Status of Property: State Nature Reserve
Area: 2.226 million ha
Situation: Included into the World Heritage List in 2004
Criteria: (ix) (x)
The islands of Wrangel and Herald boast Arctic's richest flora and fauna biodiversity. Here we can see a mixture of typically Arctic and relatively southern - Asian and American taxones. The vegetation communities include Pleistocene relics that in certain places form landscapes, which is why the landscapes of the two islands are a lot closer to those of the Pleistocene than most of the others existing today.
The islands represent unique flora communities and endemic soil types and home 40 endemic species and sub-species of vascular plants, insects, birds and mammals (lemmings). Some of them are relic and belong to the smallest in number populations in the world.
The islands and the waters around them compose a key area for a whole number of rare and specially protected birds and animals. The area accounts for the largest bird rookeries in East Arctic.