Scientists of the Russian Academy of Sciences research rare plants and animals in surrounding areas of Amur GPP

The scientists of the Institute for Water and Environmental Problems of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IWEP FEB RAS) are monitoring the status of the environment, plant and animal life in the Amur GPP construction zone. The animal world is studied by a zoologist and a hydrobiologist whilst the plant world is studied by two botanists. According to the scientists, rare species listed in the Red Book of Russia are quite often found in close proximity to the gas processing plant. For instance, an iris ensata, a lilium pumilum, a bush lily, a baikal skullcap, a platycodon grandiflorus and a pulsatilla turczaninovii.

«We have been researching for the third year and this is a very short time to make conclusions. Nevertheless, according to our observations, there are no changes in the status of plant communities. Indigenous species feel quite comfortable,» explained Lyubov Antonova, a leading researcher at the Vegetation Ecology Laboratory of the IWEP FEB RAS.

The scientists are also monitoring the animal world within the construction zone of the Amur GPP. They are monitoring the following animals: сapreolus, wild boars, foxes, badgers, muskrats, raccoon dogs, hamsters and birds. The zoologists not only do keep track of the land animals but also look for trace of their life: tracks, burrows, etc. The hydrobiologist makes observations of invertebrates in the streams of the Bolshaya Pyora river.

«Large mammals pretty normal reflect the status of the environment. Based on our observations, there are no significant changes in the population and fauna of terrestrial vertebrates, including fish,» notes Aleksandr Antonov, a leading researcher at the Animal Ecology Laboratory of the IWEP FEB RAS.

In addition, based on the work done, extensive materials will be compiled to continue biodiversity monitoring in the future, as well as to assess the existing and projected impacts of the new plant on environment.

«This research is an important stage of industrial environmental monitoring of the project, which has been carried out since the beginning of the Amur GPP construction. Water, bottom sediments, air, soil, animal and plant world are regularly monitored. Over 2000 various samples have been conducted. During the entire observation period, no violations of the requirements of Russian and international environmental standards have been detected,» explained Rafael Musin, Head of the Environment Department of Gazprom Pererabotka Blagoveshchensk LLC.