Year: 2017, Number: 1, Pages: 19-66
Kedrovaya Pad is the oldest Russian Nature Reserve created in 1916 and located in the extreme south of the Russian Far East, not far from the borders with China and North Korea. At the time of creation, the reserve had an area of 4,500 hectares and was engaged only in the protection of the territory. From 1935 to 2008 the reserve was under the jurisdiction of the Academy of Sciences, and systematic botanical, silvicultural, soil and zoological works were conducted here. By the end of the 20th century Kedrovaya Pad became the first reserve in the USSR, fully and multifacetedly studied in botanical, hydrobiological and ornithological terms. Since 1977, it was in Kedrovaya Pad where the first purposeful studies of the Amur leopard began. In 2000, after amendment of boundaries, the territory of the Reserve increased up to 18,044.8 hectares. On December 02, 2004, by the decision of UNESCO, the Kedrovaya Pad Reserve was granted the status of a Biosphere Reserve. In 2008, the reserve is transferred from FEB RAS to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia. In 2012 Kedrovaya Pad Reserve together with National park "Land of the Leopard" entered newly-formed institution Federal State Budgetary Institution "Joint directorate of the State Natural Biosphere Reserve Kedrovaya Pad and National park "Land of the Leopard". Two main mountain ridges, Gakkelevsky and Sukhorechensky, around 400 meters above sea level characterize the relief and form the valley of Kedrovaya River. This river is recognized by scientists of the world as a model of a clean river with a unique complex of its benthic invertebrates. Kedrovaya Pad is the only area still being in native conditions and the only example of South-Ussury taiga. Mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests are represented almost entirely by liana Manchurian fir-broad-leaved forests located in the central part of the Reserve. The overlap of southern and northern species of plants and animals explains the high biodiversity with many endemic and relict species of the Far East such as the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), Amur leopard (Panthera pardus orientalis), and Himalayan bear (Ursus thibetanus). In spite of its small area (only 0.1 % of Primorsky Territory), an important number of animal and plant species can be found here, and the Biosphere Reserve contains more than 900 of the 2,000 vascular plant species found in Primorye. Scientific research on the territory of the reserve is implemented by the scientists of Biosphere Reserve, as well as outside institutes. The research is connected with fauna and flora inventory, rare species populations monitoring, study of their abundance, distribution and current state. Special attention is given to the main protected species – Amur leopard and Siberian tiger. Besides flora and fauna research it also includes investigation of human impacts on natural complexes.