Khakassky wetlands Siberia

Once again about wetlands

Every February the “Khakassky” Reserve tells about wetlands – the unusual places for common people. Actually, in the word “wetland” our beautiful Khakass lakes and steppe rivers are implied. The wetlands are the habitats of natatorial and semi-aquatic birds. However, except them, a large quantity of other kinds of plants and animals lives and breeds in these territories. Wetlands concentrate various kinds of life, both water and land.

Traditionally by February 2, the “Khakassky” Reserve opens a series of actions devoted to the World Wetlands Day. This year we have prepared an Internet quiz, intellectual game and have opened a small photo-exhibition dedicated to the wetlands of the world.

The Internet quiz, devoted to this important ecological day, was held from the 19th to 27th of January. It was the first time, when the “Khakassky” Reserve decided to involve Internet audience in such competition, and this attempt appeared to be successful. During the week, more than 150 letters from participants of our quiz had been arriving to the reserve’s e-mail. People from different regions of Russia took part in the competition. Except local participants, the quiz attracted the attention of people from such republics as Buryatia and Tyva, the Moscow, Smolensk, Volgograd, Tula, Voronezh, Irkutsk, Novosibirsk, Kemerovo, Pskov oblasts, the Altai and Krasnoyarsk and some others regions. The age of participants was from 10 to 52 years. They were schoolboys, students, housewives and so on. 49 participants gave the right answers. All of them were given the memorable prizes. Six winners of the Internet quiz became participants of the intellectual game, which was held in a conference hall of the “Khakassky” Reserve. On February 2, in the World Wetlands Day, they fought the intellectual duel with a command of students from the Khakass State University, where they won one more victory.

The photo-exhibition, which was opened also on February 2, acquaints visitors with various wetlands of the whole world. We have tried to present all continents. Visitors of photo-exhibition can get acquainted with landscapes of the London Wetland Centre – the reserve located on 40 hectares of marshland in the center of capital of Great Britain, London. The Kota Kinabalu Wetland Centre is located in Malaysia, Borneo and covers 24 hectares mangrove, and Lake Naivasha – fresh-water lake in Kenya in semidroughty area of the East African zone. The wetlands of Southeast Asia, Canada, Finland, Switzerland open their beauties before our visitors.

The World Wetlands Day is especially notable in a calendar of ecological dates of the “Khakassky” Reserve. Various kinds of world wetlands are present in the Republic of Khakasia. Khakasia is rich of high-mountainous lakes, bogs, marshes and river gulfs, fresh and salty lakes. Many kinds of grounds are protected by the “Khakassky” Reserve. The most well-known protected grounds are the lakesides of Bele and Shira lakes, and also such reserved lakes as Itkul and Ulug-Kol. In order to keep these known and unknown natural sites safe and not to let them disappear from the interconnected and interdependent wetlands system, the “Khakassky” Reserve will continue the educational and nature protection work.

Elena Kim

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Book or Kindle?

How Many Trees Will the Kindle Save?

The festive season during late 2011 could have been called the gadget season as tablet computer owners increased from 10% to 19% of the US population from mid December 2011 to early January 2012. The same figures applied to owners of eBook readers – Amazon don’t and won’t say exactly how many Kindles they sold. Some people bought both. An incredible 29% of people (up from 18%) now own at least a tablet or an eBook reader – that’s almost one in three of the entire population according to the figures from pewinternet.org.

So how many trees are being saved by Americans reading books on either their dedicated eBook reader or via software on their tablet computer?

How many trees to make a book?

There isn’t an easy mathematical equation to definitely show how many trees are needed to make a book because there are too many unknown figures in the equation. Trees vary in size both in height and width, even within the same species. Books vary in size in both size and length – number of pages, making it impossible to give a simple answer to the question, but some experts have taken averages into account to show some results.

How far does one cord go?

You may not have heard of the measurement cord, but one cord of dense hardwood, air-dried, produces 942 copies of a 100 page hardcover book. TAPPI, who provided the figures, based their results on roughly 15 trees with a 10 inch diameter to make up one cord. If you click on the link you will find out more about the tree to book making process.

Working backwards, that means each tree makes around 60 100-page books, but as the average novel appears to contain around 300 pages, each tree makes about 20 books. If you have been reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy concerning his heroine Lisbeth Salander, you will know that each tree will provide just over 3 sets of the trilogy. 65 million of you have bought the set so let us hope more now have it in the shape of an eBook file rather than downing a full forest to provide for the book’s paper.

The cost of maintaining a Kindle

The cost of books bought – mostly as paperbacks from your grocery store – is close to the cost of downloading an eBook from your favorite online store, be that for your iPad, your Kindle, your Nook or Sony reader. However, there has been a surge in books available in eBook format at anything from 99 cents to less than three dollars. Your local Wal-Mart won’t sell you a paperback at less than 4 dollars.

There has been a general encouragement to read more books because they are priced so cheaply in the electronic version. As eBook readers mostly store at least 1,000 books, it will be easier to take enough books on vacation without affecting the ever dwindling baggage allowances. Therefore, the eBook reader will save you money over the traditional paperback purchase in weight allowance alone. More importantly, your carryon baggage can be considerably lighter as each paperback weighs more than an eBook reader and most avid readers carry at least two in fear of having nothing to read.

The lowering of weight on the airplane per passenger will reduce the weight of the airplane which means they will gain more miles to the gallon of air fuel. You should not wait around to collect your cheaper ticker based on this assumption.

Your Kindle or other eBook reader still needs to be charged. That costs electricity even if you charge from your laptop computer. It may only be a trickle, but there are several million more trickles going out through the system since the festive season. However, this needs to be balanced against the costs of making a paperback which uses more energy than charging an eBook and the time spent online downloading a new book or two.

Who wins?

Even if you balance up the cost of making the eBook reader and the cost of charging the gadget, a lot less energy is being used compared to the process of making paperbacks. You will still buy paperbacks, but only if your choice of downloading provider doesn’t have the book in its store.

Demi Relf is a self-confessed bookworm but always felt guilty about the paper she was consuming. After a decade of reading only second hand books on her organic latex mattress, she can now read books without endangering a single tree.

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