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Scientific Projects

 

2012 (March)- 2015 (December)

The MSc research project: Analysis of the effect of meteorological, superficial and anthropogenic conditions on the soaring activity of the Black vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) by means of GIS and remote sensing and its implication for the reduction of bird strike risks.

Campinas, Brazil

Organization:

Supervisor:

Prof. Dr. Wesley Rodrigues Silva - the chief of the LIVEP laboratory, Institute of Biology, UNICAMP

Abstract:

Read in Portuguese

The increasing numbers of aircraft collisions with birds near airports, caused mainly by growth of aircraft traffic and increase of bird populations are a big problem for many countries all over the world. The national research programs have been launched in several countries in order to solve the Bird Strike Problem. Most of bird-strike events occur during takeoff and landing operations within zone of 10-20 km around airports, where airplanes fly at low altitude. In Brazil this problem is serious and urgent as well. The Black vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) is the most abundant species in airports surroundings and, at the same time, the species that causes most of collisions with aviation in Brazil. These birds usually soar in flocks on thermals (the upward air flows) during daily hours, ascend highly at sky and cause the hazard of strikes for aviation. Due to its large size and behavioral features, the most common control approaches (falconry, ground deterrents) do not work against it. These conflicts cause the necessity of elaboration the effective measures, which can decrease the risk of strikes with Black vultures without harming these birds.

Our investigation was devoted to moving forward in elaboration of the methods allowing to reduce the risk of collision with Black vultures. It had two separate parts considered in two chapters. In the first one we studied the relationship between soaring activity of vultures and meteorological characteristics (Chapter II); in the second one we explored the dependence of soaring activity of vultures on superficial and anthropogenic factors (Chapter III). The both parts were implemented within surroundings of two airports of southeast of Brazil taken as case studies.

We developed the methodological approaches combining application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for data processing, which were used as the main research instrument. By dint of them we joined in the georeferenced databases (shape files) the data of bird's observation and three types of environmental factors: (i) meteorological characteristics collected together with the birds observation, (ii) superficial parameters (relief and surface temperature) obtained from the products of ASTER imagery; (iii) parameters of surface covering and anthropogenic pressure obtained from the satellite images of high resolution. Basing on the analyses of the prepared georeferenced databases, the relationship between soaring activity of vultures and environmental factors was studied; the behavioral patterns of vultures in soaring flight were revealed; the landscape types highly attractive for this species and forming the increased concentration of birds over them were detected; the maps giving a numerical estimation of hazard of bird strike events over the airport vicinities were constructed; the practical recommendations devoted to decrease the risk of collisions with vultures were formulated.

Our results showed that the altitude of soaring flights of Black vultures ranges from 13 to 550 meters. There were two types of schedule of daily soaring activity: plateau-like plot and plot with two peaks at morning and afternoon with a notable drop between them. At both types, about 1- 1.5 hours after local sunrise the soaring activity starts and about 1 - 1.5 hours before local sunset the soaring activity finishes. The strong anthropogenic stress in combination with large area of uninterrupted urbanized lands is a negative factor for Black vultures, which decrease the number of soaring birds. In contrast, small islands of urban zones, surrounded by natural and rural territories, are highly attractive to these birds. Water bodies and automobile roads are the most attractive objects for soaring Black vultures. The hypothesis, stating that Black vultures tend to soar over the strongest thermals in their surroundings was confirmed.

We believe, that the results of our investigation and elaborated methodologies will help to develop the effective set of measures allowing to decrease the number of aircraft collisions with Black vultures and other bird species.

My contribution: In the project I developed the techniques of combined application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for data processing, including methodology of risk assessment map construction; carried out data processing, performed the statistical analyzes, built the resultant plots, tables and risk assessment maps for studied area, participated in elaboration of practical recommendations for airports and researchers.

Results:

The research results will be presented in my Master's Degree Thesis and three resulting papers. The defence of the thesis is expected in March 2016, after the defence the full text of the thesis will be placed here. Papers are in preparation now. Below you can read the drafts of abstracts of papers and view of several figures

Resulting papers in preparation:

  • Novoselova N.S., Novoselov A. A. Silva W. R. The analysis of dependence of soaring Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) distribution over the surface on environmental conditions and estimation of risk of aircraft collision with these birds. Part I. The dependence of soaring behaviour of Black vulture on meteorological factors (in preparation) Read abstract

  • Novoselova N.S., Novoselov A.A. Silva W. R. The analysis of dependence of soaring Black Vulture (Coragyps atratus, Cathartidae) distribution over the surface on environmental conditions and estimation of risk of aircraft collision with these birds. Part II. The dependence of soaring behaviour of Black vulture on superficial and anthropogenic factors (in preparation) Read abstract

  • Novoselova N.S., Silva W. R. The elaborated methods of combined application of GIS and remote sensing technologies for reveal relationship between distribution of flying birds and environmental factors Read introduction

 

You can look some figures from the thesis and papers by clicking the icons:

 download JPG  download JPG  download JPG  download JPG  download JPG  download JPG

 

2006 (December October)

The present-day south boundary of the brown bear (Ursus arctos) range in European part of Russia and factors determining the brown bears survival and distribution

Moscow, Russia

Organizations:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA)

  • Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences

  • FGU Centrohotcontrol (Russia)

Scientific leaders:

Leonid M. Baskin (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS),

Volker Radeloff (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

Mihail A. Vaisfeld (Institute of Geography RAS)

Resulting papers:

  • Vaisfeld M. A., Baskin L. M., Gubar Yu. P., Radeloff V., Sitnikova E. F., Novoselova N.S.,2008. Dynamics of the southern borders of brown bears range in European Russia // Reports of Russian Academy of Science, series Geographical, 2008, V.3, 3, Moscow, Nauka Press, pp. 81 - 91 Read summary

  • Novoselova N. S., Vaisfeld M. A., Baskin L. M., Gubar Yu.P., Forest fragmentation as a limiting factor in brown bear survival and distribution in European Russia, 2006 // The materials of IV International Symposium Dynamics of Games Animals Populations in Northern Europe, Russia, Petrozavodsk, pp. 127 - 133 Read summary

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I was one of the principal investigator of the project. I processed data for the recent number of brown bears in all administrative districts of 19 administrative regions and republic of Russian Federation (from Smolensk Region on the west to Orenburg Region on the east). The data source was the official forms of the Regional Hunting Control Services that had been received from the Federal Governmental Hunting Control Services (FGU Centrohotcontrol).

Basing on those data, I created GIS maps demonstrating the number of bears and the density of bears population in the forest areas for each administrative district. Those maps allowed to determine the present-day location of the south boundary of brown bears range in European Russia. Comparison of the south border location in 1910-1920s and 1960s (which were revealed from the literature) allowed to conclude, that the modern location of the south edge of bears range have moved considerably to the southward from its location at 1960s. In some places it approximately reached to its location in 1910-1920s.

Results:

One of the project results was the general recommendation for protection of brown bears and for restoration of their local populations within the southern part of European Russia

The results and methodology of the researches are considered in two papers listed above.

You can see two GIS maps by clicking the icons:

 download JPG  download JPG

 

January 2002 December 2004

Landscape-creative of European beaver (Castor Fiber) activity in North-East European Russia (grant of INTAS Ref. 01-0168, 20022005)

Kologrivskiy Les nature reserve and biological station of Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution (Unzha river basin of Kostroma Region, Russia)

Organizations:

Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution Russian Academy of Sciences, Laboratory for behavior and behavior ecology of mammals

Scientific leader:

Leonid M. Baskin (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, RAS)

Resulting papers:

The book annotation and content you can find here: Pensoft Publishers

  • Novoselova N.S.The features of distribution and environment-forming activity of beavers (Castor fiber) in the southern taiga of North-East part of the Russian Plain, 2004 // Thesis submitted for the Geography Faculty of the Lomonosov Moscow State University to obtain the Degree of Specialist of Science in Geography in Biogeography Sciences. Moscow, Geography Faculty of MSU. download PDF of close translation in English

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I was one of the principle investigators in the research group of the Severtsov Institute in the international INTAS project Landscape-creative beaver activity in Northern Europe: a review of the 50-years species-restoration (grant of INTAS Ref. 01-0168, 20022005). At the same time, this research was the project for my Graduation thesis of Lomonosov Moscow State University (2004).

Our research was devoted to study the specifics of beavers settlement, behaviour traits, feed and influence on landscape in the southern taiga of the East European Plain. The field studies were implemented in taiga forest of Kostroma Region of Russia.

During the field research the all signs of beavers activity (lodges, burrows, dams, beaver ponds, cut and gnawed trees, beaver canals, marks on trees) were measured and described by several parameters and georeferenced by GPS; the biotope around was described according to the standard form of geobotanical description.

I participated in the field researches and development of the methodology of field data gathering and data processing. I implemented the data processing and GIS data analysis, prepared maps for publication and wrote some of resulting papers and my thesis

Results:

The results of the project were considered in my graduation thesis ( Lomonosov University,2004), two papers and a books chapter listed above. The most complete results of the project was presented in my graduation thesis and in the paper: [Novoselova, 2005] Initially I prepared this paper in Russian as precise material of Graduation thesis (for published its results). Later I translated this paper in English. You can read both variants: Original version in Russian (download PDF) ; translation in English (download PDF)

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The examples of two types of graphical illustrations made by GIS techniques are presented below. The methodology of the second one (profiles of rivers settled by beavers) I elaborated to reveal and analyze the specifics of operating of beavers dams. More details about the methodology and results you can find in the paper [Novoselova, 2005]

Type 1. The GIS maps of beaver settlements in the studied area (click on preview to look maps in a full size):

Map of beaver settlements-1 Map of beaver settlements-2 Map of beaver settlements-3

Type 2. The profiles of the rivers settled by beavers (click on preview to look the profiles in a full size):

The profile of Affluent-I The profile of Hmelevka The profile of Ivanchiha (part I) The profile of Ivanchiha (part II) The profile of Ivanchiha (part III) The profile of Kondoba The profile of Pichevo The profile of Pormich The profile of Voimesh Legend

 

2001 (July) 2002 (May)

Study of the habitat distribution and specifics of ecology of rocky lacertian (Lacerta saxicola darevskii) on the Abrau Penensula of the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains

The Abrau Peninsula of the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains (Krasnodar Territory, Russia)

Organizations:

Biogeography Department of the Faculty of Geography, Lomonosov Moscow State University

Scientific leaders:

Alexey Tsellarius (Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution RAS)

Olga Leontyeva (Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Geography)

Resulting papers:

  • The term paper of the graduate course: Novoselova N. S. The habitat distribution and specifics of ecology of rocky lacertian (Lacerta saxicola darevskii) on the Abrau Penensula of the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains

The project was dedicated to study the specifics of habitat, the distribution of occupied space and some other features of ecology of a single population of rocky lacertian in the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains

The field observations were implemented in the Northwestern Caucasus Mountains during two month (July and August, 2001). During this period I conducted the regular hiking routes through the mountain territories settled by rocky lacerations, calculating the number of met animals, examining of their habitat and observing of features of their behaviour. The gathered data was used for writing my term-paper (2002) where I described the results and methodology of the research.