Kamchatka Peninsula

Learn more about Kamchatka Peninsula

Jump to: navigation, search
Image:Avachinsky Volcano.jpg
Kamchatka is the home of many volcanoes. Shown: Avacha Volcano.

Kamchatka Peninsula (Russian: полуо́стров Камча́тка) is a 1,250-kilometer long peninsula in the Russian Far East, with the area of 472,300 km². It lies between the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Sea of Okhotsk to the west. Immediately offshore along the Pacific coast of the peninsula runs the Kuril-Kamchatka Trench with the depth of 10,500 m.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is a part of the Russian Kamchatka Oblast (along with a part of the continent, the Komandorskiye Islands and Karaginsky Island). The majority of the 402,500 inhabitants are Russians, and the largest minority are the Koryaks. The northern part of the peninsula is occupied by Koryak Autonomous Okrug, where around 13,000 Koryaks live.


[edit] Geography dominated by volcanoes

The Kamchatka River and the surrounding Central Valley are flanked by large volcanic ranges, containing around 160 volcanoes, 29 of them still active. Thus, the peninsula has perhaps the highest density of volcanos and associated volcanic phenomena in the world, with 19 active volcanos being included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The highest volcano is Klyuchevskaya Sopka (4,750 m or 15,584 ft), while the most striking is Kronotsky, whose perfect cone was said by celebrated volcanologists Robert and Barbara Decker to be a prime candidates for the world's most beautiful volcano. Somewhat more accessible are the three volcanoes visible from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky: Koryaksky, Avachinsky, and Kozelsky. In the center of Kamchatka is Eurasia's only Geyser Valley.

[edit] Wildlife and fisheries

Kamchatka boasts diverse and abundant wildlife. This is due to climates ranging from temperate to subarctic, diverse topography and geography, many free-flowing rivers, proximity to highly productive waters from the northwestern Pacific Ocean and the Bering and Okhotsk Seas, and to the low human density and minimal development. Nonetheless, commercial exploitation of marine resources and a history of fur trapping has taken its toll on several species.

Among terrestrial mammals, Kamchatka is best known for the abundance and size of its brown bear populations. In the Kronotsky Nature Preserve there are estimated to be 300-400 individuals per million hectares. Other fauna of note include carnivores such as wolf, arctic and other foxes, lynx, wolverine, sable, several species of weasel, ermine and river otter; several large ungulates, such as bighorn sheep, reindeer, and moose and rodents, including hares, marmot, lemmings and several species of squirrel.

The peninsula is the breeding ground for Steller's Sea Eagle, the most massive eagle on earth, as well as Golden Eagle and Gyr Falcon.

Image:Kamchatka peninsula topo.jpg
Topography of the Kamchatka Peninsula

Kamchatka contains probably the world's greatest diversity of salmonid fish, including all six species of anadromous Pacific salmon (chinook, chum, coho, seema, pink, and sockeye). Biologists estimate that a sixth to a quarter of the world's Pacific salmon originate in Kamchatka.[citation needed] Kurile Lake is recognized as the biggest spawning-ground for sockeye in Eurasia. In response to pressure from poaching and to worldwide decreases in salmon stocks, some 2.4 million hectares along nine of the more productive salmon rivers are in the process of being set aside as a nature preserve.

Cetaceans that frequent the highly productive waters of the northwestern Pacific and the Okhotsk Sea include: orcas, Dall's and harbor porpoises, humpback whales, sperm whales and fin whales. Less frequently, grey whales (from the Eastern population), beaked whales, minke whales are encountered. Blue whales are known to feed in summer off of the southeastern shelf. Among pinnipeds, Steller's sea lions, northern fur seals, spotted seals and harbor seals are abundant along much of the peninsula. Further north, walruses and bearded seals can be encountered on the Pacific side, and ribbon seals reproduce on the ice of Koraginskiy Bay. Sea otters are concentrated primarily on the southern end of the peninsula.

Seabirds include northern fulmars, thick and thin-billed murres, kittiwakes, tufted and horned puffins, red-faced, pelagic and other cormorants, and many other species.

Typical of the northern seas, the marine fauna is likewise rich. Of commercial importance are Kamchatka crab, scallop, squid, pollock, cod, herring, halibut and several species of flatfish.

[edit] See also

[edit] External links


cs:Kamčatka da:Kamtjatka de:Kamtschatka es:Península de Kamchatka eo:Kamĉatko fr:Kamtchatka ko:캄차카 반도 it:Kamčatka he:חצי האי קמצ'טקה hu:Kamcsatka-félsziget nl:Kamtsjatka (schiereiland) ja:カムチャツカ半島 no:Kamtsjatkahalvøya pl:Kamczatka pt:Península de Kamchatka ru:Камчатский полуостров sk:Kamčatka sl:Kamčatka fi:Kamtšatkan niemimaa sv:Kamtjatka vi:Bán đảo Kamchatka tr:Kamçatka zh:堪察加半島

Kamchatka Peninsula

Personal tools
what is world wizzy?
  • World Wizzy is a static snapshot taken of Wikipedia in early 2007. It cannot be edited and is online for historic & educational purposes only.