Russia is a tale of two ecological stories. East of the central Ural Mountains, taiga forests and horizon spanning steppes are healthy and intact, falling in the Nature Could Reach Half category. To the west, the land is severely degraded, falling into the Imperiled category.
The Russian Federation’s vast territory is ecologically-diverse and endowed with a unique and important protected area legacy. The zapovednik system preserves pristine swaths of land as ecological baselines for scientific research. Established over a century ago, these protected areas – though criticized for excluding human communities – provide unparalleled ecological protections. For Russia, the challenge now lies in attuning human communities with an ethic of care for the natural world.
Ecologically intact & protected landscapes comprise 50% or more of this country.
Intact landscapes lacking protected status comprise 50% or more of this country.
Between 20-40% of landscapes are still ecologically intact.
Less than 20% of the natural ecology of this area is intact.
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Home to hundreds of species of plants and animals, this strictly protected area establishes for scientists ecological baselines within the important Lake Baikal region.
Established in the southern Urals in the early 1990s, Taganay protects vital wildlife corridors traversing the Eurasian continent.
Established in 1994, this protected area has the twin goals of protection and recreation, representing a break from the stricter form of protected area management in Russia.