A new wetland gets protection status in the Russian Far East
The new type of protected area is another step in cooperation between government, the Institute for Water and Environmental Problems and WWF Russia.
On 25th December, 2015 the governor of Khabarovsky Province has signed the decree to establish a new wetland reserve Lake Evoron and Evur River covering an area of 310,000 hectares. This new protected area was created to preserve and restore wetland landscape of a great conservation and economic value, as well as protect Red List wildlife species. The wetland is an important nesting grounds for many waterfowl such as, gray goose, mandarin duck, common teal, hooded crane, gray heron and white tailed eagle.
The government of Khabarovsky Province financed the main works within the program of development of protected areas network. The documents were elaborated by the group of specialists from the Institute of Water and Environmental Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The experts of the Institute put a lot of efforts in creation of the wetland reserve, beginning with the idea to include this territory to the network of protected areas of Khabarovsky Province, as well as field research and preparation of feasibility study. WWF Russia Amur Branch provided cartographic materials, boundary description and zoning of the new PA.
A certain type of protected areas - wetland reserve - was firstly created in the Amur basin in 2002 in Amurskaya Province as a part of WWF’s Econet Development Program. In the year of 2013 this category of PAs was introduced into the state legislation of Khabarovsky Province. Lake Evoron and Evur River Wetland Reserve became the second protected area of this type in the Amur River basin.
“It is very important that we managed to introduce the new category of provincial protected areas designed for the protection of freshwater ecosystems which are yet not enough protected in the region, - says Petr Osipov, the deputy director of WWF Russia Amur Branch. – Once, the governor of Khabarovsky Province committed to enlarge protected areas to cover 10% of the province’s territory within WWF’s Program Gift to the Earth. After the establishment of Lake Evoron and Evur River Wetland Reserve, 9.5% of the territory is already under protection.”
The wetland reserve has three functional zones: recreational, management and a reserve zone.
“The lake has a unique value for conservation and economic management. For a long time it has been under intense pressure from hunters and fishermen. We believe that new protected area will help to regulate the issues of nature resources conservation and economic management” – comments Anna Barma, protected areas coordinator at WWF Russia Amur Branch.