Lake Baikal ???
- Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15-million hectars Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,700 m) lake in the world.
- Contains 20% of the world’s total unfrozen freshwater reserve.
- Known as the ‘Galapagos of Russia’, its age and isolation have produced one of the world’s richest and most unusual freshwater faunas, which is of exceptional value to evolutionary science.
The great variety of plants in the basin is determined by its climatic asymmetry: the western part is occupied by light coniferous forests and mountain steppes; in the eastern part pine forests predominate; and the north is covered by deciduous forests. The lake itself is the centerpiece of the site and its largely unseen underwater features are the core of its value to both science and conservation. Baikal is one of the most bio-diverse lakes on Earth, with 1,340 species of animal (745 endemic) and 570 species of plant (150 endemic).
However, there are serious threats to the bio tic communities at Lake Baikal and there is a danger that its unique ecosystem properties could be lost. Various steps are being taken to address these issues of integrity with strong support from all levels of government and the Russian public.
Facts of Lake Baikal:
- Lake Baikal is so deep that you could stack the Sears Tower (1.454 feet), Chicago’s biggest skyscraper on top of itself 3 times, and still not reach the top!
- Lake Baikal holds more fresh water than any other lake on earth!