Yugyd Va National Park

Yugyd Va National Park (Komi, Russian: Югыд ва) is a national park in the Komi Republic, a constituent republic of the Russian Federation. It is Europe's largest national park (ahead of Vatnajökull National Park in Iceland) and it was Russia's largest national park until the creation of Beringia National Park in 2013.

Югыд ва
Yugyd Va National Park
Саблинский хребет.jpg
Map showing the location of Югыд ва
Map showing the location of Югыд ва
LocationKomi Republic, Russia
Coordinates62°25′N 58°47′E / 62.417°N 58.783°E / 62.417; 58.783Coordinates: 62°25′N 58°47′E / 62.417°N 58.783°E / 62.417; 58.783
Area18,917 square kilometers
EstablishedApril 23, 1994
The Kozhim River in Yugyd Va National Park

HistoryEdit

The park was created by the Russian Government on April 23, 1994, with the goals of protection and recreational use of the taiga forests of the Northern Urals.

In 1995, the forest area including the Yugyd Va National Park and the nearby Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, Virgin Komi Forests.

GeographyEdit

 
River near Mount Monaraga, near the village of Saranpaul.

The Yugyd Va National Park is located on the western slopes of the Polar Ural and Northern Ural, on the border of Europe and Asia. The rivers flowing from the western slope of the Ural Mountains supply water to Pechora River, one of the largest rivers in Europe flowing into the Barents Sea. The natural boundary of the park in the east is the main ridge of the Ural mountains, in the north - the Kozhim River, in the west - the rivers Synja, Vangir and Kosya, in the south - the Pechora-Ilych Nature Reserve. The territory of the park is part of the Prepolar-Ural physical-geographical area and is located in three zones - mountain, foothill and lowland, which were formed more than 200 million years ago. It is here in the central part of the Yugid Va National Park that the highest peaks of the Ural Mountains are: the Mount Narodnaya (1894.5 m), as well as the Mount Karpinsky (1878 m), Bell Tower (1724 m), Manaraga (1662 m), Nioroika (1645 m).

WildlifeEdit

More than half of the park is covered with the taiga boreal forest; the rest is mostly tundra, found at higher elevations. There are also some 20 km2 of meadows, both alpine ones and those in the river valleys.

Some 180 bird species live in the park, some of them quite rare. Twenty fish species are known to inhabit the park's rivers and lakes. There are also five amphibian species and one reptile species in the park.

Among the mammals common in the park are the mountain hare, flying squirrel, reindeer, ermine, otter, Alces alces (known as the moose in North American English and elk in British English), wolf, fox, wolverine, bear, pine marten, weasel, Arctic fox.

TourismEdit

Recreational uses of the park include rafting, boating, and hiking in the summer, Nordic skiing in winter. Limited hunting is allowed too, but permits have to be applied for several months in advance.

Due to the remote location of the park, the amount of tourism there is still quite low. According to the park's management, it is currently visited by some 4,000 tourists every year, which is much less than the park's potential recreational capacity. The management was concerned with the fact that the user fees (some 2.4 million roubles (US$100,000) a year) did not cover park expenses (some 5 million roubles (US$200,000) a year).[1]

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "Clear future for the 'Clear Water', or how Yugyd Va National Park is to develop" Krasnoye Znamya (a local newspaper), 15 March 2006, No. 40. (in Russian)

External linksEdit