International Crane Foundation

Seining for fish

Muraviovka Park for Sustainable Land Use

Muraviovka Park was established in 1996 by the International Socio-ecological Union (ISEU, Moscow) on 5,206 hectares of wetlands and arable lands leased in 1994 from the Tambovka District Administration (Amur Region) in southeast Russia. Six species of cranes, the Oriental White Stork and over twenty other rare and endangered species of birds inhabit the park. Since there are very few such exceptional places in the world, the park and adjacent territories in the Amur River valley are included in the Ramsar list of Wetlands of International Importance. The park has become the first non-governmentally managed protected territory in Russia and its experience and activities are described in textbooks in a number of countries. The park is a pioneer in sustainable land use implementation, with a goal to benefit wildlife conservation while increasing living standards and education levels of local populations.

For more information about Muraviovka Park contact:

Elena Smirenski, Coordinator of Amur Expedition Program
George Danner, Muraviovka Park Board Member

Friends of Muraviovka Park Sergei and Elena Smirenski, with Muraviovka Park Board Member George Danner. Sergei is the Founder and Director of Muraviovka Park. Elena is a Program Assistant at ICF and coordinator of the Amur Expedition Program.
Research, Protection, Restoration and Management of Endangered Wildlife Species and Their Habitats

The park is striving to restore historical populations of endangered species and natural communities. Currently, the nesting density of endangered birds in the park’s “working lands” is significantly higher than in other regional protected areas. Up to eight pairs of the endangered Red-crowned Crane, five to eleven pairs of White-naped Cranes, and eight to ten pairs of Oriental White Storks breed in the park annually. During seasonal migrations, hundreds of Hooded and White-naped Cranes use the park lands as a stopover site, along with thousands of Bean and White-fronted Geese. To protect and restore these populations, the park is implementing a fire suppression program to control wildfires that destroy habitat for wildlife, planting lure crops for cranes and other birds, and developing environmental education and public awareness programs for local people, who are actively involved in these efforts.

Seining for fish
Seining for fish in the Amur River
Sustainable Land Use

Activities of the park’s Demonstration Farm are based on crop rotation, diversification of crop varieties, proper choice of technologies and equipment, and total exclusion of chemicals (synthetic pesticides and fertilizers). These methods aid in reducing environmental pollution, control wildfires within the park territory, diminish weeds, increase soil fertility and crop production, and reduce costs of growing high quality organic produce. In addition, the park is planting a tree nursery, wind breaks, an arboretum, and initiated a program to restore historical forests in the area. These programs aid in reducing soil erosion, increase crop production, create new habitats for wildlife, and improve conditions for recreation and education for people.


Since 1994, more than 1,500 school and university teachers and students, nature reserve staff from the Amur and Primorsky Regions, Unites States, China, South Korea, and India have participated in international summer camps and workshops at the park. The park provides training and professional improvement in the areas of ecology, agriculture, English language, and crafts. The park organizes contests and festivals, provides assistance to local schools, libraries, and orphanages. The park also initiated environmental summer camps in the Primorsky and Khabarovsk Regions.

Teachers interact with summer camp students at Muravioka Park
International Cooperation

The park is an important stopover and nesting ground for a large group of birds that winter in East Asia. The park has contributed to developing cooperation among countries in the Pacific region in the areas of migratory bird protection, environmental education and cultural exchange. Annually dozens of Russian and American wildlife experts, teachers and students conduct research, provide assistance, share experience, or receive training. Under the cultural and specialist exchange programs, the park organizes visits of teachers, experts, and students to the United States, Japan and China. The park is also sharing its experiences with environmental education and sustainable land use with teachers, students and experts from China and South Korea, organizing environmental summer camps in Heilongjiang Province of China, international meetings and workshops on nature protection, sustainable agriculture, fire suppression, and social problems of youth.

Friends of Muraviovka Park (FOMP)

From the day of its creation, volunteers have provided invaluable help to Muraviovka Park. In 1998, these volunteers established Friends of Muraviovka Park (FOMP), which now unites about 150 supporters of the Park in Russia, United States, Europe, South Korea, and Japan. Visit the FOMP website to learn more about the group and to become a member.

Zhuravl Newsletter

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