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Chukot Autonomous Area

Chukot Autonomous Area is a part of the Far East federal district. It borders the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Magadan Region and the Kamchatka Territory. The Area has a sea boarder with the USA on the east. Population is 49 520 people. The total area is 737,7 thous. sq. km, that is 7% of the whole Far North regions area and eligible lands, over half of the territory is located within the Arctic circle.

The Area occupies land territory between lowers of Kolyma on the west and Cape Dezhnev located on the Chukot Peninsula, and also islands: Wrangel, Ayon, Arakamchechen, Ratmanov, Herald and others. The region has ashore borders with the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), the Magadan Region and Koryak Autonomous Area. The Bering Strait separates Chukotka from the USA state Alaska. The Pacific and Atlantic Oceans merged several millennia ago here and presently the Wrangel Island stands as a trace of the event.

Chukot Autonomous Area has a boundary regime, it is necessary to obtain admittance to enter the Area from the Frontier Service of the Russian Federation.

The administrative center is the city of Anadyr that is located 7792 km from Moscow. The time difference between the Moscow time and the time zone is +9 hours. A geographic calendar line passes in the territory of Chukotka, the crossing of 180-th meridian and the Arctic Circle. A Certificate issued right on the hemispheres frontier to each traveler will be a reminder about that. This is the only place where one can twice find himself in the same calendar day.

The largest river bears the same name as the capital — Anadyr, the basin area is 150 thous. sq. m. that comprises 1/5 of the whole Chukotka area, and its length is 1117 km.

Chukotka climate is very severe – in winter time in western continental regions air temperature may reach 44-60° below zero. Summer period is very short; it is rainy and cold, in some areas snow does not manage to melt. Permafrost occurs everywhere and begins not so deep from surface. Besides the weather changes sharply even in short periods of time: frost accompanied by moderate and high northern wind can be suddenly changed by wet and relatively warm weather accompanied by heavy snowfall or snowstorm. Average annual air temperature air in Chukotka is universally negative: from — 4,1°С (Cape Navarin) to — 14°С on the coast of the East Siberian Sea (Raucha). Thus Chukotka is one of the places, created to examine human survivability. This is the area with the most savage scenery in the world.

There are 4 wildlife refuges in Chukotka including State wildlife refuge «Lebediniy» and 21 natural monuments. Special attention must be paid at regional natural-ethnic park "Bereginya" located on the Wrangel Island, which was an isthmus between two continents. It keeps frozen-in carcasses of woolly rhinoceros, oxen and mammoths. The park area is hardly more than 3 mln. ha. It was created to save social heritage, unique hunting culture of the Eskimos and the Chukchee and biological diversity. Ancient Eskimo culture monuments located in local villages are very popular.

Due to severe climate and weak reclamation Chukotka has great opportunities first of all for extreme and scientific tourism. For example rafting and fishing lovers will be attracted by river voyages, it is better to make voyages in July-August. The routes are: from the head of the Amguyema River to 168-th km. of Evgekinot–Iultin highway (310 km.), the Chantalveergyn river (150 km.), the Pegtymel river (petroglyphic rocks visit), the Ekittyki River and lake (94 km.), the Anadyr river – from village Markovo to river mouth (300 km.). Rafting may be accompanied by fishing – about 40 species of fish can be caught in fresh waters of Chukotka (broad whitefish, cisco, crookback, Anadyr whitefish, vendace, loom, Coregonus peled).

It is also possible to visit Chukotka in a cruise ship. The cruise program includes unique natural, historic and cultural monuments sightseeing: Whale Alley located on the Yttygran Island, Lorinsky hot springs, ethnographic complexes on the Nunyamo and Dezhnev Cape, national villages.

Chukotka gives a perfect opportunity for hunting lovers to hunt elk, reindeer, brown bear, sable, trot, wolf, ermine and fox. Hunting is prohibited for some animals: polar bear, bighorn sheep, vair, marmot, swan, white fowl, emperor goose, brant goose, eiders of all kinds, wild duck, cowfish, northern shoveler, Histrionicus histrionicus, garganey – squawk duck and dabbling duck, sandhill crane, seagulls of all kinds, scarfs, day flesh-birds, owl, woodpecker, cuckoo, songbird and other useful birds.

Chukotka is attractive to scientists and nature enthusiasts. Scientific expeditions and different conferences with the participation of ecologists, ornithologists, ichthyologists, ethnographers and linguists are carried out in the region. A lot of foot and cycle paths are laid out in the territory of Chukot Autonomous Area for eco-tourism lovers.

The city of Anadyr was founded in 1648 when Semen Dezhnev reached the river mouth of the Anadyr River and constructed a winter hut here. However the official date of the city foundation is 1889 and the village obtained a status of a city in 1965. Anadyr houses are brightly painted with wall drawings.

One of Anadyr sights is ten meter monument to Nikolai Chudotvorets. Next to it there is the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the largest wooden temple of Russia built on permafrost. The cathedral’s height is 25 m, and its area exceeds 600 sq. m. The cathedral foundation is built on piles to prevent rotting.

"Chukotka heritage" museum center is also located in the center of the city on the Lenin Square. It is created on the base of regional ethnography base that existed since 1931. The basis of the collection is ethnography, ancient household and ornamental art items, among them there are unique exhibits of the 19-th century, ceremonial items, examples of shamanistic and burial clothes and ancient weapon.

Straight culture lovers may be attracted by the Uelen village – the easternmost village of Russia, where people settled down two thousand years ago. Here one may have a look at the modern Chukchees and Eskimos’ way of life and their traditional crafts – sea hunting; visit bone cutting workshop and the museum of artwork collection made of walrus bone, leather, fur and whalebone; souvenirs are also available here.

The Dezhnev Cape is located 10 km from the museum – the easternmost point of Eurasia. Here one may see walrus meadow, rookery, polar bears, and the Bering Strait bank shows magnificent scenery of grey whales, cowfish, walrus, seals (eared seal, largha seal, and bearded seal).

The animal world of Chukotka is diverse. A lot of tourists go hunting to these places. The most popular hunting species are elk, wild reindeer, brown bear, sable, trot, wolf, wolverine, ermine, fox, arctic fox, mink, American otter, squirrel, alpine hare, beaver-rat, bean goose, claik, capercailye, white grouse and rock ptarmigan and about 10 kinds of ducks. Hunting is prohibited for polar bear, bighorn sheep, vair, marmot, swan, white fowl, emperor goose, brant goose, garganey, squawk duck, northern shoveler, Histrionicus histrionicus, Baikal teal, dabbling duck, sandhill crane, seagulls, scarfs, day flesh-birds, owl, woodpecker and cuckoo.

Chukotka features great opportunities for fishing. About 40 species of fish can be caught in fresh waters of Chukotka among them such commercial fish as Siberian salmon, red salmon, humpback salmon, silver salmon, spring salmon, broad whitefish, cisco, crookback, Anadyr whitefish, vendace, loom, Coregonus peled, grayling, Asian sparling, pickerel, burbot, bull-trout. Each April Anadyr Estuary welcomes participants of sparling ice fishing competition "Korfest".

For more detailed information on Chukot Autonomous Area, please refer to Internet resources of governmental authorities of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.

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