With its diverse climate, vast geography, and low population densities, the Russian Federation—particularly Asiatic Russia— is home to a wide variety of wildlife. In the Far North, species such as the Arctic fox, lemmings, polar bears, and harp seals are well suited to the tundra. Bowhead whales, gray whales, orcas, and other cetaceans can be found off the Arctic and Pacific sea coasts, as can the Greenland shark and Pacific sleeper shark. In the taiga and forest zones, which make up more than half of the country’s landmass, reindeer, elk, moose, bears, lynx, sable, boar, deer, mink, and marten thrive. A variety of avian species can also be found, including Steller’s sea eagle. In the country’s various mountain ranges, there are yaks, chamois, badgers, polecats, mountain goats, wild sheep (argali), and gazelles. Lake Baykal is home to several unique species, including the Nerpa freshwater seal (Pusa siberica). Russia’s aquatic wildlife is equally diverse, with many types of salmon, sturgeon, eel, cod, herring, pike, whitefish, and bream. The country is home to a number of critically endangered species including the Beluga sturgeon, Amur leopard, Saiga antelope, and Siberian white crane.
   See also Fishing industry.

Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation. . 2010.

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