The Kronotsky Nature Reserve
December 30, 2018 / Nature reserves and national parks
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The Kronotsky Nature Reserve located in the eastern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the oldest nature reserves in Russia. It was established 80 years ago to protect nature and to conduct scientific research and assistance to ornithologists, mammalogists, seismologists and volcanologist to assess the state of nature and environment and preserve rare species. Recently, the Kronotsky Nature Reserve started to work in the field of environmental education, offering guided tours for visitors, who would like to experience the wild nature of Kamchatka.
The reserve manages the territory, which totals in 1,147,619 hectares and is inhabited by 54 species of mammals, including the largest population of brown bears in the world, several rare bird species as Steller's sea eagles, foxes, otters and sables. By the way, wild reindeers that used to be seen throughout the whole territory of Kamchatka, now live only in the reserve: unfortunately, only one thousand individuals are left.
Therefore, the visitation of the reserve is strictly regulated with a special code of conduct, whereas the staff of the reserve always accompany every visitor.
At the same time, the Kronotsky Nature Reserve is absolutely accessible for volunteers! The volunteers are engaged in housekeeping, trail building, photo and video recording, research sample collection and basic construction works.
Here are some important issues to consider, if you would like to join the volunteering programme at the Kronotsky Nature Reserve:
The first and basic requirement is to be at least 18 years old. Unfortunately, volunteering is not possible for those, who are under 18.
The reserve provides accommodation for volunteers, however, the food is the issue that is dealt solely by volunteers: it is necessary to plan your diet and bring your own products.
The reserve also do not cover airfare to Kamchatka and does not meet its volunteers at the airport. However, the transfer from the helicopter aerodrome to the territory of the reserve is provided. The volunteers are supposed to be prepared for the transfer in advance and plan their accommodation either in Yelizovo or Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, as the weather conditions may delay a departure for several days.
In addition, it is important to remember that living on the territory of the reserve is very different from our usual habitat and, therefore, it is better to prepare carefully the list of items to bring to the reserve.
THE LIST OF RECOMMENDED ITEMS
1. An inner layer of clothing (thermal underwear)
2. A layer of warm clothing (fleece / polartek / softshell / primaloft or a simple sweater).
3. A water and windproof layer of clothing (rainwear) and a raincoat
4. Bog shoes / rubber boots
5. Trekking shoes
6. Lightweight shoes. Slippers
7. A set of working clothes (for painting and construction works)
8. Sun screen (highly recommended)
9. Sun glasses (highly recommended)
10. Mosquito repellents
11. Sleeping mat and sleeping bag
12. Personal sewing kit for your equipment (thread, needle, tape, glue, scissors, etc.)
13. Personal first aid kit
14. Plate, mug and spoon
15. Folding knife
16. Flashlight with battery reserve
17. Personal hygiene items
There is no doubt that it is hard to volunteer here, but Goodsurfer team considers that this game is worth the trouble, just because as a volunteer of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, it is possible to see several dozens of inaccessible natural heritage sites as the Glaciers of the Kronotsky Peninsula, the Caldera of the Uzon Volcano, Nizhny Chachminsky and Tyushevsky hot springs, the Semyachik estuary, the Death Valley, the Valley of Geysers and others.
By the way, in spite of the fact that the Kronotsky Reserve became almost a synonym for the Valley of Geysers, it was founded at the time, when this spot was not discovered by the humanity.
There was 7 years between state designation of the reserve and this outstanding discovery of the 20th century. The first geyser was discovered in spring of 1941 and it was later named Pervenets (the Firstborn – trans.). In the summer of the same year, explorers found the soaring canyon.
The Valley of Geysers in Kamchatka is the most compact one comparing to other geyser fields in the world. Its territory of 4 square kilometres fits the bubbles and seethes of hundreds of hot springs and geysers.
everal fire-breathing capes are another symbol of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve: 8 out of 25 volcanoes are currently active. The highest of them is the Kronotsky Cape that rises 3,528 meters above sea level, whereas the most active one is the Kizmen Volcano, which woke up recently in 2010 after one century of silence. The Krasheninnikov volcano is inhabited by bighorn sheep, which is almost distinct. The Kikhpinych, Uzon, Gamchen, Komarov and Bolshoy Semyachik volcanoes are currently also active.
The reserve opens its call for volunteers for summer 2019 in early December. What are we waiting for?
Author: Ksenia Gushchina