Great Arctic Zapovednik - A Unique Natural Haven

The Great Arctic Zapovednik, or Bolshoi Arktichesky Zapovednik, is an area that is untouched by humans and its vast expanses include the Arctic Circle, the Taimyr Peninsula and the Karsk and Laptyv seas that surround the peninsula. Polar bears, walruses, reindeer and beluga have made their homes here, and even rare migratory birds enjoy the undisturbed landscape during their breeding season. The Bolshoi Arktichesky Zapovednik became officially protected on 1993.

Due to the Great Arctic Zapovednik covering an extremely big area that includes different territories, and an amazing size, the reserve has been divided into sections that make the areas easier to protect and conserve. The marine area alone spans across 980 934 hectares. The Dickson-Sibiryakov section is a 200 000 hectare area that includes the smaller islands that are found nearby, a small piece of coastline that is located on the main land, and the 85 000 hectare Sibiryakov Island. The Karsk Island section includes the surrounding marine areas and smaller islands, which is a total of 400 000 hectares. Covering the Pyasina River Delta, Pysina Gulf (eastern part) and the Pyasinsky section, with the 69 000 hectare of unstudied Arctic tundra falls into the Gulf of Middendorf section. Nordenskold Archipelago section is 500 000 hectares and includes 90 islands. The Cheliuskin Peninsula section covers 35 000 hectares of arctic deserts, tundra and includes the only continental Arctic desert there is in the world. The Lower Taimyr section covers a 1 900 000 hectare area, which is the largest of the park.

Understandably, under these extreme weather conditions and territory, there are very few animals that are equipped to survive in this area. The animals that are found in various locations across the sections of the Great Arctic Zapovednik are a permanent reindeer population, polar bears that are usually found around the islands and the arctic foxes that are always closely located to the polar bears, to scavenge food. And where there are reindeer, there are wolverines and wolves that feed on the reindeer. Arctic and brown lemmings also live in the reserve as well as arctic hares. Seals and walruses are located on the shores and on occasion, musk oxen can be seen near the Taimyr River, as they were re-introduced into the area in the year 1974. There is a recorded amount of 124 different bird species that frequent the park, along with water birds such as eiders, herring gulls and long tailed ducks.

The Great Arctic Zapovednik might not be a conventional nature reserve of rolling grasslands and mountain ranges, but it is guaranteed to be an unforgettable adventure that can only be experienced here, with a wildlife population that you are likely never to see anywhere in the world.


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