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Habitat (biotope) analysis

Centre for nature conservation research and initiative conducts research summarizing data on a variety of habitats (biotopes) of the Northwest Russia. Based on the Habitat type classification of the European Union Nature Information System (EUNIS) of the European Environment Agency, a system of habitat classification and the criteria of environmental value have being elaborated. During last years the most valuable habitats are being revealed (especially those of rare species and high animal concentrations during migrations or reproducing).

Habitat or biotope is considered as a relatively homogenous (in respect to the environment) space characterized by certain set of organisms. Both terms are often confused even in scientific literature. We prefer a term “biotope” (in its primary sense – “type of land” or “type of water”, F. Dahl, 1908), because at least in Russian literature it usually characterizes a composition of species and ecosystems, while the habitat concerns rather one species or population.

Conservation of biotopes is of the same importance as conservation of species and populations, since both organisms and their habitat should be considered together. It

Gap analysis project (GAP)

in the North-West Russia

"Saint-Petersburg Society for bat research and conservation"

Regional Red Data lists of Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region

Habitat (biotope) analysis

Pearl mussel and salmon rivers

 around Saint-Petersburg

Bird migrations in North-West


Research on biodiversity of the

ancient parks of Saint-Petersburg



is impossible to protect a species without conservation of its habitat, but this simple idea is often ignored. For example, in the Leningrad region land-locked Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar m. sebago) and trout (Salmo trutta) are considered as protected ones being included in the Red List of Russia. Their fishing was prohibited, although no special actions were undertaken to protect the sites of their reproduction (rapids of pure rivers). Such biotopes are almost not covered by the network of protected areas.

Emphasis on the protection of biotopes is also important in respect to protection of “non-charismatic species” that are not well-known by a wide audience, including many small organisms. Many species are not so prominent and showy to attract a great attention, that is why they could be exterminated before they will be discovered and studied. Conservation of the system of biotopes in whole could prevent such extermination.










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