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Walrus observed by Tourists, Apollonova Island, Franz Josef Island, Russian Arctic National Park
Russia in 2009 declared the High Arctic archipelago Franz Josef Land, including a former nature reserve in the same area as well as the Northern part of Novaya Zemlya, as "Russian Arctic National Park". Its total area is 14,260 km2, including 6,320 km2 on the land and 7,940 km2 of the Arctic Ocean, which makes it the third largest national park in Russia and the largest marine protected area in the Arctic.
The park is of high importance for Arctic marine mammal populations and hosts one of the largest bird colonies in the Northern Hemisphere. Russia plans to develop the park by introducing well managed ecotourism and by cleaning up former military sites.