Socio-ecological Union
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The "Snowdrop" operation has begun in Volgograd region

Bulbocodium Illegal gathering and sale of rare plants, blossoming in spring is the very sore problem for all southeast of Russia, and in particular, for Volgograd and Volgograd region.

Annually in the markets of city it is possible to observe the same picture: brisk sale of spring primroses (snowdrops) begins in February - March (usually in the period from February, 14 till March, 8). Local dealers offer wild-growing plants, first of all, brought of Krasnodar and Stavropol territory (cyclamens, snowdrops, hellebores). Hardly later - by the end of March, in April - the assortment is sharply increased due to local wild-growing kinds (goose onions(bows), crested birds, bulbocodium multi-coloured, a tulip two-floral, tulip of Gesner, tulip of Birberstain, a hazel grouse Russian, low iris, a glade Siberian, a lily of the valley May, and others).

Tulipa biebershtein It's generally known that some of these plants - the rare kinds recommended to list in Red books of Russia and of the Volgograd region. For example, the bulbocodium multi-coloured is very decorative plant, the characteristic inhabitant of open steppe slopes, has got to itself special popularity among dealers spring colors due to large pink blossoms. It is one of the first appears in steppe and strongly suffers that local residents constantly collect it on bouquets or dig out. As a result number of this kind is sharply reduced.

Other kinds like tulip of Birberstain and tulip of Gesner (people call them "snowdrop" and "an azure flower") are the most often objects of encroachments - they are collected and sold most of all.

Tulipa gesneriana To stop this situation it's possible only with the joint coordinated actions of the regional state and public ecological NGO's. First it's necessary to improve the regional legislation in the field of wildlife conservation. Now there is no Red book of the Volgograd area, there are no special laws and the decisions of Regional Duma regulating use of wild-growing plants, there is no appropriate mechanism of the control of execution of these laws. Therefore suppression of illegal gathering and trade in wild-growing colors is extremely complicated.

Tulipa biflora But there isn't time to wait for acceptance of laws. Therefore, since 2002 members of NGO "The Regional centre of biodiversity studying and conservation" and "The Green Orbit" with assistance of Volgograd regional administration's Committee on preservation of environment have developed regional operation "Snowdrop". They have prepared a package of information materials: the reference to citizens, the poster with the image of local kinds of the plants listed in the Red book. All these materials were distributed on city schools, in large shopping centers and supermarkets of the town.

It is important to note, that "Eltonsky" national park created recently in territory of the Volgograd region has active participate in the operation "Snowdrop". At the territory of the park were kept the unique dry-steppe sites which avoided of total ploughing up in the Soviet times. At the end of April the tulip fields blossom there.

During the operation conversations with dealers, journalists, officials were spent also.

"The Regional centre of biodiversity studying and conservation",

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