I remember the hot summer of 1996. From the heat dried up ponds. Near the village there was a pond, and there was almost no water in it. Here I go somehow past this pond, I see men in rubber boots picking mud and throwing something into a sack… It turned out they were digging carasses buried in the mud. Here you are! It’s time to pour down tears, but to them – luck! And the truth is said: “The worse, the better…”
Hot summer in places south of Ryazan was apple. Driving near Yelets in July, a bucket of apples could be bought for five thousand – for fifty “pre-perestroika” kopecks! Buyers are happy, and gardeners are unhappy. Everything that particularly needed the sun was born, including all animal small fry – mice and insects.
The process that continued to grow was connected with the plight of the economy. Industrial production everywhere declined by more than half. Livestock in agriculture has also decreased by half. Almost no fertilizers and pesticides are used – expensive! And, therefore, the press on nature is sharply weakened: discharges of waste into the rivers were reduced, life on the fields was not poisoned. Because of this, a lot of black grouses became: fly in huge packs. “This winter, we resume the already forgotten hunting with stuffed animals,” says my friend Lev Sinhov from Vyatka. In the forest-steppe zone a gray partridge appeared again. This once very widespread bird was considered almost extinct. Three or four years was needed for its notable “renaissance”. More often the voices of the corncrackers and quail began to be heard.
The water has recovered. Of the many places reported: markedly increased fish, even very sensitive to contamination of sterlet began to appear where it once was. And everywhere – in lakes and rivers – crabs began to stir, true indicators of water recovery.
No scientific experiment would give such a clear picture of the influence of man’s economic activity on the life of wildlife.
This process will be gaining strength for several more years. With the strengthening of the economy, the return to the construction of industrial enterprises and the construction of new ones will again push the quails, crayfish, black grouses, partridges and hares. Even in the neat, relatively clean world of Western Europe, almost no wildlife. In a clean, prosperous Switzerland you will not hear even the croaking of frogs. The question is very serious: will our industry and agriculture revive in a sparing regime for nature?