding with Himalayan salt. All of them lack salt, without which the animals' immunity decreases, appetite disappears and motor activity decreases.

Employees of the Sailugem National Park (Altai Republic) lay salt pans for animals every year on the eve of the winter season. Feeding with rock salt attracts the Red book Altai mountain sheep (argali) to the feeders. Minerals are essential for the health of ungulates, the growth of their horns and bones.

Seasonal feeding of animals is also carried out in the national park "Chikoy" (Trans-Baikal Territory). Recently, several animals, including roe deer, elk, raisins, bear and wolf, which were attracted by the salt marshes, got into the lenses of the camera traps installed in the feeding areas.

Acorns collected by volunteers have been delivered to the feeding grounds for wild boars in the Yalchinsky forestry of the Mari Chodra National Park (Mari El) this year. Grain waste, oats, corn and cake are also used in the national park to treat animals.

Cameras installed on feeding grounds of protected areas allow us to assess the effectiveness of such biotechnical measures, as well as to obtain valuable information about the number and behavior of animals, the Roszapovedcenter noted.
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