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Pechora Delta, Nenets Autonomous Region, Russia
The Pechora River is the only European River of larger dimensions that is still largely untouched by human influences. Virtually all European salmonid fish (12 species) can still be found in this river. The delta is an important breeding area and stopover site for migratory birds, wintering in Western Europe and Africa. For example, 50% of the flyway population of Bewick's Swans breed in the Pechora delta as well as significant proportions of duck, goose and wader bird populations.
In order to safeguard the unique environmental quality in the Pechora river basin and Barents Sea region, the development of a coherent system of officially protected areas is a main priority.
As industrial developments based on the rich oil, gas, mineral and forest resources are foreseen in the future, the challenge exists in defining a strategy for the development of the area and at the same time safeguarding the natural wealth, which is still present.