Krapu speaks on research at Kiwanis
Marvin Bietz introduced Gary Krapu, Valley City, who spoke about sandhill crane research in Siberia at the Kiwanis noon luncheon meeting Sept. 20 at the Lantern Room. Krapu works at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research center near Jamestown. He had...
Marvin Bietz introduced Gary Krapu, Valley City, who spoke about sandhill crane research in Siberia at the Kiwanis noon luncheon meeting Sept. 20 at the Lantern Room. Krapu works at Northern Prairie Wildlife Research center near Jamestown. He had been communicating with biologists from Siberia who consider him to be the "Crane boss of America." Since cranes from this area migrate to Siberia and Russia, and he'd been tracking them by satellite, he wanted to go do a field study and collect data on them. The Siberian biologists could also speak English and were his interpreters while he was there. Krapu flew from Chicago to Moscow and then flew to Yakutia, a small republic that has its own government. There was security personal everywhere. They had never seen an American before and a police officer said, "You have come a long way and you are a very brave man." Because of the cold and snow there are no major roads so flying and boating, when the water is open, are the means of travel.
The Siberians had invited Krapu to come if he would do a study of their cranes. They picnicked to the research area and lived off of the land. It was very wild with lots of game. It was Krapu's job to hunt for meat, others fished, and while they had adequate food, he lost 15 pounds while there from all the walking he did. They flew to Tumat in a bi-wing plane, the most dangerous part of the trip because of the cold Arctic air off the ocean as they flew over mountains, he said. It was cold in the far north and the trees grew to be only 6 feet tall. There were many large mosquitoes that were unbearable unless the wind blew. Reindeer can die off from loss of blood from being bitten by them, he said. They found Siberian cranes that the Russians didn't know were there. From the standpoint of a biologist it was a wonderful place to explore, Krapu said. He said he got close to high security areas where no one but local people could go. He gained an insight into the people and the land of Siberia and will be writing articles for the National Geographic and other publications. He is grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
President-elect Tim Burchill will introduce the 2010-11 Kiwanis booklet and do club orientation at the Oct. 4 noon luncheon Kiwanis meeting at the Lantern Room.