Address: Bokhnyaka St.10, office 15, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky,
Kamchatka Krai, Russia, 683031
Phone / Fax: (41522) 5-10-21, mobile.: 8-909-835-3530

Commander State Biosphere Reserve

Commander State Biosphere Reserve

Commander State Biosphere Reserve established in 1993 in Aleutsky region and includes all territory of the Commander Islands and surrounding 30 miles water area. The reserve has an area of 3,649,000 ha.

The Commander Islands are located in the northern part of the Pacific ocean bordering Bering sea in the south and being the western end of the Aleutian Island arc. The archipelago includes 15 islands of various size with the largest one called Bering Island (length 90 km (56 miles) average width 18 km (11 miles)) and Medny Island (length 53 km (33 km) average width 5 km (3 miles)). The islands are located as rather a compact group and lie in the distance of 175 km (109 miles) to the east from the Kamchatka peninsula. Bering and Medny Islands expand from the north-east to the south-west and divided by a straight 49 km (30 miles) wide.

Two small islands with bird rookeries, flat Toporkov (2 km (1.2 miles) in circumference) and rocky Ariy Kamen (1 km (0.6 miles) in circumference) are located in front of Nikolskoye settlement in the distance of 4 km (2.5 miles) and 10 km (6 miles) respectively. They are the second large islands.

The rest of islands are significantly smaller and separated rocks located very close to shores of Bering and Medny Islands. The Commander Islands are tops of underwater ranges. Heights of Bering Island are 150-755 meters (490-2500 ft) above the sea level. The highest point is Steller’s Mountain (755 meters or 2500 ft). Medny Island is a little bit lower with 360-647 meters (1181-2123 ft) and Steineger’s Mountain (647 meters or 2123 ft) as its highest point.

Ocean water temperature is 8-10°C (46.4-50°F) that is why it always cold from the ocean 5-10°C (41-50°F) and no strong frosts in winter.

Commander State Biosphere Reserve

The Commanders are called "the land of winds and fogs”. Almost each month has days with wind achieving hurricane force with more than 30 meters per second. Average wind speed is not more than 7 meters per second. 147 days a year are overcast days. In June and early July there is thick fog and shroud of tiny water drops for most of days.

Due to abundance of precipitations the inland waters are vastly spread as rivers, streams and springs; there are a lot of lakes and swamps there. Large lakes achieve depth of 20 meters (66 ft). They are former sea bays. The largest lake of Bering Island is Sarannoye lake. The largest amount of red salmon enters it for spawning.

Commander species of ash tree, birches and willows have shrubby and suffrutescent forms. It is a rare thing to meet small and hardly curved trees in some hollows protected from winds. Most part of the territory is engaged by various types of tundras and grassy communities.

Due to intermediate position of the Commander Islands between the North-Eastern Siberia and northern part of Pacific ocean seas, a unique fauna was formed there with 25 species of mammals, 53 nesting and passage species of birds, and 204 species of fish. Protected objects are 12 species and 2 subspecies of mammals, including 2 species of eared seals (northern fur seal, sea lion); 2 species of seals (antur, Phoca); whales (11 species, including killer whale, fin whale, Dall's porpoise, Cuvier's beaked whale and others); 150 species of birds including 57 who nest in Commanders (morwennol, fulmar, cormorant, auks such as puffin, ipatka). There are also 383 species and 37 subspecies of rare plants.

Commander State Biosphere Reserve

The main sites of the Commander reserve are picturesque rookeries of fur seals, sea lions, Otters and bird rookeries.

Amazingly beautiful nature objects are located on the territory of Commander reserve such as Steller’s Arch, Buyan Bay, Toporok Island and Ariy Kamen Island.

There is a grave of pioneer Commander Vitus Bering on Bering Island. There is a local history museum in Nikolskoye settlement with such unique items as a carcass of Steller's sea cow, guns from the legendary packet boat St Peter being under command by Vitus Bering, samples of Aleutian folk arts and things.

phone / fax:
+7 (4152) 22-75-12, mob.: +7 914-780-1764 - Tatyana, +7 909-835-3530 - Constantine

Register number in the Unified Federal Register of Tour Operators – ВТ 010113

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