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National Park On Shantar Islands
24.01.2014 13:07
National Park On Shantar Islands

Far East environmentalists welcome the creation of a national park on Shantar islands, the place where the Okhotsk population of rare bowhead whales feed.

      A government decree on the establishment of the national park on the territory of Shantar archipelago in the Sea of Okhotsk was signed on December 30, 2013. "The National Park will be one of the jewels of the Russia's Pacific necklace, where ocean cruise liners will enter along with Commander and Kuril reserves," the director of the Amur branch of WWF Russia Yury Darman said. Earlier, scientists have expressed their concern about the growing number of reports of uncontrolled hunting and fishing in the islands. Now, experts expect that after giving the territory a formal status of nature conservation, there is the reason to expect a solution to this problem.

      The Shantar Islands are a group of fifteen islands that lie in Uda Bay, in the southwestern zone of the Sea of Okhotsk. These islands are located close to the shores of the Siberian mainland. Most islands have rugged cliffs, but they are of moderate height; the highest point in the island group is 720 metres. The largest island in the Shantar group is Bolshoy Shantar Island (1790 km2). It is about 72 km in length and 49 km in width. It has a large brackish lake (Lake Bol'shoe) in its northern end which is connected to the sea through a narrow passage. Smelts (Hypomesus japonicus) and (H. olidus) are found in this lake. Other islands include Feklistova Island (372 km2), Malyy Shantar Island, (100 km2), Prokofyeva, Sakharnaya Golova, Belichiy, Kusova, Ptichiy, Utichiy, Yuzhnyy and finally Medvezhiy, which lies very close to the coast. Administratively this island group belongs to the Khabarovsk Krai of the Russian Federation.



Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Far East Shantar islands    

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