Laboratory of Ornithology and Herpetology

Head of the Laboratory of Ornithology and Herpetology – Abayev Almat Zholdosbaevich

The laboratory has two groups of specialists – in ornithology and in herpetology.

The main focus of the ornithologists’ group in recent years is the study of bird migrations. At the laboratory operates the Center for bird ringing, data on which are obtained annually from the Ornithological Station Chokpak, as well as a number of other field stations. Chokpak Station is a member of the international bird-ringing organization EURING. The laboratory accumulates data on the species composition, timing and daily activity of the migration, determining the total number of populations of individual species and its changes, figuring out the dependence of the intensity of migration on weather conditions, collecting demographic characteristics of migrants on the basis of their morphometric data.

In recent years, marking birds with GPS/GSM transmitters has made it possible to more accurately (instrumentally) determine the height and speed of their movement at various stages of flight; to determine with high accuracy the periods of the life cycle of birds. In 2017-2022, 30 individuals of 17 bird species were tagged with GPS/GSM transmitters.

Monitoring of the number, breeding success, territorial distribution of some colonial bird species mainly in Almaty region is carried out. Also, there is a regular collection of biological samples to clarify the role of wild birds in the spread and circulation of viral infections.

The laboratory has an ornithological collection represented by a collection of bird carcasses (skins) and an oological collection of nests and clutches. For today the collection of bird carcasses contains 29,439 specimens of 459 bird species of Kazakhstan ornithofauna and 329 species collected in the territories of other countries. The Oological section of the collection contains 1524 specimens of nests and clutches of 291 species of birds collected in the territory of Kazakhstan and 54 clutches of 16 species of birds collected in Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.

The research topics of the laboratory herpetological group are currently aimed at studying many aspects of amphibian and reptile biology not only in Kazakhstan, but also in neighboring territories, using a variety of methods and carried out in collaboration with leading specialists from other countries. In recent years, studies of the Semirechensk Frog populations; species and intraspecific structure and phylogeny of species complexes of some genera of puffins, roundheads, lake frogs, distribution features and ecology of adder snakes and gray viper have been conducted. Constant work on preservation and replenishment of the herpetological collection, which contains samples of more than 6,500 specimens of amphibians and reptiles, as the Kazakhstan fauna (56 species), and collections from other countries (29 species) is carried out.

History of the Laboratory of Ornithology and Herpetology: