, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 473–490 | Cite as

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

  • Svetlana V. Degteva
  • Vasily I. Ponomarev
  • Sasha W. Eisenman
  • Vyacheslav Dushenkov


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.


Ecosystem conservation Komi Republic National park Pechora River Zapovednik Zakaznik 



This work was supported in part by Grant PSC-CUNY 66638-00 44, and UNDP/GEF Project 2496 “Strengthening the Protected Area System of the Komi Republic to Conserve Virgin Forest Biodiversity in the Pechora River Headwaters Region.” Special thanks go to Ludmila Ogrodovaya and Vladimir Schanov from the Institute of Biology, Komi Science Centre, for preparing maps for this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Svetlana V. Degteva
    • 1
  • Vasily I. Ponomarev
    • 2
  • Sasha W. Eisenman
    • 3
  • Vyacheslav Dushenkov
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of BiologyKomi Science Centre, UrDSyktyvkarKomi Republic, Russia
  2. 2.Institute of BiologyKomi Science Centre, UrD, RASSyktyvkarKomi Republic, Russia
  3. 3.Department of Landscape Architecture and HorticultureTemple UniversityAmblerUSA
  4. 4.Natural Sciences DepartmentEugenio María de Hostos Community College – City University of New YorkBronxUSA

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