written by Zsófia Tóth

Turov is one of the floodplain meadows of the Pripyat River in the vicinity of Turov, Gomel Region, Belarus (52°04′N, 27°44′E), which is an important stopover site for waders during seasonal migrations. A characteristic feature of the study area is the large fluctuation of water level in the Pripyat River between years and seasons. In this year the Pripyat River had a huge water discharge due to the big amount of snow during winter. Therefore, the are looked like a sea with a lot of small islands (Image 1.), and we were rowing between the nests and birds.

In this site we have the following target species: Eurasian Lapwing, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Eurasian Oystercatcher and Common Ringed Plover. We found all together 218 nests (Image 2.): 109 Eurasian Lapwing, 84 Redshank, 15 Black-tailed Godwit, 7 Common Ringed Plover and 3 Eurasian Oystercatcher nests. We ringed 35 adults and more than 120 chicks on nest. Furthermore, with the help of Turov Ringing Station we could increase the colour ringed adult individuals to more than 100 individuals.

We successfully collected samples to collaborative studies such as preen oil for the Smelly Plover Project, blood for malaria and immunity, and sperm for a freshly started sperm competition project. Furthermore, we started to test nest protective cages in our shorebird population for the purpose of conservation.

Image 3.: Position of the nests we found, please note that the dots of the nests can overlap. Therefore one dot can pin more nests at the same time. Furthermore this map do not present the actual water level during this season.

In this year, Wader Quest supported our project. Due to their support we could apply protective cages on several nests, which helped us to increase breeding success of lapwings. Based on this year success with protective cages, we will continue this work with other species during the next years. We would like to express our gratitude for the Wader Quest in that way also.

You can find more information about the site here: https://elvonalshorebirds.com/research/our-study-sites/belarus-turov-meadow/

We hope that we will able to continue our work. If you need any further information about this site, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Members of the team in this year:

Natalia Karlionova
Tamás Székely
Viacheslav Khursanov
Anastasia Kisliakova
Andreas Meltl
Zsófia Tóth