Bird Families

Far Eastern Stork


White stork (Moscow region)
Black stork (Moscow region)

Black stork Red Book of Krasnodar Territory

Cupid's winged symbol

Who has not seen a picture or photograph of large white birds in hat-nests on rooftops? This is a white stork - a symbol of family life among the Slavs, a bird that brings babies to the house, which means happiness! This is a European look (Ciconia ciconia), and its brother, the Far Eastern stork (Ciconia boyciana). But you will not see these snow-white birds, not only on the roofs - even near the villages.

The Far Eastern stork is one of the rarest birds in the Russian Far East. As the final link in the ecological pyramid, the stork reacts to water and soil pollution, drying up of the floodplain, and changing climatic conditions. The Far Eastern stork can be safely called an indicator of the well-being of ecosystems in the Amur basin. The species is endangered and listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, IUCN Red List, Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

This Far Eastern species nests only in the Amur basin. In Russia - in the Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions, in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories. Outside the Russian Federation, breeds in Northeast China. Small groups in Japan and South Korea.


The number is regulated mainly by factors of anthropogenic origin. The main limiting factor is the shortage and continuing reduction in the number of natural nesting supports (nestable trees) in the Amur basin, due to agricultural development of the territory, forest-steppe fires and the felling of large trees. In recent years, the problem of predators destroying the nests of the Far Eastern stork has become more acute. At the same time, the state of the stork's food supply raises certain concerns. The decrease in the number of fish and amphibians - the main food of storks, is associated with poaching - illegal fishing, drying up of reservoirs in dry years and the death of freshwater organisms in winter. The condition of the stork's food supply is also affected by seasonal phenomena (winter fish kill), the influence of which can be significantly reduced. Pollution of the environment with pesticides and pesticides, which enter the body of birds with fish and cause poisoning, poses a great danger.

Therefore, the presence of a stork always speaks of the health of ecosystems, and therefore of the health of people.

Thus, in the Russian part of the range, the key areas of work are:

  • Creation of new and support of existing specially protected natural areas,
  • Preservation of the existing nests of the Far Eastern stork on natural and artificial supports (fire-fighting, installation of protection against predators),
  • Working with energy companies to create conditions for the protection of birds and the smooth operation of lines,
  • Increasing the nesting capacity of the land (installing artificial supports, baskets on poles and trees, filing the crowns of nesting trees),
  • Preservation of the stork's food supply,
  • Monitoring at model sites,
  • Environmental education activities.

What has already been done?

Since 1998, the Foundation has begun work to increase the area of ​​specially protected natural areas (SPNA) in the stork range. In 2000, two major international environmental organizations, IUCN (IUCN - International Union for Conservation of Nature) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), held an international meeting "The Far Eastern Stork and the Conservation of Wetlands in the Amur Basin", at which the first national Conservation strategy for this rare species. In 2003, the leading public organizations approved the "Action Plan for the Conservation of the Amur Ecoregion Biodiversity".It included carrying out the necessary scientific work to control the state of the population of this species, the development and creation of specially protected natural areas, the construction of artificial nests and the protection of reservoirs from poachers.

In 2003, WWF supported the idea of ​​the staff of the Khingansky Nature Reserve to establish protection for every available stork nest. Since 2004, the Foundation has initiated the “Stork's Nest Keepers” movement. These are organizations and specific people who have taken responsibility for monitoring the condition of one or several stork nests and carrying out fire-prevention treatment in the fall.

Over the past 20 years, much of what was planned has been achieved: the area of ​​protected areas for storks has been increased 2.5 times, 40% of all breeding pairs (1.7 million hectares of wetlands) have been protected. Today, within the framework of the "Keepers of the Nests" movement, 40 individual Keepers and 5 organizations are taking care of 150 stork nests, they have installed more than 100 artificial supports, and more than 30 baskets for building nests have been fixed on the trees.

In order to avoid winter deaths, it is necessary to improve the conditions for aeration of reservoirs. For this, holes / holes are made in the ice cover through which oxygen enters the water. If possible, aeration is carried out - saturation of water with oxygen using pumps. After the ice melted, it was noted that the death of fish and amphibians in aerated reservoirs is lower than in those where aeration was not carried out.

WWF-Russia, together with energy companies, helps to secure the nesting of storks on power lines. In 2013, we signed a cooperation agreement with the Federal Grid Company of the Unified Energy System (PJSC FGC UES). To protect power lines from damage and storks from death, FGC UES installs special nesting platforms on power lines in the Amur and Jewish Autonomous Regions, allowing birds to build a nest away from the wires. And the dangerous sections of the supports are equipped with special anti-intrusion devices that prevent birds from sitting down and building nests. Also, employees of the Amur branch of WWF handed over maps with information on the location of nests of the Far Eastern stork to power engineers. This data helps to understand which lines are primarily in need of nesting platforms and anti-intrusion devices, as well as to take into account the habitats of birds when building new power lines.

Birds respond to human concerns by increasing numbers.

The latest large-scale survey of the stork showed that its number of the Far Eastern stork has doubled in 20 years and is now estimated at 6,000 individuals.

Far Eastern stork

Detachment: Storks - Сiconiiformes
Family: Storks - Сiconiiformes
Genus: Ciconia
Author: Swinhoe, 1873
Category: : 1 - The Far Eastern stork is an endangered species.


Almost the entire modern nesting area is located on the territory of the Russian Far East and is confined mainly to the basins of the Amur, Ussuri and Zeya rivers. A nesting case was noted in the Chita region, on the Shilka River. Outside Russia, breeds in China, possibly in Mongolia.


The most densely populated areas are located on the Arkharinskaya lowland and in the interfluve of Ulma and Tashina (Amur Region), in the vicinity of Lake Bolon (Khabarovsk Territory) and on the Prikhankayskaya Plain (Primorsky Territory). The Far Eastern stork nests in islets of redeveloped forests or on individual trees (oak, birch, aspen, larch, pine) among vast sedge bogs near lakes and rivers. Selects only humid places (swamps, lake shores, rice fields, etc.) for feeding and rest during migrations and wintering.

Since the end of the 80s. when there was a shortage of nestable trees in treeless spaces, he began to build nests on the poles of power lines and triangulation towers. Nests are massive, up to 1.5-2 m in diameter, at a height of 3.4 to 14 m (on average 8.4 m). Begins to hatch from the beginning of April. In clutches - from 2 to 6 eggs (usually 3-4), depending on the conditions of the year.

Incubation for about a month.From 3-4 years of age they become sexually mature. It feeds mainly on animal food - small fish, frogs. It is not uncommon for a nest with a clutch to fall and storks lay their eggs again. They fly away early, gathering in flocks along the way. Winters in Central China (Yangtze River, Poyang Lake) and further south to Hong Kong.


The total number in the world is about 3000 individuals. In Mongolia, it is possible to find single nests, in China - up to 25-30 nests. There are 600 breeding pairs in Russia. In the Primorsky Territory - 60-100 pairs, in the Khabarovsk Territory - 200-300 pairs and in the Amur Region 150-200 pairs. In 1994 in the Amur region. 99 inhabited nests were found.

Analysis of aerial data on the number of nesting storks in the Amur Region over the past 12 years shows a steady downward trend, which, apparently, takes place in the Khabarovsk and Primorsky Territories.

In addition to natural causes, anthropogenic factors (destruction of habitats, shooting, etc.) in wintering places also affect. At nesting sites in Russia, fires inflict great damage on the nests of Far Eastern storks. Other factors (strong winds blowing off nests, fish kills on lakes, ruin of nests by a white-breasted bear) are insignificant.


The Far Eastern stork is included in the IUCN-96 Red List, Appendix 1 of CITES, Appendices of bilateral agreements concluded by Russia with Japan, the Republic of Korea and the DPRK on the protection of migratory birds. Protected in the Khingansky and Khankaysky reserves and in the reserves of regional and regional subordination. It is bred in the Walsrode ornithopark (Germany), in the nursery in Toyoka (Japan) and in a number of Chinese zoos (Harbin, Beijing, Qiqihar, etc.).

In Russia, attempts to breed (unsuccessful) Far Eastern storks were made only at the Moscow Zoo. International measures are needed to preserve the species, in particular, to restore breeding populations in Japan and on the Korean Peninsula.

The Center for Breeding and Reintroduction of Rare Birds of the Khingan Reserve to support local nesting populations and create populations that are not afraid of the presence of humans and are able to nest in their neighborhood, it is necessary to use the method of obtaining repeated clutches from pairs nesting in unguarded territories. In treeless areas, it is necessary to install artificial bases for nests. The specimen is listed in the Red Book of Russia.

Sources: 1. Pea, personal commun., 2. Roslyakov, 1990, 3. Winter, 1978, 4. Simba Chan, pers. commun., 5. Shibaev, pers. commun., 6. Andronov, unpublished. data, 7. Andronov, Andronova, 1992

Compiled by: V.A. Andronov