10 April 2010

Vehicular Pursuit of Fishowls in Eastern Russia

In relentless pursuit, a hearty rig filled with chasers moved steadily across the wild and mysterious lands of eastern Russia. The men within were searching for data, the grail of research findings.

The blue Kamaz was driven rough deep snows and to frozen rivers. The crew within included gear, fare and endless thoughts of some pairs of Blakiston’s Fish Owl (Bubo blakistoni).

Reports from the wilderness were recently issued that revealed the drama and times after these owls which feed in fish from rivers such as the Tunsha or Amgu Rivers, in the Primorsky Krai district, or Primorye, a federal subject of Russia.

It is a tale of owl research and high-tech trackers that denoted the neighborhood used by a breeding pair of the birds under study, under the direction of Jonathan C. Slaght, with field research just completed, and reported in three updates available at a Fish Owl's home on the web.

Traveling among the places in wintry March, a trusty vehicle, brand name Kamaz - new this season to owl research crew - made every destination and returned safely to base. It was the place for the researchers to dwell while making to owl territories and tempting the owls with an easy catch. Again and again.

The trackers were recovered, and the birds are back flying free, after providing newly discovered details on range and habitat for the mighty-big owls.

These are some images of the great Kamaz, courtesy of Jonathan C. Slaght from his recent research, and used with his permission.

Kamaz, taken in the middle of February 2010, on the bank of the Amgu River, on the outskirts of the village Amgu.

Kamaz, taken in late March 2010, on the 23rd, probably on the bank of the Tunsha River, about 20 kilometers north of Ternei, Russia.

Slaght is now writing reports, dealing with the relics of business from the research trips. Next comes analysis of the myriad of gathered data, he said in an email. He hopes to achieve his PhD. by the end of 2010.

"The Wild Russia series that aired on Discovery and Animal Planet channels in the United States (and National Geographic channels elsewhere) is shipping 11 May 2010. The Primorye episode features footage of several of our fish owl study animals, including Avdei and Manya of Saiyon Territory, and Genri and Yanna of Mineralnaya Territory." - J.C. Slaght, www.fishowls.com

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