Curonian Spit National Park (Russia)

Curonian Spit National Park (Russian: Куршская коса) (Also: Kurshskaya Kosa) covers the Russian-owned southern 41 km of the 98 km long, curved Curonian Spit – a type of depositional sandbar. The spit separates the salt-water Baltic Sea (on the west) from the freshwater Curonian Lagoon to the east. The southern portion of the spit lies within Zelenogradsky District in Kaliningrad Oblast, Russia; the northern portion lies within southwestern Lithuania. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site shared by the two countries.[1]

Curonian Spit National Park
Куршская коса (Russian)
Also: Kurshskaya Kosa
Вид с озера Лебедь на залив.jpg
Curonian Spit
Map showing the location of Curonian Spit National Park
Map showing the location of Curonian Spit National Park
Location of Park
LocationKaliningrad Oblast
Nearest cityKaliningrad
Coordinates55°08′N 20°48′E / 55.133°N 20.800°E / 55.133; 20.800Coordinates: 55°08′N 20°48′E / 55.133°N 20.800°E / 55.133; 20.800
Area6,621 hectares (16,361 acres; 66 km2; 26 sq mi)
Established1987 (1987)
Governing bodyMinistry of Natural Resources and Environment (Russia)

TopographyEdit

The foundations of the spit were created about 15,000 BCE as the receding glaciers left the Baltic Sea behind, and the sand dunes of the Curonian built on the glacial moraine.[2] The actions of sea and wind build large dunes, which average 35 meters on the spit. The area is one of high biodiversity due to the many different ecological communities in close proximity to each other: beach, dune ridge, wetlands of various types, meadows and forests. The Curonian Spit is the second longest spit in the world, after the 110-km long Arabat Spit in the Sea of Azov. The park follows the spit from the Sambian Peninsula in the south to the border with Lithuania about 40 km north; its width varies from 0.4 to 4 km.[3] The water in the lagoon averages 3.7 meters in depth, and the water level of the lagoon is about 12 cm above that of the Baltic.

Plants and animalsEdit

Birds and waterfowl are abundant, as the park has abundant wetlands and is on major migratory routes. 262 species of birds have been recorded in the park, and 100 are known to nest and breed in the territory. The park is also home to 46 species of mammals, including elk, European roe deer, wild boar, fox, marten, raccoon dog, badger, hare, red squirrel, and beaver. The park has recorded over 290 species of terrestrial vertebrates, representing 80% of the species found in the Kaliningrad region. Plant life is similarly varied: 889 species, hybrids, varieties and forms of wild vascular plants of 398 genera and 111 families.[2]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kurshskaya Kosa (in Russian)". FGBU National Park Kurshkaya Kosa. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Kurshskaya Kosa - Overview (in Russian)". FGBU National Park Kurshkaya Kosa. Retrieved December 29, 2015.
  3. ^ "Curonian Spit". UNESCO. Retrieved December 29, 2015.

External linksEdit