The first attempt at the publication of the Red Data Book of Karelia was made by the Karelian Branch of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1985. The Book included 160 vascular plant species, 22 fungal species, 9 mammal species, 21 bird species, 2 amphibian species, 4 reptile species, 31 insect species. The first edition of the Red Data Book of Karelia became a cornerstone of nature conservation while it draw attention to endangered and threatened species. Data on rare plant and animal species were taken into account in the organization of the PA network.
The second edition of the Red Data Book of Karelia prepared by a large team of specialists from Karelian Research Centre of RAS and Petrozavodsk State University was published in 1995. The materials represented in the volume are much more comprehensive than in the first edition. Of particular value are distribution maps of rare plant and animal species. The Red Data Book was supplemented with information about rare species of lichens and mosses, fish, molluscs and higher crustaceans.
The Red Data Book was published with active participation of the Republic of Karelia Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and Finnish Ministry of the Environment.
Other important publications:
1. State report of the natural environment in Republic of Karelia - published annually since 1992 by the State Committee for Environmental Protection in Republic of Karelia.
Some species included in the Red Data Book of Karelia
Karelian flora numbers 1200 wild vascular plant species (33 Pteridophyta, 8 Equisetales, 12 Lycopsida, 6 Gymnospermae and over 1100 Phanerogamae).
Over 300 species are classed as rare and to various degrees endangered. More than 205 of them require some form of protection.
The species composition of mosses in Karelia is insufficiently studied with no clear idea even of the approximate number of species in the republic. The highest diversity is recorded for cormophytic mosses - 426 species in Karelia of which 86 are included in the Red Data Book.
This numerous group of living organisms is little studied in Karelia. 77 species are included in the Red Data Book.
There are 272 species and forms of fungi recorded today in Karelia of which 23 species are included in the Red Data Book.
Of the 56 animal species found in Karelia 26 are rare and endangered.
Among the 280 bird species found in Karelia 130 can be classed as rare and scarce.
Reptiles and amphibians
Karelia is inhabited by 3 species of lizards and 2 snake species of which 3 are included in the Red Data Book.
At present Karelian water bodies are inhabited by 57 fish species; 28 of the species are rare and endangered.
The species composition of insects in Karelia is not sufficiently studied. 255 species are in need of protection.
Molluscs and higher crustaceans
Karelian water bodies are inhabited by ca. 100 species and forms of molluscs and 10 species of higher crustaceans. Four of the species are protected.