As the largest country in the world by surface area, Russia and its
more than 17 000 000 sq km touch the Pacific Ocean in the
East and the Arctic Sea in the North. However, the
work on the Emerald Network in the
country so far only targeted the European Part of Russia, from its borders with the European Union to the Ural Mountains. The elevation in the country ranges from -28 m at the Caspian Sea to the heights of Mount Elbrus, 5,642 m, in the Caucasus,
which is the highest mountain in Europe.
In addition to Russia’s numerous waterways, from streams to mighty rivers, the country boasts inland bodies of water such as Lake Ladoga.
Such a large country understandably enjoys a wide range of geographical features, climates, habitats and flora and fauna. Russia is well known for sweeping plains, from the tundra of Siberia to the grassland steppes and also large stands of forest, with the climate warming as one moves from north to south. With that many habitats, the country’s biological diversity is vast, and protecting it
is vital for biodiversity all over Europe.
Russia is not a signatory party of the Bern Convention, but as a member country of the Council of Europe, it cooperates on its implementation. Russia has listed a staggering total of more than 85 habitats for protection. In these habitats, smaller creatures such as the blue butterfly species
Maculinea teleius, the stag beetle,
Lucanus cervus, and the freshwater pearl mussel
Margaritifera margaritifera, make their home. Natural preserves also make room for larger animals like the Eurasian beaver,
Castor fiber, or the magnificent brown bear,
740 sites in the Russian Federation have been
officially nominated as candidate
Emerald sites by the Standing
Committee to the Bern Convention (in