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Species diversity and use of biological resources
Amur fish diversity
Related maps, pictures, links

The Amur-Heilong is important habitat for about 120 native freshwater fish species, and critical habitat for 18 species and one genus (Pseudaspius) that are endemic to the basin.  Eight species of fish are listed in the Russian Red Book, including upstream populations of the famous Amur sturgeon (Accipenser schrencki) and Kaluga (Huso dauricus), both of which are listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of globally threatened species (see  The Amur-Heilong River still supports tremendous resources of migratory salmon, including seven species, with Oncorhynhus keta being the most abundant.
Twentythree fish species are thought to be introduced to the Amur-Heilong basin. Out of these, nine species not only acclimatized, but are also very abundant and widespread — possibly interfering with the survival of native species. One unsuccessful introduction involved the sockeye salmon, a species that did not adapt to local conditions after its lease in the 1920s but continues to turn up sporadically as a vagrant species.
Moreover, the Amur estuary hosts additional 15 salt/brackish water fish species, and there are the occasional anadromous species, such as Sakhalin sturgeon, redfin, chinook, coho, steelhead, white-spotted char, and so on.  Most of them, except starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus), striped mullet (Mugil cephalus), and white-spotted char (Salvelinus sp.), are quite rare in the Amur-Heilong.
In China, Russia and Mongolia the Amur-Heilong River basin contains rich assemblages of fish species and freshwater organisms in general, which are often heavily overharvested..  When compared with other river basins of Eurasia at similar latitudes, the Amur-Heilong is richer in terms of fish species diversity and is more comparable larger river basins further south (see Map on Comparative diversity of fish by river basin)

Also in attachments see recent WWF publication: Amur Fish Wealth and Crisis (WWF 2004)(pdf file)


Lamprey (Photo by G.Shalikov)

Map collections:

Species richness

Distribution of charismatic species



Fauna types

Kaluga sturgeon

Upper Ussury –Lake Khanka



Fish diversity

Turtle and other relatives of the black dragon


Amur meadows and wetlands – Amur midflow

Khanka Lake and Upper Ussury Wetlands

Lower Amur Wetlands


GIS: Charismatic species ranges


Also look:

Species richness in Amur-Heilong River Basin

Kaluga sturgeon

Salmonid diversity

Chinese soft-shelled turtle


History and reasons for the collapse of Amur fisheries

Russian fisheries

China fisheries

Sino-Mongolian fisheries on Lake Buir

Total catch in Russia (table)

Amur-Ussury Fishing rules

Fish vs Pollution

Salmon vs forestry


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