Specialists from the Institute of Animal Systematics i and Ecology, RAS SB, visited Kazakhstan in the summer 2006 in order to study the locust and biological methods of control of these agricultural pests. Valentina Sadykova, correspondent of Science in Siberia newspaper, discussed the results of this expedition, carried out within the framework of Russian-Kazakh Project, with Viktor Glupov, Head of the Institute, and Vyacheslav Mordkovich, Head of Siberian Zoological Museum.
The scientists explored the entire Kazakh area of low, rounded, isolated hills*, lakes Balkhash and Alakol, visited the Dzhungar and Zaili Ala Tau. Some of these regions are little studied by biologists. It was therefore very important to collect information on the levels, composition, structure, and ecological role of biological variety in these regions and to supplement the collection of the museum - the information center point on the diversity of Siberian fauna (and the adjacent territories), possessing a complete basic collection of reference species.
Aridization (drying of ecosystems due to global and local warming) is significant for the existence of animals. As a result, for example, for our southern neighbors, forest fires become more frequent, the lakes become more shallow (including Aral, Balkhash, Chany, Ubinskoye, etc.), while more and more water has to be taken from these lakes for watering the plants, and the trees near the lakes have to be cut out.
Kazakhstan and Russia are located at approximately the same meridians, as if continuing each other from North to South, and represent a latitudinal-zonal series, and therefore they represent a sort of a demonstrative area for the study of this negative process. It started earlier and is more active in Kazakhstan: the species of the insects "formers" and "destroyers" of the plant community (locust, Colorado potato beetle, meadow moth, etc.) and the pattern of functioning of ecosystems are chang ... Read more