|The Russian System of Protected Areas
One of the most comprehensive attempts at biodiversity conservation in Russia and the Former Soviet Union has been the establishment of an extensive network of protected natural areas. Much of the biodiversity of North Eurasia is preserved today in Zapovedniki, or strictly protected scientific nature reserves. The system of National Natural Parks, established only ten years ago, is another major component of the federally-managed system of protected natural areas. Zakazniki, or Special Purpose Preserves, and wildlife sanctuaries, make up the backbone of protected areas in the regions. Yet another designation is Nature Monuments, preserving unique biological objects at even smaller scale.
As of spring of 1998, Russia had 98 Zapovedniki and 32 national parks. Zapovedniki encompass a total area of over 75 million acres, or 1.4% of the Russian territory. National parks cover about 16 million acres, less than one-half percent of Russia. Regional level Zakazniki and nature monuments number well over one thousand and cover up to 4% of the country's territory.
The national park system is managed by the Russian Forest Service, whereas most Zapovedniki are managed by the recently re-established Department of Zapovedniki of the Russian Department of Nature Protection (formerly, Ministry of Environmental Protection).
Sources: Russian Conservation News, Biodiversity Conservation Center