Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Virgin Komi Forests
The Virgin Komi Forests belong to the Ural Mountains taiga ecoregion. Dominant tree species include Siberian spruce, Siberian fir and Siberian larch, while the most prominent mammals are the reindeer, the sable, the mink and the hare.
The site corresponds to Russia's Pechora-Ilych reserve and Yugyd-Va National Park. Its World Heritage status was recognised in 1995, making it the first natural WH site in the country. This recognition brought the site additional funding from abroad and saved it from imminent logging by a French company (HUET Holding). However, conservation threats remain, illegal logging and gold-mining in particular. Deposits of gold in the northern part of the Yugyd-Va National Park were to be mined prior to 1995.
Nothwithstanding the area's recognition as a World Heritage site, attempts at extracting gold are being actively lobbied by the Head of the Republic and Komi's Ministry of Nature. The regional government's attempts to move the site's borders so as to exclude the gold-rich parts and strip them of their protected status have been recently ruled out by Komi's Supreme Court.
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