Natural sanctuary of a federal significance “Malye Kurily” (“smaller Kuril islands”) was founded in 1983 in order to protect nestling, migrating and hibernating birds and marine mammals that live in this region and the most valuable locations of spawning and fattening of fish and marine invertebrate animals, and to preserve the natural landscapes of the Smaller Kuril Archipelago.
The natural sanctuary is located on a greater part of Shikotan Island and other islands within the Smaller Kuril Archipelago with adjacent cliffs, banks, reefs and one-mile aquatic area of the territorial water of the Russian Federation. The area is about 20 thousand ha of the land plots and over 25 thousand ha of the aquatic area.
On Shikotan Island, the natural sanctuary includes such prominent geographic sites as Notoro Mountain, Tomari Mountain and Shikotan Mountain.
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