Rescue and save the big spindle
The state of populations of one or another species of animals and birds depends, as a rule, on a whole complex of factors, which, dynamically changing, can in a relatively short time affect the numbers of these species. So, let’s say, straightening a section of a river bed and the subsequent drying up of a floodplain can literally in one or two years lead to the disappearance of a number of animals and plants from a given area. On the other hand, after the restoration of the hydrological regime of any previously drained territory, there will be a gradual resumption of previously extinct animal and plant communities. Unfortunately, such a recovery is much slower than their disappearance.
Big Spin in Belarus
For more than 10 years that have passed since the publication of the previous edition of the Red Book of Belarus, the population of a number of species of animals (including those belonging to hunting) has undergone significant changes. The number of some (such a minority) has stabilized, others (unfortunately, much more) has decreased. Therefore, it became necessary to revise the status of these species and, as a result, changes in legislation aimed at their protection. As a result, a new revised edition of the Red Book emerged, published in 2004 and taking into account all current trends of species needing protection. The pages of this document have a whole range of bird species that previously belonged to the objects of sport hunting, and now, due to a sharp decline in numbers that have become protected by law. Of course, a competent modern hunter, going to land with a gun, must clearly know these species and be able to accurately distinguish them from those that are allowed to be harvested. We plan to post a series of essays introducing hunters to the appearance and biology of such species.
The big warrior (Limosa limosa L.) until recently, along with a lapwing and a herbalist, was one of the three most common sandpipers found on our meadows and swamps, and was one of the hunting species. In recent decades, for a number of reasons, its number has become declining everywhere, and now in some European countries a large spindle is on the verge of extinction. In the foreseeable future, the big spindle has every chance to be in the “risk group No. 1” – in other words, to enter the list of globally threatened species. The concept of “globally threatened” means that without the help of humans, this species can no longer exist, and if not to take appropriate measures, is doomed to extinction. The globally threatened species of Europe, which may be of potential interest for hunters and are found on the territory of Belarus, include the snipe, goose-sling, white-eyed dive and crake.
For obvious reasons, the spindle forever left the lists of hunting species and more recently settled on the pages of the Belarusian Red Book, which gives reason to hope that this wonderful chicken will still be preserved.
The main reasons for such a sharp decline in the large spindle number (as, indeed, of a whole range of other species of waterbirds) include the anthropogenic transformation of its original habitats and, above all, the disturbance of the hydrological regime caused by amelioration. Contributed to the change in the status of the spindle and hunters. True, it is not as significant as the damage inflicted by reclamation, but nevertheless also has a certain effect on the state of the species. In Belarus, the hunt for the spindle has never had any mass character, on the one hand, because there are more traditional sports hunting facilities, and on the other, because by the opening of the hunting season, most of the nesting spies begin autumn migration and migrate to south. The winter range of the spindle is greatly stretched and covers the south of the British Isles (birds nesting in Iceland fly there to winter), the whole of Southern Europe, Northern and Equatorial Africa, Central and South-East Asia and even Australia, where the Asian population goes to winter. The main migration routes (as well as part of the winter range) of the European spindle population run over France and Italy – countries where hunting is traditionally raised almost to the rank of a cult, and any bird from a lark and above is considered a prey worthy of a shot. In this regard, a large percentage of young spies are killed by shots, and not having time to complete their first migration flight.
It is quite obvious that no matter how well the protection of any kind has been established (this concerns not only the spindle) in a single country, it does little if this species is outlawed in a neighboring country. Nevertheless, environmental organizations in different countries are constantly working in this direction, and for a number of species that are on the verge of global extinction, there are already international agreements aimed at the comprehensive protection of these species within the entire range.