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Entries / Wildlife


Categories / City Topography/Nature and Natural Phenomena

WILDLIFE. The St. Petersburg region’s fauna includes about 60 mammal species, up to 250 bird species, a considerable number of amphibians and reptilians, as well as plentiful invertebrates such as worms, insects, etc. The main predators typical to the St. Petersburg south Taiga biodiversity have disappeared - bears and nearly all wolves, foxes, minks (the European and acclimatized American breeds), black polecats, otters have become rare. Hoofed animals have a better lot: it is not uncommon to see elks within the city territory. Roe, however, is a much rarer occurrence. Insect-eaters and rodents are much more commonplace and include the hedgehog, shrew, squirrel, hare, mice and field-voles, and in the city—rats. In the city avifauna is represented predominantly by the synanthropic (i.e. associated with human activities) species. Besides crows, doves, sparrows, also wild ducks (which even winter in the city), black-headed gulls, thrushes, woodpeckers, titmice have adapted to living in the city. Water-birds, such as swans, geese, ducks, and sandpipers are a frequent encounter on city ponds and in the vicinities during seasonal flight migration. Typical reptiles include the grass-snake, the viper (there have been registered cases of viper bites within city boundaries), amphibians are represented by frogs, toads and tritons. The Gulf of Finland (near St. Petersburg) is inhabited by approximately 60 fish species, with sprat and smelt as most frequently encountered; there are also trout, eel, lamprey. The inland lakes contain ides, white-fish, bream, pie, perch, ruff, roach, sometimes salmon. Fish-farming installations operate in some of the ponds. Several lakes were also stocked with new kinds of fish: carp, peled, and white salmon. Blood-sucking insects (mosquitoes) are numerous; ticks are extremely dangerous, which can be found within city boundaries as they are transmitters of encephalitis and borrelioses. It is mostly specially protected (in most nature sanctuaries) or less developed territories that display abundant animal life. The Yuntolovo Nature Reserve (see Yuntolovo Forest Estate) is located within city boundaries and is intended for migrant birds; however, it also contributes to the preservation of other animals and plants. Some places in the vicinities of St. Petersburg are regulated shooting areas within special hunting farm units.

Y. P. Seliverstov.