The Middle Aldan River Basin: A Key Migration Corridor for the Eastern Population of the Siberian Crane Within the Lena River Basin (Russia)
Spanning a submontane area of the middle Aldan River within the taiga zone lies a migration corridor for the eastern population of the Siberian crane which is ranked as a flagship species, for which its conservation requires protection of its habitats in all their diversity. The river system is formed by the middle reaches of the Aldan (one of the Lena’s largest tributaries), the lower reaches of its large tributary the Maya, and numerous middle-sized and minor tributaries. The Aldan and Maya are characterized as lowland and semi-mountainous rivers, respectively. Waterways in the interfluve of the Aldan and Amga rivers are mostly of the lowland type, semi-mountain type in the interfluve of the Aldan and Maya rivers, and semi-mountain and mountain types in the right bank ributaries of the Aldan. The Middle Aldan Basin forms a significant portion of the Siberian crane and Baikal teal migration routes and supports populations of mergansers, common goldeneye, Middendorff’s bean goose, falcated duck, osprey, and white- tailed eagle and a significant number of fish species including stocks of Siberian sturgeon, tugun, humpback whitefish, and taimen. Four regional nature reserves are located within the area where one can observe migration and stopovers of the Siberian crane and Baikal teal. Currently, major threats are coincident with the rapid growth in accessibility of highly efficient hunting, fishing tackle, and transportation equipment.
Keywordscritically endangered species flagship species Grus leucogeranus Siberia
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