The Kytalyk Reserve will receive the national park status, and three more reserves will appear in the Arctic zone of the republic - Medvezhy Ostrova (Bear Islands), Bolshoye Tokko (Big Tokko) and Laptevomorsk
This is all within the federal project Biodiversity Conservation and Ecotourism Development, reports YSIA with reference to the press service of the Roszapovedtsentr (Russian Protected Areas Center). By 2024, within the framework of this project, 24 new specially Protected Areas of federal significance are planned throughout the country.
Deputy Director of Roszapovedtsentr Demian Smilevets said about granting the national park status to the Kytalyk Reserve, as well as about the creation of the Bear Islands Reserve, the Laptevomorsky and the Big Tokko Reserves on the territory of Yakutia at 8th International Forum ‘The Arctic: Present and Future’ in St. Petersburg. “Arctic PAs are essential for the conservation of the polar bear, Putorana snow sheep, Laptev walrus, whales (such as bowhead, narwhal, humpback), Siberian Cranes, red-breasted geese, small swan, gyrfalcon, white-tailed eagle," informed Demian Smilevets.
He also noted that active work on the conservation of Arctic biodiversity is being carried out jointly with the international team of the working group on the conservation of Arctic flora and fauna, including the Arctic Migratory Bird Initiative.
It is worth noting that the World Wildlife Fund of Russia proposed to grant the status of a national park to the Kytalyk state nature reserve back in 2016. Director of the Fund Igor Chestin then stated that “the organization of a national park on the territory of the Kytalyk republican nature reserve will increase the possibilities for its protection, the creation and development of the necessary infrastructure, and will also contribute to the development of ecotourism while respecting the traditional nature of the local people. In addition, the creation of a specially protected area at the federal level will allow nominating it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which, in turn, will further enhance its security and attractiveness.”
As for the work on the creation of state nature reserves, Bear Islands in the Nizhnekolymsky district and the Big Tokko in Neryungri, it began in the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Republic in close cooperation with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation. The locations for the creation of nature reserves were not chosen by chance: Lake Bolshoye Tokko is called the pearl of South Yakutia, the Bear Islands Arctic Archipelago is home to a polar bear, and the Laptevomorsky Reserve will be the first marine Protected Area of eight million hectares in Russia.