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International Scientists Visit ANHC's "Zapovedniks"

Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission - Monday, November 24, 2014

Recently three ANHC staff members led tours for visiting scientists who wanted to see our “zapovedniks.” They took three Russian scientists (who use the word “zapovednik” for nature reserve or protected area that is kept forever wild) along with two Missouri Botanical Garden horticulturalists to our Terre Noire and Middle Fork Barrens Natural Areas.

The tour was coordinated through the Wildlife Without Borders program of international affairs division of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The program grew out of the USFWS’s recognition that conservation is a global responsibility that extends beyond the human-drawn political and national boundaries. For more than 35 years, Wildlife Without Borders has worked with Russian conservationists, sharing information and jointly conducting scientific studies.

The goals for this visit and cooperative work included:

  • Comparing refuges and nature reserves and the external factors affecting them, with emphasis on rare and endangered species of fauna and flora and their habitats.
  • Promoting cooperation among botanical gardens and arboreta in both countries, including joint botanical research and collecting expeditions to analyze the relationships of plants between Eurasia and North America.

Our staff enjoyed meeting the visitors from the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment of the Russian Federation who has one member who did the English to Russian translations. Some of the native Arkansas plants they were most excited to see were the small orchids in the genus Spiranthes that are commonly known as ladies’-tresses. A very similar orchid grows in their native Russia.

Spiranthes at Terre Noire Natural Area

Spiranthes from Russia


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