Lake Baikal Foundation pays great attention to supporting young scientists whose research is aimed at preserving the unique natural territory. According to the results of the first stage of the competition «Baikal Initiative» 2019 one of the winners was Natalia Luzhkova. She shared a review on his project «Educational tourism as a tool for conservation of natural complexes in the conditions of pyrogenic and anthropogenic pressure».
— It is not the first time I apply for participation in this competition and I was already the winner 2 years ago. The theme of our project this year is related to the development of educational tourism in Zabaikalsky national park. We plan to conduct research on one of the most popular sites — the plateau of the Holy Nose Peninsula. This area is already experiencing quite a lot of anthropogenic pressure, but it is very point: along the routes of certain trails, on specific recreational areas. At the same time, the peninsula is periodically exposed to fires of both human and natural origin. It is very important for us to assess the state of fragile landscapes. We want to understand whether further development of educational tourism is possible in this territory or whether it is necessary to completely exclude it and allow nature to recover.
The project concerns not only scientific activities, we have an ambitious plan — with the help of funds received by us to attract specialists in geoinformation systems in order to create a common information system for our institution.
Such complex works on the Holy Nose Peninsula at an altitude of 1500 to 1870 meters with the participation of not only botanists but also zoologists have not yet been carried out. We will study how human activity can affect fragile tundra vegetation and animals. Our team plans to implement the ARCGIS system in this area and in the future to explore the middle mountain part in the forest zone in other places of the Peninsula.
For example, there are myths and legends that once a reindeer was seen here. This is a fairly atypical environment for its habitat, but we would like to check and make sure exactly which of the large mammals live on the plateau, whether there is a reindeer or not, what mouselike live there and, perhaps, to assess the state of the bear population.