Russia’s Far East Marine Nature Reserve


Dalnevostochny Morskoy Zapovednik

5© 2000 Konstantin Mikhailov

In the south-eastern part of Russia is one of the most fascinating National Parks this country has. Dalnevostochny Morskoy Zapovednik (or Far East Marine Nature Reserve) became the first reserve in Russia created especially to protect marine ecosystems.  The translucent turquoise waters in and around Peter the Great Bay in the Sea of Japan is the home of many warm and cold water species of fish which aquatic mammals and bird species of the area thrive on. It is an area of unparalleled beauty accompanied by unrivalled plant and animal diversity.

3© 2000 Konstantin Mikhailov

Sea anemones, starfish and other invertebrates can be found in many different colors from deep red to violet-blue. Crabs and bottom-dwelling fish are preyed upon by giant octopi that change colors to match their surroundings then surprising their prey by securing them with long suction-cup-fitted arms. These along with more than 2,000 marine invertebrates inhabit these waters. The winter time sees Pacific cod, halibut and other arctic fish which are replaced by over 100 warm-water species during the summer, the total count for both is around 280 fish species in all.

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One of the truly amazing residents are the Giant oysters that cling to rocky surfaces,they can survive more than a 100 years or more if the seals, marine birds, and others that prey on them don’t cut their lives short.

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The handful of terrestrial mammals like Raccoon dogs and Siberian polecats inhabit the coastal islands of the reserve, they feed on marine mollusks, crustaceans, and small fish washed ashore by tidal waves. Bats, non-poisonous snakes, toads, and lizards also inhabit the islands. Sika deer (Cervus nippon), fox (Vulpes vulpes), and wild cat (Felis euptilura) are sometimes seen on along the coast of the mainland territory of the reserve.

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