Sergey A. Simonov, PhD, Senior Researcher in the Laboratory for Zoology of the Institute of Biology of Karelian Research Centre of RAS (Russia, Petrozavodsk, Pushkinskaya Street, 11); e-mail:
Maria V. Matantseva, PhD, Senior Researcher in the Laboratory for Zoology of the Institute of Biology of Karelian Research Centre of RAS (Russia, Petrozavodsk, Pushkinskaya Street, 11); e-mail:

Reference to article

Simonov S.A., Matantseva M.V. 2020. Analysis of the current status of avifauna in Kostomuksha State Nature Reserve and Kalevala National Park (North-West Russia), taking into account influence from adjacent areas. Nature Conservation Research 5(3): 51–65.

Electronic supplement. Bird species, faunistic and target groups, conservation status, and abundance parameters averaged over the entire area of the surveyed type of landscape in Kostomuksha State Nature Reserve (KNR) and Kalevala National Park (KNP) (Link).

Section Research articles

The paper offers an assessment of the current status of the avifauna in Kostomuksha State Nature Reserve (KNR) and Kalevala National Park (KNP). They are the two largest Protected Areas (PAs) in Russian Karelia, having a key importance for the conservation of pristine boreal ecosystems in the Green Belt of Fennoscandia. The species composition and abundance parameters of birds in these PAs are described on the basis of data from 2015–2019 and compared with data gathered in 1980–1990. We specifically address the influence of adjacent areas on the bird fauna of the PAs. First of all, it was the potential effect of recently logged areas in the vicinity of the protected territories on avifauna in their periphery. The studies were carried out as transect counts and point counts with the resultant data processing in R environment. Comparison with data obtained in 1980–1990 corroborates the hypothesis about a species turnover of boreal ecosystems in the direction of increasing the ratio of southern species. The observed species turnover in the PAs is consistent with the ideas about ongoing global species turnover due to climate change. As for the anthropogenic load on ecosystems, until now, no critical effect of logged areas adjoining KNR and KNP on the avifauna in these PAs has been detected. Presumably, the pressure on the ecosystems is alleviated by the size of the PAs and the scope of their conservation. Arguably, if the key current parameters of the PAs are maintained, in KNR and KNP, the natural bird fauna would be preserved in spite of the increased anthropogenic pressure in adjacent areas. However, it cannot be ruled out, that as the logged area around the PAs expands, and the number of species associated with open habitats increases accordingly, some of them may disperse into the transformed habitats available in the PAs. Hence, monitoring of the avifauna in these PAs should be continued, especially in their periphery, considering the tendencies for an increase in the concentration of southern bird species and widespread species near the disturbed areas. The highest threat contained in continuing logging around the PAs is a farther spread and a rise in the numbers of species not typical of boreal ecosystems. Thus, logging can contribute to the species turnover induced by climate change and exacerbate the situation. Such a shift in the ratio of northern and southern birds may, in turn, jeopardise the balance in boreal communities and thereby increase their vulnerability.


birds, climate change, edge effects, human impact, logging, Protected Area, protected species, rare species, taiga

Artice information

Received: 09.12.2019. Revised: 01.06.2020. Accepted: 06.06.2020.

The full text of the article

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