Daily Archives: 15.03.2017

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Tyumen ornithologists have recorded a northerly expansion in the natural habitat of the mute swan. Climate change in the region over the past decades has led to more favourable environmental conditions for the birds.

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“The mute swan is a rare species of Tyumen region fauna showing a tendency towards growth in its numbers and its habitat. This species can be found in marshes all over Western Europe, in Central and the south of Eastern Europe as well as in the steppe and partly forest-steppe areas of the Urals, Trans-Urals and Western Siberia. During migration and summer the bird has begun to fly up to the Arctic coast of the tundra”, said Maria Lupinos, the Assistant Professor of Zoology and Evolutionary Animal Ecology Department, Tyumen State University.

The ornithologist notes that, at present, Tyumen and its neighboring regions are experiencing higher temperatures and a drier climate during summer. This has led to more favorable conditions for the mute swan to inhabit bodies of water in Tyumen region’s forest zone, including maintaining the best hydrological conditions for the development of surface vegetation.

In the XVIII and XIX centuries, the mute swan was hunted almost to the point of extinction: its skin was in high demand due to a fashion in swan-feather women’s jewelry. Due to the fact that the mute swan is less cautious than the whooper swan, its numbers dwindled within a short period of time on the vast territory of Western Siberia and Kazakhstan and it almost became extinct.

Only from the mid-twentieth century did the mute swan start returning to Tyumen region as a rare vagrant and irregular breeding species. UT ornithologists argue that current factors enable the formation of a stable population of this species.

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Tyumen photographer dreams of unusual stories about his hometown.

Pictures by Oleg Sikarev