More about the ecoregion
Kamchatka and the adjacent water area of the Okhotsk and Bering Seas are perhaps one of the last places on the planet, where wild nature is still preserved in its pristine beauty and attractiveness. According to estimates of specialists, only in the southern part of the peninsula there are about 70 natural monuments: geological, hydrological, botanical, zoological and natural complexes. Approximately another two dozens of unique natural objects are still waiting to be included in this list.
More than 140 thousand large and small rivers with a total length of more than 350 thousand km run across the peninsula. There are more than 112 thousand lakes. Together this represents the world’s largest system of salmon spawning grounds.
According to the World Wildlife Fund’s definition the ecoregion includes: the Kamchatka peninsula, Chukotka, the coast of Alaska, the Aleutian and Commander Islands and the entire Bering Sea.
The waters of the Bering Sea, the long coastlines and unique terrestrial ecosystems of such a vast region support many fish, marine and terrestrial birds, wild reindeers, snow sheeps, white and brown bears, as well as whales, Steller sea lions and many other animals.
The regional branch of the fund is located in Kamchatka, and in fact its current activities are focused on the implementation of projects on the territory of the peninsula, as well as in the adjacent waters of the Okhotsk and Bering seas: salmon feeding territories, Kamchatka crab habitats, areas of the West Kamchatka and West Bering Sea shelves.
Ecosystems of the Kamchatka/Bering Sea region are threatened due to poaching, irrational use of commercial species of animals and global climate change. Irresponsible approach to the use of natural resources can lead to a complete disappearance of many representatives of flora and fauna. Today, the unique nature of Kamchatka is potentially threatened by numerous projects of mining companies, as well as the potential development of oil and gas fields on the West Kamchatka and West Bering Sea shelves, the construction of hydroelectric power stations in Pacific salmon’s spawning grounds, poaching of particularly valuable wildlife species, among which are reindeer, snow sheep, gyrfalcon, and peregrine falcon in addition to the already mentioned bears and salmon.
The unique biodiversity of the ecoregion is a valuable global asset, which can only be preserved by joint efforts of different countries. Therefore, WWF specialists have been implementing environmental projects in the region since 1994 with the participation of regional environmental organizations, local authorities and public.