Kamchatka krai. General Information
Kamchatka Krai is located on the north-east of Russia and occupies the Kamchatka peninsula with adjoining continental part and the Commander and Karagisnky islands as well. Kamchatka Krai borders Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and Magadan Oblast to the north and north-west; the Kuril Islands to the south. Kamchatka is washed by the Pacific Ocean to the east, the Bering sea to the north-east, and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west.
Kamchatka Krai has an area of 464,300 km2 (179,267 sq miles) with 292,600 km2 (112,973 sq miles) in Koryak Okrug and stretch for almost 1,600 km (1,000 miles) from the south to north.
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city is its administrative center.
Moscow plus 9 hours.
Mostly temperate monsoon climate, temperate continental in the center, subarctic in the north; average temperature in June is +12°C (53.6°F); Kamchatka averages up to 1,000 mm (39.4 inches) of precipitation a year.
Species composition is relatively not very rich and has more than a thousand of flowering and fern plants. There are some endemic species here which cannot be found anywhere else.
The forests cover one third of the area. Stone birch, silver birch, Kurile Dahurian larch, alder, Chosenia (Korean willow), poplar, various species of willow, mountain ash tree, spruce, aspen, bird cherry tree, and shrubs like elfin alder, dwarf Siberian pine, hawthorn are main species here.
Blueberry, honeysuckle, cowberry, black crowberry are vastly spread small fruit.
As for herbs, shelomainik (Filipendula camtschatica) is a typical Kamchatkan herbaceous plant with heavy beds of more than two meters high.
Fauna is presented with 88 species of Mammals, 322 species and subspecies of birds, and 500 species and subspecies of fish. Brown bear, wild reindeer, snow ship, mountain hare, Kamchatkan marmot, ground squirrel, otter are mammals that live in Kamchatka. Sable, fox, polar fox, wolverine, rarely wolf and lynx are beasts of prey here.
There are phocas, sea lions, sea hares in the adjoining seas. Fur seals and sea otters live on the Commander Islands.
All kinds of Pacific salmon enter rivers of the peninsula for spawning such as king salmon, silver, chum, sockeye, masu. Char live here permanently. Imported crucian carp live in lakes. Pacific cod, flatfish, halibut, herring, Pollack, capelin, and others are harvested in the surrounding seas.
Kamchatka Krai territory belongs to world’s richest natural recreational resources areas. It combines different natural conditions in an unusual way. There are green woodlands near monotonous tundra. Beautiful blooming valleys with innumerable lakes scattered everywhere, mountain ranges stretching for hundreds of kilometers (miles), charm an observer. A lot of volcanic cones are located on them, with slopes, covered with silver snow, and ice capped tops.
The most important recreation resources of Kamchatka include:
Three state natural reserves – Kronotsky, Comandorsky, and Koryaksky – are located on the territory of Krai. Five protected natural areas - Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve, South Kamchatka State Sanctuary, Nalychevo, Bystrinsky, South Kamchatka Nature Parks – are included into the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage List.
Kamchatka is one of a few regions of the planet where the nature has preserved in its natural and wild condition.