Birds migrate en masse from dehydrated Crimea to southern regions of Ukraine. This year migration may reach record levels, the director of the reserve "Askania Nova" Victor Gavrilenko said at a meeting of ornithologists of the Azov-Black Sea basin, on October 6 in Kherson region, according to Agribusiness Magazine "Propozitsіya".
Earlier, the places of wild birds’ wintering were the lands adjacent to the North-Crimean canal and artificial lakes on the Crimean Peninsula, which were used to irrigate farmland. Victor Gavrilenko said that every year about 18 thousand gray cranes and 3 thousand ogars came to the Reserve "Askania Nova" for the winter. A record number of "migrant" birds was recorded in 2009, when reached 44 thousand.
Ornithologists say that dehydration of Crimea became the reason for current mass migration of birds. Since supply of the Dnieper water to the occupied Crimea through the North-Crimean canal has been ceased, the area began to suffer from drought. The occupation authorities of the peninsula failed to find alternative ways to provide the agricultural sector with water. The first to suffer were the wild birds that migrate en masse from the Crimea to southern regions of mainland Ukraine.
According to scientists, the 2016 season could beat the previous record by "Crimean replaced settlers." Peak "attendance" of the reserve to be recorded in the third week of October, when all the migrant birds arrive in "Askania Nova."
Ukraine used to provide 85% of the Crimean water needs through the North Crimean Canal, supplying the Dnieper water to the peninsula. Following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in April 2014, Ukraine had to block the channel gateways. As "the Crimean power" has not found an alternative solution to the water problem, the northern and central parts of the peninsula massively suffer from drought and soil salinization, reducing cultivation of particular crops.