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Monitoring programme of eagle population in the north-eastern part of Sakhalin

The monitoring programme aims at:

• Monitoring of the eagle population in the north-eastern part of Sakhalin (potential pipelines and Lunskoye Bay impact area).
• Development of measures to reduce impact on the eagles in the course of operation of the production facilities.

Steller’s Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus) is an endemic species of Russia which is characterised by a localised habitat and small population. This species is protected in Poronaisky and Kurilsky natural reserves. It is listed in the Red Books of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources of Asia, Russia, Japan and Korea.

The overall number of Steller’s Sea Eagle nesting sites in Sakhalin amounts to 520-550. Most of the Sakhalin Island Steller’s Sea Eagle population (about 65 %) is concentrated around lagoon bays of the north-eastern coast.

The programme of study and preservation of the Steller’s Sea Eagle in the northeast of Sakhalin has been implemented since 2004.

For each occupied nest there have been identified buffer zones, set restrictions or complete prohibitions on presence of people, machinery, and certain categories of work and audio signals.

To assess the status of the population, Sakhalin Energy conducts researches not only within the impact zone of its facilities, but also in the reference area.

After the transition of the Sakhalin-2 project to the operation stage, Sakhalin Energy updated the programme for studying sea eagles with new risks taken into account.

The following objectives are followed in the course of the monitoring programme implementation:

• Assessment of the current populations of Steller’s Sea Eagles and white-tailed eagles within the potential project impact zone and in the reference area.
• Analysis of nests and nesting sites condition.
• Identification of key nature and man-induced factors which have an effect on the sea eagle population stability, including assessment of the bears presence.
• Development of additional measures to mitigate the impact on Steller’s Sea Eagles during project operation phase, if required.

In 2012 Sakhalin Energy published a book entitled Steller’s Sea Eagle, with full information on this protected species of birds.