Book

A report of RSPB-supported scientific research at Koytendag State Nature Reserve, East Turkmenistan

Welch, G. and Stoev, P.

Record Number:
5848
Year:
2019
Pages:
88 pages
Publisher:
Pensoft Publishers, Sofia
Notes:
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Abstract:
Major international expeditions to Koytendag were organised by the RSPB in 2014 and 2015, following a scoping mission in 2013. Opportunistic recording, principally of birds, was made during separate technical visits between May 2012 and March 2016. The most significant findings from the research carried out are: 1 Hydrogeology a) discovery of a new cavity with several dry sinkholes and running water near Hojapil village. The estimated diameter of the underground cavity is approximately 100 m, with a depth of approximately 25 m. b) discovery of a new sinkhole with a dry lake in the bottom. c) discovery of a new cave with an underground lake with an estimated area of 4,400 m2 making it the largest underground lake not only in Turkmenistan but also in the whole territory of the North Eurasia. d) confirmation that there are three discrete hydrological systems within the site. 5. Fish a) seven of the ten species recorded for the area were identified in 2015. b) eight individuals of the endemic Starostin’s blind loach Troglocobitis starostini (VU) were observed. c) two novel survey techniques for the blind loach were trialled – use of a remotely operated vehicle to observe fish in situ and the collection of DNA samples in order to develop a means of detecting the presence of blind loach in water samples for surveying locations inaccessible to divers or remotely operated vehicles. More work is required to refine the DNA sampling methodology.
Times Cited:
1
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