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Russian Zapovedniks and National Parks

<<< National Park "Zabaikalsky" | Index and Map | Zapovednik "Bastak" >>>

Far East

This is the largest region, which can be referred to as the county of contrasts. In fact, according to the famous traveler Przhevalsky, in the southern Primorye grapes twist around the spruce stalks and tigers occur along with taiga bears, whereas on the sea shore and the islands of the Arctic Ocean the winter dominates almost throughout the year (a mean temperature above zero on the Vrangel Island is only recorded 12 days per year!).

Yakutia, the Khabarovsk Territory, the Magadan and Kamchatka regions contain vast unpopulated areas. At the same time, the south of the Primorye Territory has been well developed, with numerous enterprises, plants and mines, and famous port cities as Vladivostok, Hakhodka, etc.

In the 1930s in the previously desert locality on the left-hand bank of Amur, the plant city of Komsomolsk was built to send a railroad to the Pacific (Sovetskaya Gavan). Today this city is connected to the Ust-Kut and Taishet via the Baikal-Amur railroad. The sea northern city of Magadan in the upper reaches of the Kolyma River became notorious in the Soviet times as the area of penal colonies and exile (still earlier that notoriety was acquired by the Sakhalin Island). On Kolyma communication routes huge concentration camps were situated, and numerous enterprises and construction sites of Chukotka and Kolyma were created using the labor and human lives.

The nature of the Far East is not only diverse, but also rich. Particularly distinct in this respect is the Primorye and southern Cis-Amur Region, which is determined by a combination of several different geographic provinces (Manchurian, Siberian, Pacific, etc.). The specific "Ussuri" flora and fauna occur only there and nowhere else. Only its individual representatives penetrate almost to the mouth of the Amur River. This fauna includes the Amur tiger, the Asiatic Black bear, Manchurian hare, Japanese crane, Chinese soft-shelled turtle, Manchurian black water snake, and numerous fish species. Lake Khanka is characterized by a particular abundance of fish and birds, however, rice crops and the use of chemical fertilizers have resulted in a heavy pollution of the water body.

In Amur, a pulp-and-paper integrated mill was constructed, which was similar to the Baikal one, which has had a detrimental effect on the purity of the river and its dwellers. The large Sakhalin Island is essentially taken up by taiga, the Kuril, Commander and other smaller islands in the Pacific each have a peculiar appearance, each of which meriting study and description.

The seas of the Far East are sources of the most valuable foods (fish, crabs, mussels, etc.), and not only for our country.

The gigantic peninsula of Kamchatka is well know for its volcanoes, geysers, specific landscapes, which do not exist anywhere else, and an abundance of bears, which are the biggest in Russia.

In southern Yakutia and the left-hand bank of Amur are the most hard of access and the most sparsely populated mountain ranges (Stanovoi, Jugdyr, Jugdshur), north of them lie the Aldanskoe and Patomskoe (Prilenskoe) Uplands or Plateaus. The taiga is dominated by the larch, only in the southwestern Yakutia there occur cedar trees, but in the Primorye and Cis-Amur Region, large areas were taken up of the peculiar Korean pine (cedar) with very large nuts.

Unfortunately, the main cedar forests in Primorye have been cut out to be replaced by derivative forests. In addition to the common spruce trees, the entire southern Far East features some specific species for deciduous trees (oak, lindens, maples, ashes, poplar, etc.). There are numerous fruit-bearing medicinal shrubs and even lianas (Actinidia, Amur grapes).

The north-eastern Yakutia is occupied by large mountain ranges (Cherskii, Suntar-Khayata and others, whose altitude above the sea level exceeds 3000 m). Flowing between them are the broad rivers Yana, Indigirka, and Kolyma.

The Verkhoyansk Territory is known s the world center of cold and the lowest temperatures on the Earth. The biggest river of Yakutia is the biggest river of Asia the great Lena with its main tributaries (Vilui on the left, and Aldan on the right).

The shore of the Arctic Ocean faces a wide tundra zone. The same landscapes, along with true polar deserts, dominate on the northern islands.

On the whole our Far East is so interesting, vast and diversified that you can only feel sorry for people who have never seen it.

<<< National Park "Zabaikalsky" | Index and Map | Zapovednik "Bastak" >>>

 

 


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