15 Sep 2020

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

In 1994, The United Nations General Assembly has designated September 16 as the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. In 1985 has been accepted  the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer and later the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.

The ozone layer (located at an altitude of 2000 m above sea level) is invaluable and protective for the biosphere. It absorbs most of the dangerous UV rays coming from the sun to Earth, protecting humans, animals and plants from shield-like diseases.

 

 

The destructive chemicals emitted into the atmosphere reduce the ozone layer and increases dangerous radiation can be cause of skin cancer, damage to the retina of the eye infectious diseases by reducing the yield of plants.

In recent decades, holes have been found in the Earth's ozone layer, especially in the Southern Pole region. The studies have shown that under the influence of ultraviolet radiation, pine trees grow twice as slowly, which in turn disrupts the balance of natural ecosystems. Antarctic plankton is declining every year due to ozone depletion, which affects marine animals.

Armenia is a mountainous country, most of its territory is in conditions of high natural UV radiation. The changes of the ozone layer have a special importance for the population of Armenia, the flora and fauna.

Scientists have been warning since the 1970s that certain chemicals, such as freons, halons, and methyl bromide, are depleting the ozone layer. Today, the ozone layer is again in the state that it had been in the 60s and 70s. and it will take 40-50 years to recover.

Emissions of ozone-depleting substances are mainly from developed countries with strong economies. Studies on the state of the ozone layer in Armenia have been carried out since 2000. For this purpose, the German company "Meteo Service" provided Armenia with the Dobson spectrophotometer, which is used for regular measurements in Yerevan (1113 m above sea level), in the areas of Lake Sevan (1927 m) and the southern slope of Mount Aragats (2070 m and 3200 m). The researches with the equipment, give an opportunity Armenia to join the global ozone layer monitoring network․

If before 1988 about 2500 tons of ozone depleting substances were imported to Armenia, now their number does not exceed 100-150 tons․ should be noted that Armenia has never produced ozone depleting substances, but only imported and used them․

The depletion of the ozone layer is a global ecological issue․ The ozone layer is extremely important for the Earth's biosphere, the protection of this layer is a universal problem, so it is considered a priority for all countries. 

02 Sep 2020

A shortly description of the bird world of Armenia: Part 4

Today there is a danger of desertification on the south-east of Mount Aragats, near the highway leading to the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences. The perpetrators of this criminal act are the local cattle breeders, which are uprooting juniper for warmth and fire. The destruction of this juniper can has a erosion effect of land and can be coase of the extinction of hundreds of species of birds and other animals.

By invading the habitat of any bird species and turning it into arable land, we automatically deprive the bird species living here of their habitats and push them to eat the crops of the cultural species of those areas, causing some damage to the farms.

In 2000,” Center of bird lovers” NGO was informed, that large flocks of unknown birds had destroyed the 26-hectare grape crop in upper Artashat. It turns out that the vineyard was located near the nest of Rosy Starling ,after which huge herds of young birds took the opportunity to destroy the grape harvest not far from them.

According to A. Khoyetsyan, 16% of the causes of desertification in the world are of anthropogenic origin․ Rosy Starling are commonly known around the world as a  locust destroyers․

Whenever a question arises to solve the problem of this or that species of animal, we must first remember that it is one of the links in the biological chain around us. such cases, the hasty solution of the issue has faced an incorrigible mistake.

The large-scale exploitation of semi-deserts and dry mountain steppes in our Republic became the reason for the disappearance Houbara Bustard․Due to the fall of the water level of Lake Sevan, we lost the only nest of the Turpan duck.

Today there are many calls for the extermination of wolves in the country. The fate of the wolf and many other species's status is in our hands, it's in our hands to solve that problem with a single shot, but is that right?

Recognize the action of a bird or other animal as harmful, does not give the right to make a final decision on its destruction․ In such cases, the desired result can be achieved by reducing the number of predators to a certain extent, preventing the danger․

1. Akimushkin years ago writes with concern that humanity will soon witness the extinction of 600 species of animals. The author cites the example of the tragic extermination of a stray pigeon in the United States as proof of this fact.

According to ornithologist Wilson, flocks of this bird during the flight in the United States consisted of 2․230․272․000 individuals who covered the sunlight for 4 hours during the flight.

In just two decades, the United States has managed to destroy the large flocks of birds by all possible means, with guns, cannons and batons. The last wandering pigeon named "March 8" died in 1914  In September ․ In the city of Cincinnati, in captivity. In conclusion, the author reveals that the reason for the extinction of this type of pigeon is not natural disasters, but business

The protection of such species will be safe if the status of a reserve or sanctuary is given to any area, regardless of its ownership and size, transferring the responsibility of protection to the owner of the area․

From this point of view, the islands of Lake Arpi are in dire need of obtaining the status of a reserve. The nest colonies consisting of 15,000 pairs of Armenian seagull and from 6 pairs of Pelicans nesting.

Such "mini-reserve" sanctuaries need much more plant species, which can be sponsored by individuals, rural communities, regions, municipalities, state and non-governmental organizations.

Despite the difficult situation, the bird world of Armenia as a whole remains diverse, uniquely interesting and seeks the support of reasonable people.

                                                                                               Author: S. Adamyan 

11 Aug 2020

A shortly description of the bird world of Armenia։ Part 3

Most of birds, adapting near the human habitation can take part of the expected crop, being spreaders of diseases.

The excretion of urban birds on architectural structures and statues can have an indelible traces destroying metal and stone. Birds around garbage near in the streets, parks, green areas of Yerevan, open cafes, markets, from a health point of view pose a significant threat due to the sanitary condition of the capital․

Among the many species of birds, crows, brown doves, and sparrows have been known since ancient times. Adapting to human life, these birds build nests everywhere, from tree branches and dense foliage, inaccessible parts of power poles, to the roofs of buildings.

Each breeding pair of crows  lays 3-7 eggs, the eggs are greenish-blue, pinned gray, black spots. The breeding season is April to July. In June, incomplete flying puppies can be seen. Parents in the care of cubs, in case of danger, can try to attack a person. The mother crow can try to attack any uninformed person or animal near the cubs hideout in the same way for defensive purposes. This aggressive behavior of crows gradually gone, when cubs already can fly in late July and early August.

In the city of Yerevan, magpies have appeared since the 1970s, initially due to landscaping and later in a wide range of garbage and open landfills. Crows and magpies are omnivorous birds. It should be reminded that not only human food scraps serve as food for them, but also the eggs, cubs and adults of birds living in the city. It is undeniable that urban birds (crows, magpies), by eating the remains of food in the garbage, as sanitizers, help to neutralize the garbage. But we must not forget that during this time they carry many bacteria on their feet and beaks and can infecting the environment with humans and animals. It should be noted, that the tuberculosis of Kochs’ is common for human and birds.

In the absence of measures, they go unnoticed and can be a massive source of hidden infection, especially in open landfills.

The vicious idea use of lands liberated from the waters of lake Sevan for agricultural purposes led to the collapse of the central ring of the ecosystem of the environment, the desertification of the areas free from the waters of the lake and the loss of the flora and fauna.

This happened after the implementation of the idea of drying up Lake Gili in the south-eastern part of Sevan, which left severe negative effects on the quality of water and land. In the 1960s, Lake Gillie was completely dry. Hundreds of species of animals and plants were registered in the Red Book, dozens of species became extinct or rare, the Great Cormorant, for which they paid one ruble as a pest, is now registered in the Red Book of the Republic.

Even some of the bird nesting species that are common in these areas will either completely forget about Gill as a habitat, or they will be reduced in number to become endangered species.

The deterioration of landscape, rapid hard rock exposure leads leads to a gradual reduction in the diversity of habitats. 

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