Bikin River Valley
Status of component parts: State Landscape Nature Preserve, Indigenous Peoples' traditional land use area
Area: 1.154 million ha
Situation: Inscribed on the Russian Tentative List
The territory is situated 80-100 km to the north from the Central Sikhote-Alin World Heritage Property. As the Sikhote-Alin State Reserve, it belongs to Amur-Coastal physiographic region. However while the Sikhote-Alin State Reserve covers mainly the eastern macro slope of Central Sikhote-Alin, the nominated territory occupies its western macro slope, adding a consonant feature to recognized outstanding universal value of the World Natural Heritage Property. The nominated Special Protected Natural Areas represent the landscape preserve "Verkhnebikinsky" and the Territory of traditional nature use of the indigenous small people - they adjoin each other and occupy the upper and middle parts of the Bikin river valley, situated at the North of Primorski Region.
Outstanding Universal Value of the Bikin river valley as an integrated part of the Central Sikhote-Alin natural complex (meets criteria x) is already confirmed by IUCN experts and is fixed in the decision of 25-th Session of World Heritage Committee (Helsinki, 2001).
One of the principal reasons of Central Sikhote-Alin serial nomination preparation is the requirement for protection of endangered population of Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica). Activity of the Sikhote-Alin Reserve and protected territories in the Bikin river valley, designing of new Special Protected Natural Areas within the Central Sikhote-Alin are targeted mostly to conservation of the key habitats of Amur tiger. Moreover, cedar-broadleaf complex of the upper and middle stream of the Bikin river is actually globally unique and exclusive preserved entire massif of formerly wide-spread Ussuri taiga. Besides its apparent nature protection value, this massif is essential for maintaining the animal habitats in their natural conditions which directly affects the well-being of the Bikin river valley indigenous people belonging to the bikin group of the Udege.
River Bikin valley, which represents globally unique and exclusive preserved entire massif of Ussuri taiga (total square more then 1 million ha), differs by a high concentration of rare and relic plant species. Only in its upper part there was registered the growing of more than 20 species included into the Red Book of the RF. 34 species of the vascular plants are on the verge of their area, such as Rhododendron Rådowskianum Maxim, Microbiota dicussata, Ilex rugosa, Bergenia pacifica, Rhodiola rosea and that is not full their enumeration. The very favourable biotops for the inhabitancy of tiger, Ursus thibetanus and Felis euptilura arose in accordance with the splendid collection of the plant associations that settle the territory practically everywhere. It is very important for the support of the state of their populations on the Far East.
The landscape diversity defines the biocenotic ties with the 38 rare bird species that find here favourable conditions. In the lower flow of the river they are Grus japonensis and Grus monacha, Ciconia boyciana and Ciconia nigra, Turnix tanki, Numenius madagascariensis, Butastur indicus. The valley forests consisted of Ulmus sp., Fraxinus sp., Tilia sp., Chosenia sp. on the banks of the middle flow of the river provide excellent nesting and stern conditions for Pandion haliaetus, Aix galericulata, Mergus squamatus, Ketupa blakistoni, Ninox scutulata. The upper reaches of the river covered by larch, dark coniferous and stone birch forests are the settlements of Tetrao urallogoides and Falcipennis falcipennis.
The following species inhabit the nominated territory and are in the IUCN Red Data Book: Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), scaly-sided merganser (Mergus squamatus) and blakiston's fish-owl (Ketupa blakistoni).