Location and Values: Central Sikhote-Alin is located in the Russian Far East, bordering the Sea of Japan. It is a serial site with three separate components covering a vast temperate forest wilderness in the Sikhote-Alin Mountains, from sea level to 1830m in altitude. The area lies in a zone of overlap between the arctic taiga and subtropics and is subject to warm wet summers and severe icy winters. Its biodiversity values are exceptional in terms of the overall number of plant and animal species, as well as the concentration of rare, endemic and endangered species. The region provides the largest remaining habitat for the extremely rare Siberian (Amur) tiger, and supports important populations of other southern species (such as Himalayan Black Bear) alongside species typical of more northern regions such as lynx and brown bear. Similar mixed coniferous/deciduous forests at these latitudes (44-49oN) in western Europe and North America have mostly been cut, making preservation of this intact ecosystem all the more important.
Conservation Status and Prospects. According to IUCN’s Conservation Outlook Assessment (2017) the conservation status of the Central Sikhote-Alin is ‘good, with some concerns’. The IUCN report notes the impressive long-term conservation monitoring programme and commends recent improvements in management of the site. It notes, however, that some external threats remain, including illegal use of resources, climate change and fire. Funding for management of the site has been increased, and is now sufficient to address the relatively low level of threats.
UNESCO Official Website
IUCN Conservation Outlook
UNEP-WCMC Site Description