|Date||14 Aug 2000|
The FRGRL is a multidisciplinary Russian/Bulgarian/English team that works long-term to conserve and promote the natural and cultural heritage of Murmansk Region. Research and development support is provided to the tundra-related communities, the reindeer-herding brigades (collectives), and local administrators.
Although some of this part of Russia is known for its poor environmental record relating to nickel smelting and to the Northern Fleet's management of nuclear waste, much of the region includes large, well-preserved, biodiverse wilderness areas which the Group works to promote and preserve.
Present activities include a long term survey of the central interior wetlands with particular focus on the migratory raptor population.
Currently in preparation is a three-year study of reindeer migration: The Herd's Calendar. Since the dissolution of the State Farm sovkhoz system in 1991-92 reindeer herding in Russian Lapland (Murmansk Region) has been in disarray. Herds have been subject to decreasing human care, migration routes have taken new courses, social and economic conditions for the herding crews have undergone negative changes, and new anthropogenic and natural environmental threats are emerging.
The Herd's Calendar is an interdisciplinary field research programme which addresses these issues by analysing some of the problems at first hand. Observing the life of herd and herders throughout an annual migration cycle by staying close to the herd itself has never been attempted before, but the expedition team, who will travel on reindeer drawn sleds, aims over the three-year period to bring back detailed behavioural and biological knowledge of the migration process and its dynamics under the current changed circumstances.