Biodiversity conservation and the Red book of Yakutia
The present Red Book of Yakutia (list of endangered species) was released in 2000 and divided into two chapters. The Chapter One contains information about plants, lichens and fungi. The Chapter Two is dedicated to vertebrates and insects.
The main objective of the Red Book of Yakutia is to provide complete information on the status, trends and threats to species in order to inform decision-makers and general public. The Red Book assists with setting priorities for conservation measures, and helps to form policy and strategies and to ensure biodiversity conservation.
In 1979 a group of scientists from the Institute of Biology (Yakutian Division of the Siberian Branch of the Academy of Science, USSR) published results on a comprehensive survey “Rare and threatened species of plants and animals in Yakutia”. This study was accomplished as a response to increasing of intensive anthropogenic pressure on natural ecosystems, and living organisms of the region, reduction of numbers and distribution of aboriginal species, and observed expansion of alien species, which were recorded during the last decades. This survey provided a base for the official Act adopted by the regional government, which confirmed a list of plants and animals for registering in the Red book of Yakutia. In 1987 the first book was finally released. 10 years later the government of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) accepted special Decree on the Red Book. According to this document the Red Book of Yakutia is an official state document that provides information on extinct, threatened, rare, and small-numbered species, sub-species, and populations of animals, plants, and fungi of Yakutia, and recommends essential conservation and restoration actions. Updates of the Red Book were suggested to produce periodically every 10 years in order to ensure adequate conservation it is important to monitor and reassess data.
In 2000 renewed Red Book was published, which is to be updated soon again. It was produced through joint efforts of scientist and specialists of the Institute of Biology, Yakutsk State University, and Directorate of Biological Resources and Protected areas of the Ministry for Nature Protection of the Sakha Republic (Yakutia).
In the contemporary Red Book of Yakutia species are evaluated according to the several categories that were applied. The scale in the Chapter One is represented by five categories. The third one is also divided into 4 subscales in accordance with geographic distribution. The main categories are:
0 — extinct
I – endangered
II – vulnerable
III – rare
III-a – narrow endemic for Yakutia
III-б – endemic for North-eastern Russia
III-в – wide-ranged species, but still rare
III-г – rare only in Yakutia
IV – data deficient, but still rare
The structure of the Chapter Two is formed with the same categories according to species extinction risk; however the third category is not divided in this case. In addition to the general information in this Chapter, addendum is included. It contains annotated list of species of a special importance that should be considered during the next reassessment. This list is represented by the following groups of organisms: insects (22 species), birds (6), and mammals (5).
In general, 478 species of plants and animals are in the Red Book of Yakutia (2000). In these two chapters assessed information regarding several groups of organisms is given: Insects (16 species), Fish (6), Amphibians (3), Reptiles (2), Birds (67), Mammals (17), Vascular plants (337), Bryophytes (13), Lichens (7), and Fungi (10).
Fig.1. The proportion of species number presented in the Chapter One (plants, bryophytes, lichens, and fungi). Vascular plants is the most comprehensively assessed group.
Fig.2. The proportion of species number presented in the Chapter Two (insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).
Fig.3. The proportion of extant species in the Chapter Two (insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) assessed in each category for the emphasized groups. The proportions of the each bar represent the total number of present species provided for each group. 0 – extinct; I – endangered; II – vulnerable; III-a – narrow endemic for Yakutia; III-б – endemic for North-eastern Russia; III-в – wide-ranged species, but still rare; III-г – rare only in Yakutia; IV – data deficient, but still rare.
Fig.4. The proportion of extant species in the Chapter Two (insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals) assessed in each category for the emphasized groups. The proportions of the each bar represent the total number of present species provided for each group. 0 – extinct; I – endangered; II – vulnerable; III – rare; IV – data deficient, but still rare.