Biodiversity in Russia
Siberia and the Russian Far East are home to some of the most profoundly beautiful and globally significant wilderness areas on earth. Russia is home to one-fifth of the world's forests, and endangered species such as the Amur leopard, Siberian tiger, and western Pacific gray whale. Lake Baikal is the world's oldest and deepest lake, holding one-fifth of the world's freshwater. The Kamchatka Peninsula is home to the world's densest population of brown bears and the Pacific's greatest salmon spawning grounds. The steppe and foothills of Siberian Altai offer stunning landscapes and rich biodiversity.
Driven by high prices for fossil fuels and other natural resources, Russian and international companies are putting an enormous strain on these ecosystems by exploiting the country's oil, gas, mineral, timber, and marine resources at an alarming pace. Pacific Environment works with Russian environmentalists to preserve these remaining species and habitats. Some of our victories to protect biodiversity over the past decade include:
- In 2005, Royal Dutch Shell was forced to reroute a subsea pipeline to protect the endangered western Pacific gray whale.
- In 2006, the Siberia-Pacific Pipeline was rerouted away from Lake Baikal to protect the watershed from potential oil spills, while the pipeline's oil terminal was relocated to protect critical habitat for the endangered Amur leopard.
- In 2007, our partners on Sakhalin Island reestablished the Vostochny Wildlife Refuge, protecting 170,000 acres of pristine salmon rivers, old-growth dark coniferous taiga forests, and the last two untouched watersheds on the island.
- In 2008, our Kamchatkan partners protected the Bystrinsky Nature Park from geological surveying to open new mine sites that would have polluted salmon spawning rivers.
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