Laplandskiy Biosphere Reserve is situated in the western part of the Kola Peninsula about 120 km south of Murmansk and 120 km north of the Arctic Circle. It is an area of plains and mountains, with glaciated landforms and exposures of the Baltic shield. There are permafrost patches in the mountains but the climate is moderated by the influence of the Gulf Stream. Polar nights last 25 days and the 'white nights' season 100 days.
Designation date: 1984
Regional network: EuroMAB
Surface : 278,500 ha
- Core area(s): 278,500 ha
- Buffer zone(s): 13,800 ha
- Transition zone(s): 37,200 ha
Location: 67°10' to 68°05'N; 31°45' to 32°45'E
Forests of pine (Pinus sylvestris), spruce (Picea abies, P. obovata) and birch (Betula verrucosa, B. pubescens) cover more than half of the area. Another 28% is covered with mountain tundra at elevations of about 300 to 450 meters above sea level. In between, there is a well-marked transition zone of birch woodland. Mires, rivers and lakes cover the rest of the biosphere reserve. Mammals in this region include for example beaver (Castor fiber), lemming (Lemmus lemmus), brown bear (Ursus arctos) and pine marten (Martes martes).
About 20 people live in the core area of the biosphere reserve. However, the town of Monchegorsk with 70,000 inhabitants is located nearby (1998). There are some industrial activities taking place within the biosphere reserve such as geological prospecting and stone mining in the buffer zone and a hydroelectric power production in the transition area. The region is known as one of the former centres of Lapp settling in the Kola Peninsula. Today, geographical names and sacred Lapp stones still remind of former settlements.
Last updated: April 2019