Sunday 14 February 2016

Swift Nestboxing in Tashkent

We report regularly on the activities of our friends, Elena and Pavel, in Tashkent (Uzbekistan}, for they do so much, not only in the field of rehabilitation, but generally to raise the profile of wildlife conservation in their city and country. To this end, they decided to take part in a nestbox scheme in the city - nestboxes, especially external ones, are highly visible and make a public statement.

A local building firm, Murad Building Company, had already produced nestboxes for various species as part of a local conservation initiative. Elena and Pavel had a meeting with Murad and proposed that they should add a Swift nestbox to their suite of boxes. 

Of course, this was virgin territory for everyone, and we were happy to provide information on materials, design and construction for an external Swift box. The key points were to ensure that the boxes were proof against sun and rain, and that the optimum size should be floor area roughly 17cm x 30cm, height, 15cm.

As to materials, we all held our breath, but the results are spectacular. The boxes have now been delivered by Murad. They are made from good quality planed timber and of a thickness that gives them good insulation.

After a couple of false starts, Murad came up with the goods. They produced a 100 boxes in quick time!

The next step is the mounting of this first batch of completed boxes. Elena and Pavel met with Roman Kashkarov of the UzSPB, and got agreement for boxes to be placed on the UzSPB building, which is high and suitable for Swifts. This will be done ceremonially as part of the Society's "Common Swift Year 2016".

Their next step is to find as many local people as possible who would like to have Swift nestboxes on their property.

What is really heartening about all this is the recognition that our friends are getting for their work. They are now in the process of constituting themselves formally as the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wild Birds in Uzbekistan, and have an application in to the GEF Small Grants Programme, which was established in 1992, the year of the Rio Earth Summit. 

Elena and Pavel, we wish you well!

UPDATE: The following pictures show the boxes installed:


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