Sikhote Alin National Natural Biosphere Sanctuary
Laso National Natural Sanctuary
Ussuri National Natural Sanctuary
Kedrovaya Padj National Natural Sanctuary
Hanka National Natural Sanctuary
Far East National Marine Natural Preserve
National natural sanctuaries
are essentially nature-protection, research and eco-educational institutions
designed to preserve and study the natural course of natural processes
and events, individual species and communities of plants and animals.
Sanctuaries are fully exempt from economic utilization of protected natural complexes and objects (soil, water, mineral wealth, flora and fauna) of nature-protection, scientific and eco-educational significance as specimens of natural ecological environment, typical or rare landscapes, and gene pool preservation site of various plants and animals. Sanctuaries protect biological diversity by maintaining the natural state of existing natural complexes and objects, engage in research, keep chronicles of Nature and conduct ecomonitoring within the framework of Russia’s national system. Sanctuaries also take active part in ecological education, ecological examination and training of nature-protection specialists.
Today, Primorye has six sanctuaries, more than in any other part of the Russian Federation. However, they are relatively small in area. Their total area is 679,423 ha, including sea area—65,900 ha and Lake Hanka—5,900 ha, or 4.1% of Primorye’s total area. The latter is 7,1 times less than the corresponding area of Kamchatka, 2.5 times less than that of Magadan Region, and 2.4 times less than that of Khabarovsk Territory. Sikhote Alin (biosphere preserve), Laso and Khanka sanctuaries function under the Russian National Committee for Environment Conservation, and the rest under the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ussuri National Natural Sanctuary and Kedrovaya Padj being directly subordinate to the Institute of Biology and Soil Science, F.E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Far East National Marine Preserve to the Institute of Marine Biology, F.E. Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences.
In recent years, Primorye’s sanctuaries
have considerably expanded their international contacts. Many of them have
begun taking part in Russia’s international commitments involving various
conventions and programs. Meanwhile, the overall situation in Primorye’s
sanctuaries is deteriorating. The scope of research and nature-protection
is declining, this being primarily due to the current dire financial situation.
The increasing number of people who have to subsist mainly at the expense
of taiga and sea resources leads to greater infringements of existing prohibitions
and to decline in animal populations. This, in turn, does not allow guaranteeing
preservation of rare and disappearing animal and plant species even in
Unfortunately, the existing network of sanctuaries cannot fully support biologic diversity, since the boundaries of preserves are quite often drawn with no consideration for ranges of populations of major protected species, while populations of numerous rare species have not been included in extra-protected natural ranges (EPNR). Hence, the need for expanding existing sanctuaries and creating and expanding around them protective and buffer zones recommended by Primorye’s Ecological Program, and also to organize other categories of EPNRs.
Yu. BERSENEV, Expert, Primorye Territorial Duma.