One more complex wildlife refuge appeared on the map of Amurskaya Province
The Governor of Amurskaya Province Oleg Kozhemyzko signed a decree on changing the profile of “Simonovsky” state wildlife refuge of provincial level from zoological to complex. Together with changed profile the area of the refuge was enlarged by 40 550 hectares having reached 118 350 hectares.
The extension of the territory resulted from including the part of floodplain and the terrace of the Amur River in the area of Busse and Petropavlovsk villages of Svobodnensky district, which are of a great importance for conservation of flora diversity. The elements of steppe flora and fauna are represented here, which penetrate to Amurskaya Province from Zabaikalye and are missing in any other territories of Priamurye. 11 species of rare plants could not be found in the other protected areas of the province. The refuge is the only habitat for such plant species as Oxytropis caespitose on the whole Russian Far East.
In future Simonovsky refuge should become a part of transboundary Sino-Russian reserve, the agreement on its establishment was reached between the Government of Amurskaya Province and the Government of Heihe county of Heilongjiang province, China in 2010.
“The work on enlarging the territory and changing the profile of Simonovsky refuge was conducted with WWF support in framework of the agreement on the development of the system of protected areas between WWF and the government of Amurskaya Province. In total, during 2010-2011 the refuges Tokinsky, Verkhne-Amursky, Nizhne-Amursky, Nizhne-Norsky were established, the territories of Andreevsky and Simonovsky were enlarged, protected zones were created for Voskresensky, Zheludinsky, Ust-Tygdynsky wildlife refuges. The area of protected territories increased by 530 864 hectares and exceeded 4 million hectares – more than 11% of the province territory”. – comments Svetlana Titova, coordinator of WWF Russia Amur branch program on protected areas.
For outstanding performance in protected areas development the Governor of Amurskaya Province Oleg Kozhemyako was awarded the WWF certificate “Earth Keeper” in May 2011.