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Ambio. 2015 Oct;44(6):473-90. doi: 10.1007/s13280-015-0636-x. Epub 2015 Feb 7.

Striking the balance: Challenges and perspectives for the protected areas network in northeastern European Russia.

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Institute of Biology, Komi Science Centre, UrD, RAS Kommunisticheskaya str., 28, 167982, Syktyvkar, GSP, Komi Republic, Russia,


Increasing anthropogenic pressure on the largest remaining tracts of old-growth boreal forest in Europe necessitates additional conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity in northeastern European Russia. In a regional network comprising 8 % of the Nenets Autonomous District and 13.5 % of the Komi Republic, 248 areas have varying protected statuses as state nature reserves (zapovedniks), national parks, reserves/sanctuaries (zakazniks), or natural monuments. Due to increased natural resource extraction in this relatively pristine area, designation of additional protected areas is critical for the protection of key ecological sites. The history of ecological preservation in these regions is herein described, and recent recommendations for incorporating additional ecologically representative areas into the regional network are presented. If the protected area network can be expanded, the overall environmental stability in these globally significant ecosystems may remain intact, and can help Russia meet the 2020 Aichi conservation targets, as set forth by the Convention of Biological Diversity.

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