Mospriroda experts performed more than 270 animal measurements over 10 months of this year. More often than not from the Red Book, animals in the natural areas of the capital began to be found: hare, fox, hedgehog, beaver, as well as gray owl, sparrow and hawk, long-tailed eagle.
We asked Nikolai Vladimirovich Kudryavtsev, an expert at Mospriroda, to tell us what species are included in the Moscow Red Book and what prospects each category has.
Extinct and less numerous species
– The Red Book has many categories and we will start with category 0 – these are endangered species. These can be both extinct species and those that just left Moscow for one reason or another. Usually animals and plants that have not been seen in the city for several decades fall into this category, Kudryavtsev explained.
Category 1 is an endangered species, ie those whose existence is of the greatest concern. The number of such animals within the borders of Moscow has been reduced to an extremely low level. Their habitats are preserved to such an extent that these species may become extinct in the city in the near future.
– In Moscow, the introduction of animals in category 1 is often associated with indirect rather than direct reasons. For example, someone decides to clear the lake of reeds. But the reed is a nesting place for the rare grebe duck, and it is actually homeless. Thus, the big lady can go to nest outside the city, in the area, – explains Kudryavtsev.
Category 2 are rare species or low numbers with decreasing or decreasing numbers. Simply put, these are the animals whose numbers and distribution have been reduced so much that if the fight against the negative factors for them is not started, they may be in danger.
– But again, not everything is so bad – category 2 does not mean that the whole species is extinct. “Maybe the animals just migrate and go where they are most comfortable and safe,” Kudryavtsev said.
Vulnerable species, species of uncertainty and species that are recovering
Category 3 is already encouraging. It usually contains the so-called vulnerable species, but their lack is often due to natural mechanisms.
Category 3 has the most predators and birds. Usually predators have their own territory, so there are not many of them, even if nothing threatens them. But with a small natural population, the population may begin to decline due to various adverse factors, Kudryavtsev explained.
Category 4 are species whose abundance has not been determined. These are often animals with a secret lifestyle and do not appear in humans.
“By the way, this category includes different types of insects: they are difficult to count and there are few specialists in such species both in Moscow and in other cities,” said our interlocutor.
The last, 5th category are the items that are recovered or restored. This is the category that causes the least concern.
– The only catch is that it is difficult to fall into the latter category – it depends not only on the person who creates certain animal-friendly conditions, but also on the adaptation of the species itself to urban conditions: noise, light, food supply. That could take decades, “Kudryavtsev added.
What rare species live in ZAO?
In recent years, hares have been spotted in our area. In the park “Moskvoretsky” we met a hare, which is a red paper animal of the 1st category. But his “brother”, the white hare, settled far enough away – in the Bitsevsky forest.
Setun River Valley Shelter is famous for its beavers. There are also in Moskvoretsky Park. In the Moscow Red Book, river beavers belong to the 3rd category. In the parks they build dams and live with whole families. Only here you can most of the time admire them only from a distance – usually beavers avoid the company of people.
In “Moskvoretsky” and “Valley of the Setun River” you can also meet a red-haired beauty – a fox. Of course, such a meeting will be very pleasant, however, you should not approach the beast: sometimes they carry diseases that are dangerous to humans.
Bird lovers will be happy to meet an owl with long ears. This bird was observed on the territory of Moskvoretsky. The long-eared owl is distinguished by tufts of feathers on its head, which it can move: to raise, lower or press firmly on the head. So as you walk, you raise your head more often – who knows, maybe this rare bird is watching you.
In recent years, the number of goshawks has increased. They belong to the 5th rarity category and you can find them in any green area even outside city parks.
But the Sparrowhawk is an animal of the 3rd rarity category. In Moscow, these birds lead a sedentary lifestyle. The pairs live in a permanent nest location, using the same nests for several years. Such “apartments” are located in the crowns of trees.
Another rare bird that can be found in ZAO stocks is the long-eared boar or, as it is also called, the hawk. The silhouette of the animal really looks like utensils, which you can not do if you have soup for lunch. The color of the bird’s head, neck and abdomen is white, the back and wings are black with pink and brown stripes and the tail and sides are light pink.