Arctic desert

  • Scientific Code
  • Ecoregion Category
  • Size
    62,300 square miles
  • Status
    Relatively Stable/Intact
  • Habitats


 Location and General Description

Biodiversity Features

Current Status

Types and Severity of Threats

Justification of Ecoregion Delineation
The Arctic Desert refers to a number of islands north of 75 degrees north latitude. This includes northern Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Islands and Severnaya Zemlya. Mapped ecoregion boundaries correspond to the arctic desert zone in Kurnaev’s (1990) forest map of the USSR. However, northern sections of the Taimyr Peninsula, Novosibirsk Islands and Wrangel Island were excluded from this region as their lower latitudes permit a wider range and higher abundance of species.

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Budyukov, D.D. 2000. Keepers of the shore: the vital role of Novaya Zemlya’s teeming bird colonies in the coastal ecosystem. Russian Conservation News 22:19-20.

De Korte, J., A.E. Volkov, and M.V. Gavrilo. 1995. Bird observations in Severnaya Zemlya, Siberia. Arctic 48:222-234.

Glazov, M.V., and S.V. Goryachkin. 2000. Of polar deserts and arctic tundra: Novaya Zemlya’s remarkable terrestrial ecosystems. Russian Conservation News 22:14-15.

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Konstantinova, N.A., and A.D. Potemkin. 1996. Liverworts of the Russian Arctic: an annotated check-list and bibliography. Arctoa 6:125–150.

Kurnaev, S. 1990. Forest regionalization of the USSR (1:16,000,000). Department of Geodesy and Cartography, Moscow.

Melnikov, S.A., C.V. Vlasov, O.V. Rishov, A.N. Gorshkov, and A.I. Kuzin. 1994. Zones of relatively enhanced contamination levels in the Russian arctic seas. Arctic Research of the United States 8:277-283.

Nalivkin, D.V. 1960. The geology of the USSR: A short outline. Pergamon Press. Oxford.

Pokrovskaya, I., and G. Tertitsky. 1991. Russia creates largest marine park. WWF Arctic Bulletin 2.

Sekretareva, N. A. 1999. The vascular plants of the Russian Arctic and adjacent territories. Sofia–Moscow.

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