On 3rd November 2015, the Russian government approved the creation of “Bikin National Park” in the Bikin River Basin, Primorsky Province. Often referred to as “the Russian Amazon“, the forests of Bikin River are the largest area of intact mixed forest in the Northern Hemisphere. The move protects more than 1.16 million hectares of forest – both the traditional land of the Udege people and crucial habitat for the endangered Amur tiger.
President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a federal level protected area in the upper and middle reaches of the Bikin River Basin, located on the Western slope of the Sikhote-Alin Mountain Range.
The outstanding global value of the Bikin River Basin was confirmed in 2010, when the forest was added to the UNESCO World Natural Heritage list, securing a future for the indigenous inhabitants of the Basin, the Udege and Nanai people, whose livelihoods depends on the preservation of these forests.
In addition to the great cultural and historical significance, this area has exceptional nature conservation value. The forests are home to 10% of the world’s Amur tiger population. Russia’s 2015 tiger census revealed that the country now has as many as 540 wild Amur tigers. The creation of Bikin National Park is a strong step towards establishing the protected area network necessary for the survival of these tigers, and is an essential step towards Tx2, the global goal to double wild tiger numbers.
'We congratulate WWF Russia and partners for this tremendous conservation success" - Mike Baltzer, Leader of WWF Tigers Alive Initiative