Young biologists Lena Rodenko and Lera Sappa together with the leader of the Club of Young Biologists of Kharkov Zoo Alena Sergeyevna Prilutskaya have spent two weeks in the National Nature Protection Park "Gomolshan Forests" (region of Zmiev town). The aim of the expedition was monitoring of summer population of bats. The investigations of bat populations have been taking place for nearly 100 years (with hiatus). It's quite important to monitor the bat population in the reserve in order to see if any changes in the structure of the population of these mysterious creatures have occured. The team consisted of five persons. The tent camp was placed on the Seversky Donetz river bank. It is not an easy task to catch bats. To do that one needs to set special web-like nets in places of flight and feeding of these animals and to sit up in the night-time disentangling the caught animals. There were lots of mosquitos in the forests; it was often raining but the young biologists got the necessary skills of a field zoologist successfully. They learned how to pitch up a tent, how to make up a fire, how to disentangle bats from the net, how to define the species of the bat, how to take the bat body measurements and how to ring them. Within 18 catches there were caught 335 individuals of 8 bat species. The monitoring of bats coincided with the practice of biology students. Our young biologists had the possibility to observe how the practice of biology students was taking place as well as to listen to the research reports of biology students at the seminar.
Young biologists Luda Chukhray and Masha Shuvayeva took a three-day trip to the National Nature Reserve Park "Slobozhansky" (region of Krasny Kut) in order to make field investigations at the unique sphagnous swamps. These sphagnous swamps are the only of their kind in Kharkov region. The young biologists together with their teacher Brusentsova N.A. collected plants for gerbarium, defined ostracean species, observed birds. They found a beaver hole with many canals. Also they came across a roe deer. The results of field investigations will be published in the research paper that will be sent to the "Wonderful World of Swamps" contest (http://landaucentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/2014_04_03_1.jpg), also these data will be included into the annual report "Nature Cronicles".
Camp life in the forest is not easy, still quite interesting and catching. While living close to nature, one learns to understand and love it!