Nowhere else in Moscow Province can one find such extensive wetlands as
those preserved here, which provide a habitat to dozens of rare plant and
animal species. Every autumn, no over a thousand common cranes gather around
the bogs before flying south for the winter. The area is home to 13 provincial
wildlife sanctuaries and natural monuments. The largest of these is the
Homeland of the Crane, established in 1979 on the initiative of the Nature
Protection Team. Counts of migrating and nesting cranes have been done here
for years, and raids to protect the sanctuary are carried out. The Homeland
of the Crane is used as a base for various conferences and workshops.
The programme aims to conserve the biological diversity of the north-eastern
part of Moscow Province, and actively involves the local residents in this
· Look after important natural features;
· Work with state conservation organisations;
· Help land users adopt environmentally friendly ways of working;
· Provide the local population with detailed information on the problems
faced in preserving the local natural complexes.
The main projects are:
· Studying the dynamics of crane congregation at the Taldom migratory stopover
· The problems of conserving rare, protected species of sandpiper in agricultural
fields (drawing up and introducing recommendations for agricultural concerns);
· Providing local schools with educational resources on the wildlife of
the north-eastern part of Moscow Province;
· The Crane Festival.
During the time the programme has been in operation:
· A Museum of the Crane has been established (on the basis of a local museum);
· A book on the area's wildlife and people has been published;
· The annual Crane Festival -a holiday devoted to the autumn crane gathering-has
become a tradition. Local schoolchildren, people from surrounding villages
and artistic groups take part in it.