The Common Eider and Homo Sapiens:
Fourteen Centuries Together


Alexandra Goryashko

A huge number of people participated in this project. Only of editors - scientific, literary, Russian and English - there were seven. A translator, a bibliographer, a cartographer, an artist, a designer and typesetter all took part in making the book come out. In addition to those whose role falls under a definite category there were lots of people who looked for literature, information, illustrations and contacts, helped with translations from a variety of languages, provided consultations and covered ongoing expenses. Most importantly, their active interest in the eiders helped me in staying motivated and continuing to believe that this insane project has a solid reason under it, and gave me the power to complete the book.

A woman from Scotland, previously totally unfamiliar to me, made a trip to Farne Island to take a photo of the statue of St. Cuthbert with the eider. A sculptor from the USA, whom I also did not know before, made an eider out of wood to enable me to include its photo in the book. In a cold autumn evening Icelandic eider farmers attached back a sign marking the entrance to an eider farm in order to allow me to take a photo for the book. A senior scientist of the Moscow State University's Chemistry Faculty, having found himself at a conference in Paris, spent his only free day in the National Library of France looking for the first eider protection laws. A Chukotka Peninsula hunter made an eplicated to take a series of photos that show how exactly it is made. The descendants of the first Soviet scientists who studied the eiders provided me with information and photographs, and presented me with books that have long ago become biographical rarities. I received help from Danish hunters and Canadian museums, Finnish professors and Swedish artists, Norwegian farmers and Russian philologists, an American auction house and a Russian porcelain collector, employees of the office of the President of Iceland and of the Governor of Svalbard... Photos, articles, observations were sent to me from all over the world, and after a while it started feeling as if I was in charge of an entire eider study institute. The help of all those people was invaluable, and the book would not have been written without them. My great gratitude and a low bow to all the participants of creating this Eider book.




Автор книги с научными редакторами, Марией Гаврило и Александром Кондратьевым на Орнитологическом конгрессе в Твери, 2018 г.

The scientific editor and the co-author of the first, "biological" chapter was Alexander Vladimirovich Kondratyev. An ornithologist, a PhD, a deputy director in charge of scientific work at the Institute of Biological Problems of the North of the Far East Section of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Magadan. One of Russia's top experts in geese. An organiser and a leader of several international projects to study the biology of nesting and migration of Russian waterfowls, from the Baltic region to the Okhotsk Sea, which includes many parts of the Arctic region. A member of the editing board of the Kazarka Journal (an annual bulletin of the Working Group on Geese). Authored over 120 scientific works and co-authored six books.

Maria Vladislavovna Gavrilo was another scientific editor. An ornithologist, a PhD, and a participant of 50 expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, and the Baltic region in the course of 30 field seasons. Coordinates, from the Russian side, a network of experts on sea birds of the Barents Sea region, which is part of the Russian-Norwegian ecological programme. Since 2002 she represents Russia in the Circumpolar Expert Group on Sea Birds of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) organisation. A member of the SSC IUCN commission on sea birds. An author of about 200 publications (scientific, popular science, political), a co-author of four books, and an editor of nine scientific collections and books. A member of the editing board of the Sea Inheritance Journal, an analytic bulletin of Russian Arctic Research. An acting member of the Russian Geographic Society, and head of the commission on natural heritage of the Association "Sea Inheritance: Research and Preserve".

I'm especially pleased to note that both Maria Gavrilo and Alexander Kondratyev started their careers in ornithology in the 1980s in the "eider" establishment, the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve, where we became acquainted while working under the guidance of A.S. Koryakin, who was studying eider behaviour.



Pavel Kvartalnov - a scientific editor, a PhD.



Mikhail Vladimirovich Kalyakin - a scientific editor. An ornithologist, a Dr.Sc., and the director of the Moscow State University's Zoological Museum.



Evgeny Koblik - scientific editor. An ornithologist and a PhD. An animal painter.



Olga Viktorovna Maximova - a literary editor. An algologist (an expert in algae), works at the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. A person of extremely wide knowledge and a precise sense of the language.



Natalia Rogova - a cartographer.




Anastasia Fedotova - a bibliographer. A biologist, a PhD, a science history expert, and an editor.



Maria Sergunina - an artist. Attended graphic design courses at the Moscow State University of Culture and Art, participated in the intensive course of illustration in the British High School of Design.

Maria's works: https://www.behance.net/greenfinchh


Pavel Voytinsky - a translator into English.




David-Leslie Urion - a literary editor of the English version. A writer, a translator, and a teacher of English.

Gennady Alexandrov - processing of photos, design, typesetting and other types of preparation of the book for printing.



To illustrate the next

52 photographs,

about 15 artists

and over 20 museums

have availed their works or photos of their exhibits.