The land of the lapwings
Northern lapwings (Vanellus vanellus)
Ornithological surveys and bird conservation measures
Since 2019, annual ornithological surveys have been conducted in Tobolsk on the grounds of ZapSibNeftekhim, SIBUR's largest Russian petrochemical complex to ascertain the species composition of bird communities living on the grounds of the company’s production sites, and to locate the nests of lapwing and other species of birds to help make arrangements for their conservation.
These surveys are conducted at least twice a year: once in spring, during the period of nesting, and then later in the fall, before the start of the overwintering period.
It has been established that the company’s grounds are inhabited by such species of birds as lapwing, common redshank, little ring plover, godwit, mallard, garganey, and European stonechat. The birds’ nests have been marked up with warning signs.
Based on the results of the four ornithological surveys already conducted in the area under the survey, the company has taken necessary steps to prevent any direct human interference with the birds during the nesting period. SIBUR opened a hotline for its employees to discuss matters related to helping the birds. In addition, the company has developed a procedure the employees are to follow in case they spot any new nesting sites or find birds that need help.
The surveys’ results confirm that the company’s grounds prove to be a comfortable habitat for local bird species.
The very first tournament was held in the autumn of 2019. It was attended by 85 school students who made up 16 competing teams. All three top prizes were awarded to students from Secondary School 9. Further details about these competitions are available at the link here.
In the spring of 2021, the second birding competition took place on the grounds of the Tobol Park. Its 128 participants were split into 27 teams representing the schools of Tobolsk and Tobolsk District, Children's Technopark Quantorium-Tobolsk, and the urban Center for Advancing Family Placement and Foster Family Support.
The 2021 tournament’s winners were the teams of Verkhnearemzianka’s D.I. Mendeleev Secondary School, Setovskaya Secondary School, and Secondary School 14 (Tobolsk). Special prizes were also awarded to the pupils of Tobolsk’s Secondary School 1’s Kindergarten Unit.
Eurasian Bird Count
This happened concurrently with Tyumen Oblast hosting the first birdwatching competition for schoolchildren organized by SIBUR within the framework of the Territory of Lapwing project carried out as part of the Formula for Good Deeds social investment program. Students from five schools took part in the birdwatching tournament.
As a result of the birdwatching competition, the first place was awarded to Viktor P. Neimyshev School 16, whose students counted 2,950 birds. The second and the third places were taken by School 14 and Nikolay D. Litsman Gymnasium whose students counted 991 and 889 birds, respectively. Owing to the active participation of Tobolsk’s schoolchildren in the birdwatching contest, Tyumen Oblast came in second in terms of the overall number of participants among all other Russian regions and was third by the number of birds counted.
Education and awareness-raising events
The company has been conducting special educational sessions for both its own employees and for the city's volunteer community. At these talks ornithologists have been explaining to the participants how one should act in emergency situations involving chicks and adult birds, and inform them about existing anthropogenic threats and common bird-related mistakes and misconceptions.Tobolsk’s schoolchildren have been given the opportunity to take part in so-called eco-lessons meant to instill interest in birds and ornithology in children.