Ramsar site management plans -- Russian Federation, Kamchatka Peninsula

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Director of Center
For International Projects
S. E. Tikhonov


Head of the Project
Academician of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, Professor,
Ramsar Conservation Award Winner

Moscow, 2000


According to the goals of the project, the information about the state of biological diversity and nature resource users for four Ramsar sites (Parapolsky Dol, Moroshechnaya River, Utkholok Cape, Karaginsky Island) has been prepared.

The preliminary inventory of the wetlands (classification, natural characteristics, and areas) has been carried out. Based on the checklists of major species of vascular plants and vertebrate animals, including rare and threatened and endangered ones, the richness of biological diversity of each site has been revealed. The resources of main groups of vertebrates – birds and mammals (in thousand individuals after breeding period and during migration) have been evaluated. The indices for the fish abundance are given in numbers, for migratory salmons – in million individuals. The number of animals was calculated for habitat types. The resources of vertebrate animals have been evaluated in USD. Their cost in "Parapolsky Dol" is 21.0 million, "Karaginsky Island" – 60.0, i"Moroshechnaya River" – 37.5, and in "Utkholok Cape" is 27.5 million USD.

The statements – documents regulating economic activity in the sites and their protection as well as determining the site boundaries and area were prepared and approved by the Administration of the Koryak Autonomous Area.

Management plans for each site have been elaborated on the basis of the information obtained and normative documents. The following measures and procedures are included into the management plans:

    1. Recommendations for monitoring of biodiversity and anthropogenic impact;
    2. Improvement of the legislation for protection of the wetlands (legislative division of rights and obligations between the Administration of the Koryak Autonomous Area and Federal Center on behalf of the Ministry of Natural Resources);
    3. Elaboration of economic mechanisms for the biodiversity protection while in nature management;
    4. Organisation of new protected areas (Ramsar sites) in Kamchatka region;
    5. Organisation of work with local population;
    6. Search for sources of funding.

The experience obtained should be disseminated at the Russia’s Ramsar sites and among wide sections of the public.


ramsar.gif (6181 bytes)The implement of the project "Development of monitoring programmes and draft management plans for the Ramsar sites located on the Kamchatka Peninsula" has made possible owing to the financial means (40,000 Swiss francs) allocated through the fund of Ramsar grants. We are very much obliged to the Secretariat of the Ramsar Convention, General Secretary Delmar Blasco, and regional co-ordinator for Europe Mr. Talias Salathé for the unceasing attention and financial and consultative assistance in solving problems regarding the wetland conservation in Russia.

The project was implemented by the Centre of international projects of the State Committee on Ecology of Russia (Director- Dr. S. Tikhonov) and the Centre for Study of Eurasian Migratory Animals (Director – Dr. V. Avdanin).

The project had been implemented since January 1999 to September 30, 2000.

Academician of Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, a Ramsar Convention Award Winner V.G.Krivenko provided guidance of the project. Responsible executors are E.S.Gusakov and Yu.N.Gerasimov.

Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection of the Koryak Autonomous Area I.G.Tsulya and main specialist of this Committee A.P.Zolotuyev participated actively in the work on implementing the project.

Dr. N. N. Gerasimov, a known naturalist, zoologist, and specialist on the nature of Kamchatka provided a useful guide in studying Ramsar sites.


The project aims at the determination of major strategic and practical lines in the activity of state and public organisations for conservation of the Kamchatka’s Ramsar sites.

The following actions for each Ramsar site were performed to solve the tasks of the project:

    1. Inventory of animal habitat;
    2. Improvement of the site boundaries and area;
    3. Inventory of biodiversity (vertebrate animals, vascular plants) and resources of the main animal species;
    4. Estimation of a biosphere, ecological, and economic importance of each Ramsar sites and various habitats within it;
    5. Inventory of land and nature users, pollution sources on watersheds. Determination of major negative impacts on site ecosystems;
    6. Inventory of acting legislative documents and other legal acts providing conservation of Ramsar sites;
    7. Determination of major lines in the strategy of the site conservation and optimisation of nature management;
    8. Elaboration of organisational and methodical grounds for monitoring the state of natural ecosystems and anthropogenic impacts;
    9. Elaboration of Management plans providing the conservation of sites;
    10. Popularisation of ideas about protection of the Kamchatka’s Ramsar sites and dissemination of the experience obtained in other Russian regions.

The work of the experts was diversified and distributed among them as follows:

  • V.G.Krivenko - methodology, general guidance, arrangement, editing of materials, complex and value assessment of biological resources, and major work on elaboration of a monitoring system and management plans for all Ramsar sites.
  • E.S.Gusakov - "Parapol’sky Dol"- introduction, inventory of habitats, description of plant communities, inventory of bird resources, the number of terraneous mammals, distribution and use of sea mammals and local fish populations, participation in elaboration of monitoring programs and management plans, preparation of a performance specification for the project, and general coordination of experts’ actions.
  • Yu.N.Gerasimov - "Moroshechnaya River", Utkholok Cape", "Karaginsky Island"- introduction, inventory of bird habitats and resources, the number of mammals, quantitative characteristics of migratory salmon populations, participation in preparing monitoring programs and management plans, and organisational work.
  • A.P.Zolotuev and I.G.Tsulya - all four sites - inventory of nature users and pollution sources, collection of information about protected natural areas and threatening factors, main data on numbers and distribution of sea mammals, inventory of regional normative-legal acts for nature conservation, preparation of cartographic materials on nature management, and participation in preparing monitoring programs and management plans.
  • B.A.Sheiko - all four sites - compilation of annotated taxonomic checklists of fish, ecological and faunistic analysis of ichthyofauna, preparation of sketches on migratory commercial fish species and fish of small value and their distribution over the region.
  • A.S.Valentsev - all four sites - characteristic of fauna and terraneous mammals.
  • O.A.Chernyagina and V.V.Yakubov - all four sites - compilation of checklists for plant species, floristic and general description of vegetation, participation in inventory and description of "Moroshechnaya River", Utkholok Cape", "Karaginsky Island".
  • V.Zykov and V.B.Petrunin (with participation of other experts) - habitat maps. V.P.Petrunin - creation of electronic database (by GIS) using habitat maps and other cartographic materials.
  • V.O.Avdonin - preparation of reference materials and instructions on evaluation of damage to biodiversity.
  • R.S.Kareva - completed much work on technical design of the project.

The project text was translated by L.B.Kholopova.

The major information (inventory of fauna, waterfowl resources) was collected by the executors of the project in the territory of the Ramsar sites according to their methods (Gerasimov, 1979; Gusakov, 1983; 1986; 1988). Some materials were obtained in 1999 by Yu.N.Gerasimov in "Moroshechnaya River", "Utkholok Cape" sites, by V.G.Krivenko and E.S.Gusakov in "Parapol’sky Dol". As for "Karaginsky Island", for its characteristic the data obtained by Yu.N.Gerasimov in the 1970s were used because of the island is difficult to access. The sites studied are weakly disturbed and reflect the current situation.

The information on ichthyofauna and terraneous mammals is based on the departmental and numerous literary data collected at the areas adjacent to the Ramsar sites and similar in nature. The authors considered possible to use these data for characteristic of the Ramsar sites. The resources of migratory and spawning salmon fishes in "Moroshechnaya River" and "Utkholok Cape" sites were evaluated from the summarised incomplete data of "Kamchatrybvod". The results obtained are very approximate and may be considered only as an expert’s estimation.

The inventory of fauna and distribution of birds of prey, woodpeckers, passerines and some other groups were completed based on the published and authors’ materials. The results may be estimated as preliminary ones.

The characteristic of vegetation rests on few various in time publications, two incomplete herbariums, reports of expeditionary works, private collections, and individual observations.

Collection and generalisation of departmental materials, their generalisation and cartographic interpretation provided for the information on nature users and anthropogenic impact. A separate block on collecting information and its analysis includes materials on inventory of regional and federal legal documents. The final results of this work were applied in preparing management plans for the Ramsar sites of Kamchatka.

The systematisation of the collected materials and complex evaluation of biological resources were carried out by the methodology regarding the compilation of regional cadastres for the animal world suggested by V.G.Krivenko (1988). The economic evaluation of biological resources and elaboration of damage estimates were completed by special methods (Krivenko, 1998).

Management plans for the Kamchatka Ramsar sites were elaborated in accordance with the methodical recommendations of the Ramsar Convention Bureau.

Kamchatka region includes the Koryak Autonomous Area (KAA) with the centre of Palana. It covers an area of 301,5 thousand sq. km. The population of the Kamchatka region is 424,100 (January 1, 1998); 31,000 live in the KAA. The mean population density is 0,9 persons/sq. km in Kamchatka region and 1.1 persons/10 sq. km in the KAA. There are four towns in the regions - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Elizovo, Vilyuchinsk, and Klyuchi.

The economy of Kamchatka region rests on fishery (80% of the industrial and economic potential). Timber, light and food industries are only auxiliary ones. The regional energetics rests only on imported fuel. Only in recent years hydro- and geothermal power engineering is only now being developed.

Kamchatka continues to be one of the satisfactory regions in Russia with respect to ecological situation. Its natural complex is of global importance. In 1996 five specially protected natural areas (general name is "Kamchatka Volcanoes") were included into the List for objects of the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The system of specially protected natural areas includes 3 reserves (zapovednik), 3 natural parks of regional importance, 25 protected areas (zakaznik), one of them is of federal importance, and 89 state nature monuments.

By the Decree of the RF Government (N 1050, September 13, 1994) four areas of Kamchatka obtained the status of wetlands of international importance protected by the Ramsar Convention. All the sites are located within the Koryak Autonomous Area and have their own distinguishing features.

"Parapol’sky Dol" is the most northern Ramsar site. It is swampy lowland with numerous lakes surrounded by mountains. "Karaginsky Island" is an island system in the Bering Sea area. "Moroshechnaya River"and "Utkholok Cape" located on the western Sea of Okhotsk coast represent combinations of continental wetlands and sea shallows.

The goal of the project is solution of many problems for each Ramsar site: inventory of biodiversity, identification of major threatening factors to biodiversity, elaboration of measures for conservation of the sites (Management plans).

1. Parapolsky Dol (1,200,000 hectares)

2. Karaginsky Island (193,597 hectares)

3. Moroshechnaya River

4. Utkholok

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