The great Siberian river Lena (4270km in length) flows into the Arctic Ocean and forms the largest delta in Russia with an area of over 32 thousand square kilometres. There is a complex network of about 6500 canals, over 1500 islands, and about 30000 lakes. Every second around 16000 cubic metres of water flow through the Lena Delta, which equates to an astounding 500 cubic kilometres per year.
The delta is located in an area of tundra. Tundra-forest species spread throughout the valley and mountain species permeate the Kharaulakh Mountains (southern part of the Verkhoyansk Range). The Ust-Lenski Reserve is located here, and with an area of 1433 thousand hectares it is one of the largest zapovedniks in Russia. In the delta, there are around 370 types of land plant, 106 types of moss and 74 types of lichen.
There are also 36 species of fish, among which is the unique whitefish, which according to numerous experts originated in the Lena Delta. The most interesting fish in the delta are the white salmon, sturgeon and trout.
There are 121 species of bird in the Lena Delta, 71 of which nest here. The most interesting nesting species are Bewick’s swan, the whooper swan, brant goose, the lesser white-fronted goose, the small and the Siberian eider-duck, Arctic falcon, peregrine falcon, golden eagle, Sabine’s gull and Ross’ gull. The Siberian white crane and the white goose migrate through the region. There are 17 species of mammal that live here year round and 8 more species which live here periodically. Amongst the permanent inhabitants of the tundra are the Siberian and hoofed lemming, the reindeer, Arctic fox and the occasional white bear from the north. Living in the mountains are the black-capped marmot, Northern Pika and the lemming vole. In the seas adjacent to the delta and Novosibirsk islands there are Beluga whales, walrus’, ringed seals, bearded seals and narwhals.