World Heritage Russian sites of WH

The Kuril Islands

The Kuril Islands  
Status of component parts: State Nature Reserve, Nature Preserve

Area: 0.197 million ha

Situation: The possibility of inscription on the Russian Tentative List is being examined


Volcanic activity continuing now on the Kuril ridge forms incredibly picturesque landscapes. They are: black magnetite sand, shingles of different colors, thermal waters and hot gase discharges, waterfalls of different color shades (even orange), coastal cliffs of fantastic shapes...

Active volcanoes, warm and cold sea currents, the territory stretching far from north to south, and a complex terrain add to the diversity of the Islands' wildlife. In this area it is easy to encounter representatives of the Japanese-Korean, Manchuria and Okhotsk-Kamchatka flora and fauna complexes. The Islands are home to more than 50 species of higher vascular plants included into the Russian Red Data Book.

Birds migration routes cross the area of the Southern Kuril Islands. Among all the bird species living here 30 have been added to the Russian Red Data Book. Local rivers are spawning grounds of salmon. The coastal zone of the islands is rich in multiple colonies of sea waterfowl and rookeries and breeding-grounds of sea mammals.