Environment Ministry lists sensitive Arctic plants and animals
© Ivan Mizin

Environment Ministry lists sensitive Arctic plants and animals

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment says on its website that it has drawn up a list of plants and animals which oil and gas companies should include in their programs to preserve biodiversity as they develop Arctic deposits.

Organisms classified as indicator species respond to environmental changes by their presence or absence and by changes in their appearance, chemical composition and behavior. Their responses reflect environmental pollution over a long time because such species have a kind of "memory."

The list comprises 111 species — 79 plants and 32 animals — such as the Arctic cisco, the seagull and animals characteristic of seas of the Arctic Ocean basin: marbled seals, white whales, walruses and white bears.

Experts of the Komarov Botanical Institute, the All-Russia Environment Protection Research Institute, the Botanical Gardens of Lomonosov Moscow State University's Biology Department, and the World Wildlife Fund took part in compiling the list.