Bear by river, Russia. Credit: O. Zaporozhets

Credit: O. Zaporozhets


Russia’s vast terrain stretches from the frozen tundra of the far north, to the peaks of the Caucasus Mountains to the southern prairies. Its temperate forests – two-thirds of all temperate forests left on earth - offer sanctuary to endangered species and play an increasingly vital role in storing emissions of carbon dioxide. Amur tigers, snow leopards, saiga antelope, Siberian cranes and giant taimen fish are just some of the species that call Russia home.

Many of these unique species, however, are threatened by habitat loss, poaching and climate change. Since their natural ranges often span both the U.S. and Russia– across the Artic land bridge - protecting them requires close cooperation among governments, conservation organizations, and local communities.

For more than 35 years, USFWS - Russia program has worked with Russian conservationists, sharing information and jointly conducting scientific studies. The program has also supported Russia’s nature reserves (“zapovedniks”) and national parks through a competitive grants program. Grants provide infrastructure support and build the capacity of park management in the remote habitats of unique and globally important species such as the saiga antelope and the Amur tiger. For more information on Russian parks and reserves, visit the Russian Academy of Sciences protected area database.

Species of Concern

Amur Tiger; credit: Zervas, Creative Commons Polar Bear and cub; credit: Sheilapic76, Creative Commons Saiga Antelope; credit: Daniel Rosengren