Central Sikhote-Alin (2001)

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The Sikhote-Alin mountain range contains one the richest and most unusual temperate forests of the world. In this mixed zone between taiga and subtropics, southern species such as the tiger and Himalayan bear cohabit with northern species such as the brown bear and lynx. 

The site stretches from the peaks of Sikhote-Alin to the Sea of Japan and is important for the survival of many endangered species such as the Amur tiger. 

  • Russia 1970. Tiger. 
  • UNESCO (France) 2006. Siberian Tiger.

Russia 1970. Sikhote-Alin. Tiger.

UNESCO (France) 2006. Siberian Tiger.

Russia 1970. Sikhote-Alin. Red Deer.

The nominated area is representative of one of the world’s most distinctive natural regions. The combination of glacial history, climate and relief has allowed the development of the richest and most unusual temperate forests in the world. 

Compared to other temperate ecosystems, the level of endemic plants and invertebrates present in the region is extraordinarily high which has resulted in unusual assemblages of plants and animals. For example, subtropical species such as tiger and Himalayan bear share the same habitat with species typical of northern taiga such as brown bear and reindeer. 

  • Russia 1970. Red deer 

The site is also important for the survival of endangered species such as the scaly-sided (Chinese) merganser, Blakiston’s fish-owl and the Amur tiger. 

Russia 1970. Sikhote-Alin. Mandarins. Russia 1970. Sikhote-Alin. Asiatic Black Bear. Russia 1970. Sikhote-Alin. Yellow-Throated Marten.
Sikhote Alin Biosphere Sanctuary was established in 1935 and is the largest of the Ussuriland reserves. It is particularly notable for being home to both the Amur tiger and the equally endangered Amur leopard. 

A tiger census in the 1980s estimated a minimum of 250 and a maximum of 430 tigers over the total area of Russia and 25 of these were located in this important reserve. 

  • Russia 1977. The Amur Tiger. 

Russia 1977. The Amur Tiger.

Although the below souvenir sheet is a joint issue between Canada and China, it is very appropriate on this page, as it shows the Siberian Amur Leopard (right), and the Canadian Cougar (left), the latter living also -- to some extent -- in the Sikhote-Alin region. 

In total the sanctuary contains 63 species of mammal and 1100 species of plant, 38 of these being very rare or disappearing species (Japanese yew, Wild Amur grape, rhododendron Fauri, Amur phellodendron). There are 375 known species of bird.

The main dangers to wildlife with Sikhote Alin come from illegal hunting (poaching), forest fires, and the growing of hay fields within the sanctuary boundaries. Although it is known the tiger population is being adversely affected by these factors to what degree this is happening has yet to be established. On top of this, approximately one third of this sanctuary is unsuitable as tiger habitat. It either lacks the required prey base, or the vegetation is not appropriate. 

Sources and links: 

Other World Heritage Sites in Russia (on this web site). Inactive links are not described on stamps. Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Russia-section, for further information on such sites. 

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Revised 27 mar 2007  
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