The Annotated Ramsar List: Russian Federation

26/01/2000

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The Annotated Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance

RUSSIAN FEDERATION / FEDERATION DE RUSSIE / FEDERACION DE RUSIA

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The Convention on Wetlands came into force for the Russian Federation (as successor to the former Soviet Union) on 11 February 1977. The Russian Federation presently has 35 sites designated as Wetlands of International Importance, with a surface area of 10,323,767 hectares.

site; date of designation; region, province, state; surface area; coordinates
site; date de désignation; région, province, état; superficie; coordonnées
sitios; fecha de designación; región, provincia, estado; área; coordenadas

Area between the Pura & Mokoritto rivers.13/09/94; Taimyrsky/Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous Area; ~1,125,000 ha; 72º32’N 085º30’E. Nature Reserve. A hilly plain with an extensive network of rivers, streams and lakes supporting diverse Arctic tundra communities that set it apart from the adjacent monotonous tundras. Habitats include the moss-cotton-grass tundras, dwarf shrub bogs, hummocky, ‘spotty’, and polygonal bogs. There are important feeding places for raptors and breeding habitats for Arctic fox Alopex lagopus and lemmings. The site supports the threatened bird species Branta ruficollis and Anser erythropus. Large numbers of breeding and molting waterbirds are supported, particularly White-fronted goose Anser albifrons, Bean goose A. fabalis and Red-breasted goose Branta ruficollis, about 25% of the Taimyr Peninsula population. 80% of the Taimyr population of wild reindeer Rangifer tarandus are supported. Human activities include commercial hunting for Arctic fox, bird hunting, and small-scale fishing. There is a biological station at the site. Ramsar site no. 697. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Berezovye Islands, Gulf of Finland.13/09/94; Leningrad Oblast; 12,000 ha; 60º18’N 028º30’E. Nature Reserve. An archipelago in the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea. The islands have highly indented shorelines, with many bays, inlets, channels, and extensive intertidal mud and sand flats. The islands are dominated by pine forests and include spruce and birch stands as well as areas of mires and bogs. The site is important for migrating and breeding populations of waterbirds. Between 300,000 and 500,000 birds occur on migration in spring, including numerous species of ducks, geese, swans, and gulls. The site provides important habitats for many threatened animal species. Human activities include fishing, navigation, haymaking, sport fishing, and recreation. Ramsar site no. 691. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Brekhovsky Islands in the Yenisei estuary.13/09/94; Taimyrsky/Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous Area; ~1,400,000 ha; 70º30’N 082º45’E. An estuarine wetland complex, made up of a network of rivers, streams, lakes, islands, floodplains, and terraces supporting various types of tundra communities. The site supports various species of regionally rare and threatened birds. An internationally important area for breeding, staging and molting waterbirds, in particular for the Red-breasted goose Branta ruficollis. The estuary provides important habitats for whitefish Coregonus sp. and Siberian sturgeon Acipener baer. Traditional activities include fishing, reindeer-breeding, and Arctic fox hunting. It is a busy waterway and oil pollution is common. Ramsar site no. 698. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Chany Lakes. 13/09/94; Novosibirsk Oblast; 364,848 ha; 55º02’N 077º40’E. Federal Nature Reserve, Wildlife Refuge. A large lacustrine system, characteristic of the western Siberian forest-steppe. Lake Chany is an enclosed water body composed of freshwater and brackish areas. Vegetation is dominated by mire, meadow, and meadow-solonchak and includes meadow-forest associations, diverse steppe vegetation, and reedbeds. The site supports large (over 20,000) breeding and migrating populations of numerous species of waterbirds, some of which are rare or globally threatened. Human activities include agriculture, livestock grazing, hay harvesting, commercial and sport hunting and fishing. A field station is located in the area. Ramsar site no. 680. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Gorbita Delta.13/09/94; Taimyrsky/Dolgano-Nenets Autonomous Area; ~75,000 ha; 73º00’N 094º55’E. The lower valley of the lowland Gorbita River, adjacent mire complex, lakes and terrestrial tundra habitats that include meadows, Eriophorum sp. scrub, and polygonal mires. These habitats support breeding and molting populations of waterbirds, in particular White-fronted goose Anser albifrons, Bean goose A. fabalis, and Red-breasted goose Branta ruficollis. It is one of the most important breeding areas for geese on the Taimyr Peninsula. Numerous other colonial and waterbird species frequent the site. Human activities include Arctic fox Alopex lagopus trapping and fishing. Ramsar site no. 699. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Islands in Ob Estuary, Kara Sea.13/09/94; Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area; 128,000 ha; 66º40’N 070º58’E. Nature Reserve. Floodplains of the lower Ob River, consisting of a complex of islands, lakes, channels, wet meadows, and marshes. A typical island feature is temporary water bodies (sors), occupying 40% of the total area. Habitats include fens, sor swamp meadows consisting of sedge-herb associations, grasses and willows. The site, on an important bird migration route, is one of the richest waterbird breeding and molting areas in the northern hemisphere. The numbers of breeding birds fluctuate from year to year, varying from 500 to 2,000 birds per 10 sq. km, depending on water levels. The area is one of the richest whitefish habitats in the world, supporting large populations of various species. Human activities include whitefish and sturgeon production, hay harvesting, ship navigation, reindeer herding, and conservation education. Ramsar site no. 676. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Islands in Onega Bay, White Sea.13/09/94; Karelia; 3,600 ha; 64º56’N 035º10’E. State Forest Lands, Nature Reserve. Numerous rocky islands of glacial origin and surrounding marine waters. Vegetation communities are typical of regions situated further north, such as elfin woodlands and marine tundra, and include pine-birch forests and tundra-like communities dominated by crowberry Empetrum sp., mosses and lichens. The site supports several rare plants and vulnerable mammals. The wetlands support internationally important numbers of several species of breeding waterbirds, notably 1% of the East-Atlantic population of razorbill Alca torda and over 1% of the Russian population of black guillemot Cepphus grylle. The site is also important for wintering and migrating waterbirds. There are objects of archaeological importance, including sacred places of primitive tribes. Human activities include fishing, algae collecting, recreation, and berry and mushroom harvesting. Ramsar site no. 668. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Kama-Bakaldino mires.13/09/94; Nizhegorod Oblast; 226,500 ha; 56º24’N 045º20’E. Protected Area, Strict Nature Reserve, Nature Monument. The largest peatland complex to the south of the northern taiga zone in Europe. The site includes mires, raised bogs, fens, and many lakes surrounded by pine, birch and aspen forests. Habitats include cotton grass swamps, peat moss bogs, sedge and reed fens, and various transition mires. The wetland plays an important role in regulating the hydrologic regime of adjacent areas. The site provides important habitat for up to 50,000 breeding waterbirds and is an important stopover site for numerous species of migrating birds. Human activities include forestry, peat mining, livestock grazing, hunting, recreation, commercial and sport fishing, berry and mushroom harvesting. Ramsar site no. 670. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Kandalaksha Bay.11/10/76; Murmansk Oblast; 208,000 ha; 66º46’N 033º08’E. Strict Nature Reserve, Wildlife Refuge. The inner part of a bay, consisting of 850 islands set in a glacial landscape dominated by coniferous forest. The area supports a rich, benthic invertebrate fauna providing an important food supply for various species of nesting waterbirds. Large numbers of ducks molt in the area. Ramsar site no. 110. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Karaginsky Island, Bering Sea. 13/09/94; Korak Autonomous Area; 193,597 ha; 58º47’N 163º52’E. Wildlife Reserve. Karaginsky Island and associated marine waters are situated on a major bird migration route. Dominant vegetation are elfin woods and low bush hummocky tundra. Over 500 species of plants occur, consisting of birch, Siberian dwarf-pine, and aspen. The site includes various types of meadows, Alpine tundra communities, over 40 species of sedges, and patches of birch forests. The site supports large breeding populations of Alcidae (diving ducks), Laridae (gulls, terns), and Phalacrocoracidae (commorants), and as many as 240,000 spring migrating and 180,000 molting waterbirds. Traditional activities include fishing, reindeer-breeding, hay harvesting, hunting for fur-bearing animals, mushroom and berry picking. Commercial fishing is also practiced. There is a meteorological station on the island. Ramsar site no. 694. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Khingano-Arkharinskaya Lowland.13/09/94; Amur Oblast; ~200,000 ha; 49º10’N 130º00’E. Nature Reserve, Wildlife Refuge. Near the Chinese border, the site is a unique wet forest-steppe (prairie) ecosystem set in the Amur River Valley. The site includes vast floodplains with rain-fed rivers, islands, beaches, levee systems, oxbow lakes, and marshes. Vegetation is dominated by wet meadows with herbs and includes dry meadows, grass fens, reedbeds, and various other aquatic plants. The flora of the area is represented by 700 species of vascular plants, ten of which are nationally vulnerable. Migrating waterbirds include various species of ducks and geese, and the area is of particular importance for breeding populations of rare and threatened birds. Fifteen regionally rare bird species occur at the site. Human activities include agriculture, haymaking, and cattle grazing. Ramsar site no. 684. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Kuban Delta: Akhtaro-Grivenskaya group of limans.13/09/94; Krasnodarsky Krai; 84,600 ha; 44º50’N 038º30’E, and Kuban Delta: Group of limans between rivers Kuban & Protoka. 13/09/94; Krasnodarsky Krai; 88,400 ha; 45º30’N 037º48’E. Federal Nature Reserve, State Nature Reserve. An extensive network of shallow reservoirs, rice fields, streams, and irrigation canals, supporting diverse aquatic vegetation. The site includes a foredelta system, saline, brackish and freshwater lakes, coastal shallows, and lagoons. The area, on a major bird migration route, supports large migrating (1.2 to two million birds), staging, breeding (46 species), and wintering (up to 500,000 birds) populations of waterbirds. The delta also supports a diversity of fish species and commercially important breeding populations of sturgeon. Human activities include mowing, grazing, commercial fishing, hunting, forestry, and recreation. Ramsar sites no. 675 and 674. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Kurgalsky Peninsula.13/09/94; Leningrad Oblast; 65,000 ha; 59º41’N 028º09’E. Temporary Nature Reserve. The shallow waters of the Gulf of Finland, numerous islands, and the Kurgalsky Peninsula, which is covered with mires and pine forest. Habitats include patches of broad-leaved and mixed forests, coastal meadows and marshes with alder and oak, Sphagnum fens, floodplains, dry meadows, and reedbeds. The site exhibits a high species diversity of flora and fauna, supporting numerous species of regionally or globally threatened plants, mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles. The wetland supports large migrating and breeding populations of numerous species of waterbirds. The local population is engaged in the fisheries or seafood industry. The site borders Estonia. Ramsar site no. 690. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Lake Bolon & the mouths of the Selgon & Simmi Rivers.13/09/94; Khabarovsk Krai; 53,800 ha; 49º35’N 136º05’E. Wildlife Refuge, Strict Nature Reserve. A large complex consisting of a floodplain lake, small lakes, oxbows and bays in the lower reaches of the Selgon and Simmi rivers. The wetland plays an important role in the natural functioning of the lower Amur River. Habitats include sedge and reedbeds, meadows, and peatmoss bog forests with birch. Fifteen species of algae occur in the lake. The area is important for migrating, breeding and molting populations of waterbirds and regularly supports at least 20,000 waterbirds, among them various rare species. The lake has an important indigenous fish population. Human activities include commercial fishing, agriculture, and research. Ramsar site no. 686. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Lake Khanka.11/10/76; Primorski Krai; 310,000 ha; 44º53’N 132º30’E. Nature Reserve, Buffer Zone. The Russian portion of an extensive coastline, a transborder freshwater lake (with China), and adjacent floodplains, subject to periodic fluctuations. A diverse aquatic and marsh vegetation is supported, as are several relict plant species surviving since the Tertiary era. An important area for breeding, feeding and staging birds, including globally threatened and endemic species. Large numbers of Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans, etc.) occur during migration periods. Rice is the principal crop in the surrounding area. Human activities include hay production, livestock grazing, and hunting of birds and fur-bearing mammals. Ramsar site no. 112. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Lake Manych-Gudilo.13/09/94; Kalmykia-Khalmg Tangch Republic & Rostov Oblast; 112,600 ha; 44º36’N 042º50’E. Nature Reserve, Federal Nature Reserve, State Nature Reserve. A chain of saline lakes with numerous islands located in a deep depression. Vegetation consists of grass and herb associations, extensive beds of submerged vegetation, reedbeds, semi-desert and steppe communities. The site is an important staging area for migrating populations of waterbirds, in particular geese (Anser albifrons, Branta ruficollis, Anser erythropus, and Anser anser). It is also an important breeding area for various colonial shore birds. The wetland supports populations of rare and threatened species of flora and fauna. Approximately 1.5 million ducks and 400,000 geese, including 8,000 B. ruficollis, pass through the area in spring, and approximately three million ducks and 500,000 geese, including 8,000-20,000 B. ruficollis, pass through in autumn. Presently, almost the entire world population of Branta ruficollis and a substantial proportion of Oxyura leucocephala migrate through the valley. Human activities include agriculture, livestock grazing, and small-scale fisheries. Ramsar site no. 673. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Lake Udyl & the mouths of the Bichi, Bitki & Pilda Rivers.13/09/94; Khabarovsk Krai; 57,600 ha; 52º09’N 139º51’E. Nature Reserve. A large freshwater lake subject to fluctuations in water level. The site includes wet meadows, floodplains, bogs and mires. Vegetation consists of various emergent aquatic plants and "mari" complexes of low peatmoss bog forests. These include "yerniks", brushes of birches, willow, ledum and sedges, and sparse larch Larixgmelinii forests with Siberian dwarf-pine. The site is very important for large numbers of breeding, molting and migrating waterbirds. The wetland supports populations of rare species, in particular the largest populations of swan goose Anser cygnoides andSteller’s sea eagle Haliaetus pelagicus in the Amur region. The site supports various regionally rare forest plants and provides feeding grounds for several fish species. The major human activity is commercial fishing. Ramsar site no. 687. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Lower Dvuobje.13/09/94; Khanty-Mansi & Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Areas; 540,000 ha; 64º32’N 065º46’E. Nature Reserves. A unique valley network of river floodplains, islands, lakes and temporary water bodies (or "sors"), and an extended pseudodelta. Habitats include sedge-willow fens, associations of "sor" vegetation, swamp and peat meadows, shrubs and willows. The site, one of the richest waterbird habitat and nesting areas in the world, supports up to 500,000 waterbirds during migration. The site supports internationally important numbers of breeding and molting waterbirds, especially ducks and swans, and several threatened species. The wetlands provide important feeding areas for sturgeon and whitefish and support a rich mammal population. Human activities include cattle-grazing and haymaking, commercial fishing, fur trapping, timber harvesting, and conservation education. Ramsar site no. 677. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Moroshechnaya River.13/09/94; Korak Autonomous Area; 219,000 ha; 56º21’N 156º15’E. Wildlife Refuge; Shorebird Network Site. A steppe-like valley of the Moroshechnaya River, with numerous oxbow lakes and a saline lagoon. Principal habitats are non-forested raised bogs with pools and ridges, supporting Sphagnum, Empetrum nigrum, and Salix middendorfi. Vegetation is dominated by floodplain tundra, mire and meadow communities, with patches of mixed Betula ermanii, Pinus pumila, and Salix sp. forests. The area provides important habitat for migrating, feeding, breeding and molting populations of waterbirds. Breeding species include various geese, ducks and colonial sea birds. The wetland supports the largest population of Anser fabalis in the region, large numbers of which molt and stage at the site. Migrating waterbirds include up to 500,000 ducks and several thousand waders. Human activities include traditional reindeer grazing, fishing, hunting, and foraging. Ramsar site no. 695. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Mshinskaya wetland system. 13/09/94; Leningrad Oblast; 75,100 ha; 59º03’N 030º14’E. Nature Reserve. A large peatland system composed of extensive patterned bogs, nine large lakes, over 100 small lakes, and numerous rivers and streams supporting Canada rice Zizania aquatica, reeds and sedges. Terrestrial vegetation is characterized by southern taiga-type forest communities. Native forests were largely cut and replaced with birch, aspen and mixed forests. The site is important for migrating, breeding and molting populations of various species of geese, swans, dabbling and diving ducks. The area provides important habitat for 33 regionally threatened bird species. Human activities include forest cutting, agriculture, recreation, and berry picking. Ramsar site no. 692. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Oka & Pra River Floodplains.13/09/94; Ryazan Oblast; 161,542 ha; 55º01’N 040º23’E. Biosphere Nature Reserve; Strict Nature Reserve, National Park. The extensive floodplains of two lowland rivers, including oxbow lakes, bogs, fens, forested peatlands, and lakes. Vegetation includes natural and artificial forests of various types and extensive floodplain meadows. Plant and animal diversity is high, with over 800 species of vascular plants and 58 species of mammals in the area. The area is important for migrating and breeding for various species of waterbirds. An important staging area for numerous species of migrating ducks and geese, including 50% of the migrating population of the White-fronted goose Anser albifrons. Human activity includes hay harvesting, waterbird hunting, fishing, forestry, agriculture, livestock grazing, conservation education, and recreation. Thousands of birds are ringed each year. A crane breeding center has been established. Ramsar site no. 671. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Parapolsky Dol.13/09/94; Korak Autonomous Area; 1,200,000 ha; 61º37’N 165º47’E. Temporary Wildlife Refuge, Nature Reserve. A representative example of an "alass" plain with large widely meandering rivers. The site includes numerous lakes, oxbows, rivers, streams, Sphagnum and cotton-grass mires, and floating bogs set in tundra vegetation. Plant communities of the "alass" depressions are important as relicts of the Late Pleistocene tundra-steppe. The various habitats include dense floating vegetation, grass meadows, Siberian dwarf-pine and alder elfin woods. The area is very important as a passage, breeding and molting area for large numbers of various waterbird species, and it supports several rare species of breeding raptors. The lakes provide spawning areas for valuable fish species. Human activities are traditional reindeer breeding, small-scale timber felling, and hay harvesting. Ramsar site no. 693. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Pskovsko-Chudskaya Lowland.13/09/94; Pskov Oblast; 93,600 ha; 58º09’N 027º52’E. Nature Reserve, Ornithological Reserve, Nature Monuments. A system of interconnected freshwater lakes, bordering Estonia, and set in a large glacial depression. The site includes marshes of various types, floodplain meadows, rivers and streams surrounded by coniferous and mixed deciduous forests, agricultural land, and human settlements. The area, on an important bird migration route between the Baltic and the White Seas, links breeding areas in the tundra and northern taiga. Internationally important populations of breeding, migrating and molting waterbirds, including several rare and endangered species, are supported. The lakes are highly productive spawning, nursery and feeding areas for fish. The wetlands are an important supply of drinking water and support a rich biodiversity, including numerous rare and endangered species of plants and animals. Human activities include transport, recreation, and commercial and sport fisheries. Ramsar site no. 669. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Selenga Delta.13/09/94; Buryat Republic; 12,100 ha; 52º17’N 106º22’E. World Heritage site; Nature Reserve; Anatidae Network Site. The site includes the shallow water area of Lake Baikal, streams and oxbow lakes. Vegetation consists of reedbeds, regularly flooded sedge-grass meadows, and willow shrub. The site is an example of a unique type of wetland and supports numerous threatened and endemic species of flora and fauna. Large concentrations of various species of migrating, breeding and molting waterbirds use the site. The total breeding population of Anatidae (ducks, geese, swans) varies between 20,000 and 138,000 individuals. Up to five million birds pass through the delta in autumn, with 7,300 to 18,300 birds stopping at the site. Human activities include hay harvesting, livestock grazing, commercial and sport fishing, muskrat trapping, waterbird hunting, and recreation. River regulation resulted in changes in the hydrologic regime, and rising lake levels (Baikal) are a major threat to delta ecosystems. Further activities increasing the area’s water levels are planned. Ramsar site no. 682. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Southern coast of the Gulf of Finland, Baltic Sea.13/09/94; Leningrad Oblast; 6,400 ha; 60º00’N 029º15’E. Nature Reserve. The site comprises a shallow sea bay with reeds, sand and stony beaches. Terrestrial habitats include alder (Alnus glutinosa) forests, patches of spruce and pine, and mixed birch-aspen forests. The site is important for numerous species of waterbirds during the spring migration and, to a lesser extent, during the autumn migration and breeding seasons. The site is important as a staging area for large populations of waterbirds, including numerous threatened species. Fishing is the principal human activity. Ramsar site no. 689. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Svir Delta.13/09/94; Leningrad Oblast; 60,500 ha; 60º35’N 032º56’E. Nature Reserve, Wildlife Refuge. The Delta consists of numerous channels, streams, bogs, lakes, wet meadows, polders, and the shallow waters of Svir Bay with sand beaches and reedbeds. Terrestrial habitats include bogs, fens, and transitional mires. The vegetation consists of spruce, pine and mixed forests, Salix sp. willows and speckled alder Alnus incana are widespread. Floodplain meadows support diverse herbs and grasses. The site provides important habitat for 44 regionally threatened species of birds and is an extremely important staging and feeding area for migrating geese. Numbers of migrating geese reach 150,000 birds, and up to 600,000 ducks of various species pass through the area in spring. Numerous species of waterbirds breed at the site. Human activities include agriculture, cattle breeding, haymaking, fisheries, and hunting. Ramsar site no. 688. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Tobol-Ishim Forest-steppe.13/09/94; Tyumen Oblast; 1,217,000 ha; 55º27’N 069º00’E. State Nature Reserve, Temporary Wildlife Refuge, Nature Monument. A region of birch and aspen forests interspersed with wetlands consisting of freshwater lakes and rivers with marshy areas of meadow and steppe, most of which are ploughed. Vegetation includes reed and sedge beds, peatlands, and mosses. The hydrologic regime of the lakes is characterized by a 20- to 50-year inundation cycle determined by climate variations. These cycles cause dynamic changes in salinity levels and vegetative communities. The wetland mosaic supports a rich and significant diversity of habitats and species. At least 20 rare and endangered waterbird species occur. The area is situated on a major migration route used by millions of birds each spring and autumn, and is important for large concentrations of breeding and molting waterbirds and colonial shore birds. Ramsar site no. 679. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Torey Lakes. 13/09/94; Chita Oblast; 172,500 ha; 50º05’N 115º32’E. Biosphere Nature Reserve, International Protected Area, Strictly Protected Area, Important Crane Area; Anatidae Network Site. Near the Mongolian border, the largest enclosed soda lakes in the trans-Baikal are an example of natural wetlands of the Mongol-Manzurian steppe. The hydrologic regime is characterized by cyclical changes in inundation and wide variations in water level. The area includes terrestrial steppe ecosystems, rivers, numerous islands, arable land, and human settlements. The site is an important breeding, feeding and staging area for internationally important numbers of numerous species of migratory waterbirds, and it supports important populations of rare and threatened species. The site supports a highly diverse flora including numerous species endemic to Siberia or the Trans-Baikal. The fauna consists of elements of taiga, tundra, broad-leaved forests, and steppe zones; 305 bird species (include 90 breeding species), 42 mammal species, various reptile, amphibian, and fish species, and over 590 species of insects occur at the site. 16 bird species are vulnerable. Fishing and animal husbandry are vital to the local population. Other activities include recreation, traditional agriculture, and a shorebird-ringing programme. Agricultural intensification may have an adverse effect upon wetland ecosystems in the future. Ramsar site no. 683. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Upper Dvuobje.13/09/94; Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area; 470,000 ha; 61º42’N 067º10’E. Nature Reserve. An extensive network of the Ob River tributaries composed of permanent and seasonal lakes (sors), marshes, and islands supporting high taiga forests and meadows. These habitats interact, forming a complex and unique mosaic of terrestrial and aquatic habitats. The site and the adjacent Lower Dvuobje Ramsar site form one of the richest waterbird habitats and nesting areas in the world, supporting numerous species of nationally or globally threatened waterbirds. The area supports large breeding, molting and migrating populations of waterbirds. Estimated numbers of waterbirds migrating through the area in spring are 500,000 to 3,000,000 individuals, with various duck species being the most numerous. Breeding waterbirds reach 300,000 pairs. The site supports a rich mammal and fish fauna. Human activities include conservation education, fish production, waterbirds hunting, hay harvesting, and livestock grazing. Ramsar site no. 678. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Utkholok.13/09/94; Korak Autonomous Area; 220,000 ha; 57º40’N 157º11’E. Nature Reserve. The site incorporates extensive tundra wetlands and bogs. Vegetation consists of floodplain communities, meadow and tundra supporting numerous species of grass. Habitats include patterned bogs and birch forests (Betula ermanii) with patches of Siberian dwarf-pine elfin wood (Pinus pumila). The site is important for various species of migrating, breeding and molting waterbirds, in particular Anser fabalis. Several threatened species of birds, fish and plants occur at the site. Human activities include reindeer grazing, fishing, hunting, and berry and mushroom collecting. Ramsar site no. 696. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Veselovskoye Reservoir. 13/09/94; Rostov Oblast; 309,000 ha; 46º55’N 041º02’E. Hunting Reserve. A chain of reservoirs with numerous temporary water bodies and bays located in the Zapadny Manych River valley. The site includes numerous islands, vast areas of abandoned rice fields, and fishponds. Vegetation includes reedbeds, meadow, steppe vegetation, forests, and halophytic communities. The area provides habitat for large concentrations (over 250,000 individuals) of numerous species of breeding, wintering, molting, feeding, roosting and staging waterbirds, particularly geese (Anser albifrons, Branta ruficollis, Anser erythropus and Anser anser), dabbling and diving ducks. The site supports a rich diversity of flora and fauna, including numerous rare and endangered species. Ramsar site no. 672. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Volga Delta.11/10/76; Astrakhan Oblast; 800,000 ha; 45º54’N 048º47’E. UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; Strict Nature Reserve, Wildlife Refuges. One of the largest deltas in the world and characterized by a highly braided morphology, creating over 1,000 channels in the lower delta. The site covers the seaward edge, and is composed of extensive areas of open water, numerous islands, reedbeds, and other aquatic plants. 70% of the world catch of sturgeon come from the Volga tributaries, which are a vital link in the life cycle of other commercially important fish. During mild winters, the delta supports up to 750,000 waterbirds, including swans, geese and ducks, and summer molting ducks reach 400,000 individuals. Breeding wetland birds include the endangered pelican Pelecanus crispus; herons, Ardea cinerea; and egrets, Egretta alba (thousands of pairs each). The delta is a major staging area for many species of waterbirds, raptors and songbirds. The rise in the Caspian Sea level has caused a northward retreat of the foredelta. Ramsar site no. 111. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Wetlands in the Lower Bagan area.13/09/94; Novosibirsk Oblast; 26,880 ha; 54º09’N 078º23’E. Freshwater and brackish lakes and reaches of the Bagan River. The lakes are subject to varying salinity and water levels. Set in the biogeographical herb and feather grass steppe zone, vegetation includes halophytic communities, reedbeds, floating islands, and meadows. The area supports large breeding and migrating populations of waterbirds. Migrating birds include up to 6,000 Anser anser, ducks (10,000-12,000), Fulica atra (up to 15,000), waders (10,000-15,000), and up to 40,000 gulls. Human activities include livestock grazing, hay harvesting, fur trapping, waterbird shooting, and fishing. Ramsar site no. 681. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

Zeya-Bureya Plains.13/09/94; Amur Oblast; 31,600 ha; 49º55’N 127º39’E. Wildlife Refuge, Nature Park. Extensive floodplains of the Zeya and Bureya rivers consisting of islands, beaches, a complex of levees, oxbow lakes, marshes, and old river terraces. Vegetation consists of wet meadows with herbs and includes dry meadows, grass fens, and patches of oak forest. Various rare animal and plant species occur at the site. The area is important for large numbers of migrating and breeding waterbirds, including rare species. Human activities include agriculture, livestock grazing, and sport fishing. Ramsar site no. 685. Most recent RIS information: 1997.

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