Caucasus has intact forest landscapes
Work on IFL inventory on western and central part of the Caucasus has been conducted in 2003 and actualized in 2013. The methodology of IFL identification is based on the exception of human-transformed landscapes using high-definition remote sensing images.
According to the obtained data, the total area of the intact forest landscapes in the Caucasus Ecoregion is 5 206 396 hectares (52 064 sq.km) or about 9% of total area of all Ecoregion. It more than twice exceeds the area of Israel. The largest one has a square more than 1,8 million hectares, and the smallest one has a square of 50 000 hectares.
This is a list of regions of the Russian Caucasus by their total areas of IFL:Republic of Dagestan (37,4%), the Republic of Karachay-Cherkessia (14,8%), Kabardino-Balkar Republic (12,4%), the Republic of Chechnya (11,1%), Krasnodar Region (10,3%) and the Republic North Ossetia-Alania (8,2%), the Republic of Adygea (3,3%), and Ingushetia (2,5%).
Creation of Protected areas is one of the most effective ways of preservation of IFL now.
On the obtained data, IFL of the Republic of Adygea (95%) and Krasnodar Region (94%) are most protected compared to the others in the entire Ecoregion. In the same time, IFL of the Republic of Dagestan is less protected (20% of their IFL is covered by protected areas).
"Identification of IFL is very important for the Russian Caucasus. IFL provides habitat for a huge number of species of plants and animals and our purpose is to work for their preservation," the coordinator of forest projects of regional office of WWF-Russia Elena Cherkasova comments.
It is necessary to highlight that identification of IFL in the Caucasus Ecoregion is a very labor-consuming task because of high population density, different types of nature resource usage, and mainly rural economy.. In this regard is necessary to consider a question of updating methodology of IFL identification in the Caucasus Ecoregion.
Results of the research soon will be available on the website hcvf.ru
Materials on a subject:
1) The position of WWF-Russia on IFL [RUS]:
2) A poster "The intact forest landscapes of Russia: the current state and losses for the last 13 years" [RUS]:
Headline photo: © Alexander Plekhanov