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First victims of Danube canalization Ukrainian government and German moebius have killed bird colony

Abandoned colony and dead eggs
Thousands of terns' chicken had died in the eggs on Ptichya (the Bird) spit near the Bystroe estuary at the Danube delta. This is the first (but not the last) tragic result of the dredging carried out at the Bystroe estuary by German company Moebius contracted by Minstry of Transport of Ukraine. The noise coming from the working dredgers is spreadin around for 5-7 km.

Representatives of Danube biosphere reserve and 3 other organizations with sadness had to document death of tern colonies Sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis) and common tern (Sterna hirundo) that nested at the Ptichya (the Bird) spit near the Bystroe estuary.

On July 16 joint group recorded the following:
On the location of two large Sanwich tern colonies (previously recorded 950 and 430 nests at June 28) and one common tern colony ( 120 nests recorded at the same date) remains of many hundreds of tern eggs were found. The egg damage shows that no chicken appeared. The chicken were expected to come out of the eggs around July 20. No grown up birds were present the colony abandoned the Ptichya (the Bird) spit. The most possible case of the colony vanishing was overwhelming disturbance coming from dredging fleet and service scooters working at the Bystroe estuary.

This fact comes in controversy with cheerful statement of Ukrainian Foresign Affairs Ministry representative Konstantin Grischenko. "Canal construction to the Black Sea through Bystroe estuary does not affect ecologcial balance of the Danube Delta" that was his answer to demands coming form EU and international environmental community to do proper assesment for the canal project.

Ministry of Transport Of Ukraine, companies Delta-Pilot and Moebius are makinf use of such official position of Ukraine. None of them is going to take any attempt to minimize the damage to the Danube delta environment. On contrary, on June 17 Delta-Pilot representative annonsed soon tree logging and destruction of Danube reserve - to start construction of the canal sides. All this is located at the reserve territory.

On July 8 EU-Ukraine Summit Ukrainian President Kuchma without any shame stated that canal construction through Bustroye estuary is harmless to the Danube delta Nature. At the same time Ministry of Transport, Moebius and Delta Pilot are destroying it.

If the canal construction and reserve destruction will continue, in October Danube reserve may loose its UNESCO international biosphere reserve certificate. This will be a final stab as then Ukrainian Government and business will be free to abolish the reserve and to use it territory for business purposes.

Sergey Shaparenko pecheneg@ic.kharkov.ua
Vladimir Boreyko - kekz@carrier.kiev.ua
Olga Zakharova seupress@seu.ru

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