Kazakhstan taking steps to protect Snow leopards

The snow leopard is one of Kazakhstan’s rarest animals and a national symbol. Populations are scattered, stretching from high, rugged mountain range habitats in the east (administrative regions of East Kazakhstan and Almaty) to the south (administrative regions of Zhambyl and South Kazakhstan), complicating getting an accurate population count. Estimates place the number of snow…

Read More

Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome: Transboundary impacts

The recent launch from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan of a rocket has once again brought to the forefront the dangers posed by this space facility that is operated by Russia’s RosKosmos space program. When a rocket is launched, boosters, rocket fragments, and other waste fall away, landing with a crash back on Earth. Generally, they…

Read More

Kazakhstan: an overview

Kazakhstan ranks as the largest nation in Central Asia and the world’s largest landlocked country. It share borders with Russia, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and the Caspian Sea. A land of deserts and plateaus stretching across the rolling tablelands of the Eurasian landmass, approximately 20 percent of Kazakhstan is mountainous, dotted by the Tien Shan,…

Read More

Steppe eagles

Steppe eaglets on a nest

Long-term study sheds light on Steppe eagle migration It’s a rough, but mostly routine, journey for Steppe eagles (Aquila nipalensis) migrating to their winter abodes, according to results of a four-year study.  In May 2022 Russia-based ornithologists announced the results of a conservation project launched in 2018 that centered on the Steppe eagle and focused…

Read More

Wind power and raptors

Eastern imperial eagle (photo by I. Karyakin)

The connection between wind power and raptors is surprisingly complex. Wind power generation stations, or “farms”, offer renewable, low-pollution energy and are an important tool for combating the climate crisis.  However, these wind farms have a number of environmental consequences, including killing an estimated 681,000 birds/year in the United States alone in 2021. Given the…

Read More