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Khabarovsk Krai

Shantar Islands

The Islands are situated in the Tuguro-Chumikansky district in the southeastern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. This federal nature reserve attracts tourists with its unique landscape of rocks overgrown with coniferous pine forests.  Many rivers and streams flow from the mountains and form about a hundred waterfalls (from 10-100 meters tall). The waters near the shore are ice free for only about two months.  Even though the islands are situated in the same latitude as Moscow, huge icebergs still float here in July. The snows begin in October.

Foggy weather alternates with infrequent but strong storms.  The islands have countless capes, cliffs, and ice ramparts resembling the silhouettes of birds, animals, and people, as well as unique rivers and lakes. The largest among them is Bolshoe Lake, which is fed by the Oleny river.

At some point in time, the Shantar Islands were inhabited by people, but now there is nobody except for the meteorological station employees. The rivers and lakes are full of fish, and bears walk along the banks. The colonial nesting places of birds produce a lot of noise. Whales, killer whales, and a huge number of seals swim in the sea.

The Shantar archipelago is situated far from any settlement: Chumikan is 100 kilomaters to the west; the dying settlement of Tugur is 100 kilomaters to the south, and Nikolayevsk-on-Amur is 400 kilometers to the north. The remoteness of the islands helps to ensure the preservation of wildlife and the natural environment.

The islands are breeding grounds for sooty guillemot, tufted puffin, horned puffin, cormorants, and various types of seagulls. Over 200 species of birds, including 30 species listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation, are found on the islands. The islands also have rookeries of sea lion, bearded seal, bay seal, and ringed seal. There are 35 species of fish: rainbow trout, brown trout, chum salmon, and smelt.

Since 1997 the archipelago has been a federal nature reserve. The total area is 515,000 hectares, including 273,100 hectares on the Sea of Okhotsk.

Tourism Portal of Khabarovsk Krai /

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Address: Khabarovsk krai, Tuguro-Chumikansky district

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