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Waters and water management

Ecosystems and ecoregions

Species diversity and use of biological resources

Nature conservation: econet and protected areas

Countries & cultures


Land use

International policy

RFE Threats Assessment Table
Related maps, pictures, links

Threats to major ecosystems in the Russian Far East Ecoregion Complex and their primary sources. (Source: Ecoregional Conservation action plan /ECAP RFE 2003)


Major Threat



Aquatic habitats of the Amur River and its larger tributaries


•  Population growth, economic development, and lack of sanitation facilities, especially in Heilongjiang Province of China; insufficient sanitation facilities in large Russian cities

•  contamination of waterways by phenols from decomposition of organic materials; declining abundance of aquatic fauna

Energy development

•  Construction of the Bureya hydroelectric station; plans for new hydroelectric stations on the Amur and other rivers

•  Disruption of natural hydrological regimes; loss of seasonal habitats for aquatic fauna


•  Salmon fishing by commercial marine fishers; unrestricted fishing in China ; inadequate legislation and lack of enforcement mechanisms in Russia ; absence of socio-economic conditions to introduce sustainable fishing mechanisms

•  Declining fish stocks; inability of fish populations to recover; loss of livelihood for minority communities; potential extinction of commercially valuable species

Wetlands of the Amur-Heilong River basin

Energy development& water manage-ment

•  Regulation of water flow from hydroelectric stations and dams

•  dyke construction along river banks,

•  excessive water consumption by agriculture.

•  wetland dehydration, habitat loss & degradation

•  loss of seasonal waterfowl breeding and fish spawning habitats

•  loss of aquifer recharge capacity of wetlands

Fires in floodplain forest-grassland habitats

•  Traditional annual burning of pastures and hay fields, thought to increase productivity

•  Destruction of nestlings of ground-nesting birds, especially cranes; loss of nesting and brood-rearing habitats; mortality of woody seedlings inhibits forest recovery

Timber harvest

•  Cutting of remnant relic forests for firewood by local people

•  Reduction of forest cover

Agriculture and animal husbandry

•  Wildland conversion to farmland

•  Wind erosion of humus layer from agricultural lands; overgrazing

•  runoff of soils and animal waste from farms

•  Loss of wildland area

•  Increased soil loss and water turbidity

•  Eutrophication of water bodies


Over-exploitation of wildlife

•  Unregulated hunting of migratory birds in wintering areas in China; poaching and non-sustainable use of game resources in Russia; increasing numbers of crows

•  Decrease in numbers of wild animals

Anthro-pogenic wildfire

•  Decrease and fragmentation of nesting habitat; birds killed by fires and poachers

•  Disappearance of rare birds of prey

Coniferous-broadleaf forests

Timber production


•  Clearcutting and unsustainable logging

•  Decline in area of old-growth forests

•  Selective cutting of valuable species

•  Ecosystem degradation

Over-exploitation of resources

•  Illegal hunting and collecting

•  Disappearance of rare species of plants and animals

•  Decrease in prey base for large predators

•  conflicts between humans and large predators

•  habitat loss

Eastern Siberian boreal forests

Unregulated resource exploitation

•  Commercial mining

•  Energy development

•  Transformation of native ecosystems

•  Reduction of floodplain forests during gold mining operations

•  flooding of forests with creation of the Bureya hydroelectric station

Timber production

•  Pioneer-style unsustainable logging practices; anthropogenic forest fires

•  Disappearance of forests after clearcutting on unstable mountain or permafrost soils;

•  Ecosystem degradation

•  Declining forest cover; declining forest wildlife

•  increased erosion, impacts on water bodies

Map collection: Environmental impacts of economic development



GLOBIO human impact assesment

Human footprint and ecoregions of Amur

Human footprint and protected areas coverage

Threats to biodiversity in Southern Russian Far East

Industrial Development in Songhua River Basin (ADB 2005)


Web-site: Programs “Development of Russian Far East and Transbaikalia” “Development of East Siberia and the Far East” and their environmental implications: link to projects and atlas


Wildfire in Primorsky Province (Photo by D.Kuchma)

Also look:

Economic development:

Sustainable future of Amur-Heilong

Russia – status of economy

Northeast China - status of economy

Mongolia – status of economy

Russia-China cooperation

Mongolian Foreign Trade and Cooperation

Mongolian trade diagrams-2003

Comparison table on Eastern Mongolia and Xinganmeng China

Comparison table on southern RFE and Heilongjiang Province, China

Policy for Revitalizing Old industrial Bases in NE China


Cumulative impacts -how much is affected?

Human Impacts and Threats to Biodiversity


"Strategic considerations on environmental issues of Revitalizing Old industrial Bases in NE China"

"Strategy Recommendations"

Our questions on "Strategy Recommendations"

Gloomy forecast of the future environmental impacts

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