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How to prepare for wintering in the Burabay National Park

ASTANA. KAZINFORM – The Burabai State National Natural Park is a favorite vacation spot not only for residents of the capital, but also for many Kazakhstanis. It is also often visited by foreign tourists – after all, lakes, forests and mountains attract with their grandeur and beauty. How the national park lives today and what is being done to preserve and increase the flora and fauna of these places, says the Kazinform correspondent, who took part in a press tour organized by the Administration of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The State National Natural Park “Burabay” is a unique natural complex located in a strip of forb-feather grass steppes and a forest-steppe landscape represented by pine-birch forests. There are 23 lakes on the territory of the national park, 14 of which are large, for example, Big and Small Chebache, Borovoe, Shchuchye, Katarkol.

The flora of the national park includes 754 species of plants, including 79 species of relict plants and 21 species of endangered ones. The fauna of the natural park is represented by 267 species of vertebrates. 16 species and subspecies of fish, 2 species of amphibians, 4 species of reptiles, 48 ​​species of mammals and 197 species of birds are included in the register of the Burabay Natural Park.

The protection of animals and their habitats is carried out by foresters and inspectors, many of whom have inherited this profession, there are many labor dynasties here. As forester Kaiyrbai Baltabaev notes, wild animals need support in the harsh winter period, and now all forces are thrown into fodder for the winter.

“Every year we knit brooms for feeding animals, the total number of harvested panicles is 121 thousand pieces. We also stock up on more than 700 tons of hay for the entire national park. There are more than 100 feeders and feeding grounds on the territory of the national park. There are haylofts, places for storing brooms, as well as coasters for salt; in winter, all this will be useful for the safe wintering of animals,” says forester Kaiyrbai Baltabaev.

According to him, in winter twice a week inspectors on horseback go around the territory and lay out hay, brooms, salt for animals.

“We have all the norms taken into account, and this is enough for the winter. We count the livestock by the method of winter accounting, that is, by footprints, as well as visually – we go to the sites where deer accumulate and recount. Over the past three years, the livestock has increased by more than 400 heads. Moreover, there were more roe deer and wild boar. Basically, the number of deer and roe deer is growing,” said Kaiyrbai Baltabaev.

Now, according to the announced data, there are 1,500 deer heads in the natural park. The territory of the park is divided into forest areas.

“There were no fires in our Mirnoye forestry this year. We have 11 inspectors, five foremen and one forester. I live here with my family. In case of a fire, we have the necessary tools for extinguishing. While emergency services are getting here, we are already starting to put out the fire as much as possible. The area of ​​our forestry alone is 18,395 hectares. The territory is divided for bypass. Every day, from morning to evening, I slowly go around more than 700 hectares,” says the inspector of the Mirnoye forestry.

For them, housing is provided here, it is allowed to breed pets. There were cases when forest rangers caught poachers while walking around their territory.

People who have graduated from special educational institutions work here, the average age of workers is from 30 to 45 years. However, as Baurzhan Makhmetov, deputy director of the SNNP Burabay, notes, there is a shortage of personnel, about 20 people are required for the positions of environmentalists and inspectors. Student interns come to help the inspectors, but few of them return to work here, since the salary of the inspectors is not very high, within 100 thousand tenge.

It should be noted that one of the main enemies of trees are various diseases of the forest, as well as pests, such as bacterial dropsy cancer, root fungus. This year, more than 7,000 hectares have been surveyed, as a result, 250 hectares of forests infected with diseases have been identified. To restore it, seedlings of different species are planted annually in the park.

“Basically, our planting is carried out precisely in disturbed natural complexes, in areas after fires, in clearings after a forest disease, that is, we restore the flora. Every year we plant 65 hectares of pine and birch. We are given a plan for 10 years – how many trees we should plant, on what area, what species,” said Kaiyrbai Baltabaev.

The survival rate of seedlings, according to him, is 70%.

“Autumn inventory is now underway and it is calculated how many have taken root from spring to autumn, after which it will be calculated how many seedlings will need to be replenished next year. According to our plan, 8,000 plants are planted per hectare,” Kaiyrbai Baltabaev specified.

He also spoke about the technology for obtaining seeds and seedlings of pine.

“According to the technology, we first collect pine cones, then send them for processing and get seeds. Next comes the sowing at our nursery, after two years we get seedlings and in the spring we plant them directly in the park,” Kaiyrbai Baltabaev explained.

A modern SMART system for the early detection of forest fires has been installed in the natural park. Since the beginning of this year, 18 facts of steppe and forest fires have been registered on the territory of the Burabay Natural Park. Thanks to the SMART system, state inspectors managed to localize them in a timely manner. This was announced by Asylkhan Akhmetzhanov, head of the Operational Control Center of the SNNP Burabay.

“The system consists of a mast, a container, a solar panel and a generator and operates independently from solar and wind energy. The generator is needed on winter days, when there are few sunny days and no wind,” Asylkhan Akhmetzhanov explained.

With the help of video cameras installed on the towers, almost all corners of the forest are monitored. If the attention of the lens is caught by smoke or something suspicious, the digital system marks this point with a red outline and sends a signal to the National Park’s 24-hour operational control center. The dispatchers on duty at the center immediately report the incident to the emergency service.

“This year, 18 fires occurred in the park, all of them were promptly localized. The main causes of fires are natural factors. There was a time when fire broke out in eight places in one day. In addition, this year, thanks to this system, two vacationers were detained in the forest, who violated fire safety rules. Foresters immediately went to the scene and issued a fine in the amount of 100 monthly calculation indices. In 2020, with the help of this system, we were also able to catch a poacher who was shooting at a moose. He was sentenced to three years and paid damages in the amount of 6 million 250 thousand tenge,” Asylkhan Akhmetzhanov specified.

The head of the Center noted that thanks to the system, the number of fires in the territory of the Burabay National Park has decreased significantly.

“If in 2019 80 hectares of forest were covered by fire, then this year only 0.5 hectares. Thanks to the system, the area of ​​fires was reduced by four times, and the damage caused by them was similarly reduced. Our emergency response time to such incidents has improved 15 times,” Asylkhan Akhmetzhanov said.

The territory of the State National Natural Park “Burabay” covers an area of ​​more than 129 thousand hectares. There are 13 towers with security cameras installed on the park square. For eight months of the current year, 51 cases of violation of environmental legislation were registered. An administrative fine in the amount of more than 440 thousand tenge was imposed on violators.

The journalists were also shown one of the main fire stations of the SNNP Burabay.

“We have a hostel for young professionals here, as well as service apartments. On this territory we have a woodworking shop, our own gas station. There is a tractor box, garage, own workshop. Has its own stables and warehouses. We have two such fire stations – one is located in Burabay and one in the village of Bulandy, and there are five stations of the first type in the forestry, we connect them during a fire hazard period. As for the technical equipment, we have fire trucks, this year we additionally purchased two more new vehicles based on KamAZ. There are patrol cars and drones for air patrols,” says Baurzhan Makhmetov, Deputy Director of the Burabai SNNP

The Kazavialesokhrana organization is located on the territory of the national park, which also carries out air patrols throughout the park.

“Besides, each forestry has its own equipment, patrol cars, motorcycles, service horses. We have 161 inspectors, and in general, 570 people work in the national park. These are drivers, tractor drivers, workers, rangers, inspectors, foresters, there are employees of the central office. We have a lot of dynasties that work from generation to generation and pass on their experience to the youth. For example, my father worked here for 45 years – he started as a forester and retired as an engineer. I have followed in his footsteps, we have enough such specialists,” said Baurzhan Makhmetov.

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