White Sea Birds Atlas progress report

Atlas-Identification Book “Birds of North Karelian Coastline of the White Sea” – Our Input into Conservation of Rare Bird Species and their Habitats.

embed_asset.pngVasily Efimov and Yulia Suprunenko – we are residents of the White Sea coas, and are working on getting the illustrated Atlas-Identification Book “Birds of North Karelian Coastline of the White Sea” published. You can also participate in the conservation of the White Sea birds making all possible financial contribution into the publishing of this Atlas-Identification Book. I am the native resident of the White Sea coastline, boater and fisherman.

embed_asset.png.jpg_1My wife is a biologist, postgraduate of the Scientific Research Institute for Natural and Cultural Heritage, project field coordinator for sustainable development of the White Sea (NPO “Basin Council of the North Karelian Coastline”).

Why this Atlas?

Every year more and more tourists tend to come to the White Sea. Here there are no hotels and camps, and tourists have to camp in any point of the seashore. But much earlier, before tourists happened to be here, birds settled on this shore. World ecological community has acknowledged islands of Kandalaksha Bay as a unique habitat for waterfowl. Kandalaksha Bay possesses the international status and is protected by the Ramsar Convention. Every year these places serve for breeding, feeding and relax for tens of thousands of birds.

Common eider (Somateria mollissima). Male and female birds

Common eider (Somateria mollissima). Male and female birds

When settling down on the White Sea shore almost none of the tourist thinks about the fact that very close to them there could be the bird’s “maternity home”, dining area or relax place. The most terrible thing is that tourists do not even suspect what harm they can cause to birds. Every mother, whether it is a human being, animal or bird, will feel uncomfortable, if a group of tourists comes to her “maternity home”. Because of anxiety in the beginning of nesting a bird can leave the nest. If a bird scared by human beings flies away from the nest for a while, eggs become a pushover for crows and seagulls, or are lost because of overcooling. Anxiety often is a cause of death of nestlings – without protection of a mother, which tries to distract attention of a man from its baby birds, the chicks are attacked by predators. Trying to escape anxiety, hatches, instead of feeding quietly, constantly move from one place to another, and as a result chicks die from malnutrition.

Baby bird of Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)

Baby bird of Arctic Skua (Stercorarius parasiticus)

Contents and distribution of the Atlas

We will explain in the Atlas-Identification Book how people should behave on the White Sea coast in order not to cause harm to birds. Colorful pictures of birds will help to identify their species. The pictures will be accompanied by brief description of habits and habitats of birds on pictures. We will describe rules and measures for safe behavior near our feathered friends, including rules of behavior of animal photographers when they make pictures of birds in natural conditions.

The Atlas-Identification Book will not be sold – we will distribute it free among those who organize tourism on the White Sea, as well as will distribute it in thematic social networks, at forums and sites, etc.

Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Preliminary Work

We treat our work in a very responsible way. For the creation of the Atlas-Identification Book we will investigate and describe regions, where there are main tourists’ water routes and where the sea, coastal precious and rare bird species are nesting and feeding. It is Karelian coastline from Cape Sharapov up to Cape Kindo. We will attract highly qualified specialists in ornithology from Kandalaksha nature reserve, Biological faculty of the State Moscow University, Zoological Museum of the State Moscow University, from Russian Bird Conservation Union, Murmansk Marine Biological Institute of the Russia’s Academy of Sciences. Approximate period of the project implementation is 2 years. The reason for such a long period is due to the vast territory for investigation, very short summer season suitable for investigation, and specialists to be attracted for the project implementation that are of high demand.

krasnovaKrasnova Yelena Dmitrievna, Candidate of Biology, senior research fellow of the White Sea Biological Station of the State Moscow University after M.V.Lomonosov, specialist for the White Sea region bird and ecosystem protection.



ejovYezhov Alexey Viktorovich, marine ornithologist, research fellow for the Murmansk Marine Biological Institute of the Russia’s Academy of Sciences.



How much Money is Required and How it will be Spent

In order to fulfill this work and publish the Atlas-Identification Book we need a budget of 350 thousand roubles. We understand that it will be difficult to collect this money during 33 days and we decided to divide it in two parts. Now we need to collect only 100 thousand roubles. This money will help us to investigate the territory and publish the Atlas-Identification Book in electronic form. Other 250 thousand roubles we are planning to collect attracting sponsors from different funds (WWF, Wildlife Protection Center, National Geographic, Lighthouse Foundation).

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Main Expense Items:

– transport expenses;

– foodstuff for the period of the expedition;

– field expedition equipment (camping equipment, tourist’s outfit);

– apparatus (photo equipment, GPS-navigators, binoculars);

– publishing costs for issuing the Atlas-Identification Book.


All project organizers are working free of charge!

If together with you we are able to collect 100 of 350 thousand roubles during 33 days, the expedition for investigation of the territory and the Atlas drafting will start as early as this summer!

How to Contribute

Dear friends, let’s do this! There are many thousands of us who love the White Sea and its nature. Let’s demonstrate our love in practice! Any hassle-free for you amount – of 50, 100, 500, 1000 roubles – will help us to collect the necessary money. For any donated amount you will receive our gratitude and gratitude of the White Sea birds (birds’ photos, electronic or hard copy of the Atlas, etc.)

In the column “Support”, it is on the right, choose the amount, which you are ready to donate. Register in the boomstarter system – it is necessary for us to thank you at the end of the project. The boomstarter company is an official company, in the bottom of the site there is a user agreement and all contact information. After registration you will be proposed to choose one of the payment variants convenient to you (credit card, mobile telephone, electronic money, etc.).

In case we are not able to collect the necessary amount of 100 thousand roubles, all money will be returned to you.

Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)

Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea)


Learn about the progress of work

All information on the progress of our work, photo and video reports we will disclose:

– in our group in VKontakte – http://vk.com/club66759278

– in our group in Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/293372120817000/

You can ask any questions about our work on boomstarter site and in our groups in social networks, and we will answer them with great pleasure.

Let’s protect the White Sea and our feathered friends!

White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)

White-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla)



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