Threatened cool temperate steppe habitats


Steppe lands in the NIS have been intensively exploited for agriculture with consequent losses of biodiversity. In the Russian Federation for example, steppe land protected areas constitute only some 0.4% of the protected areas estate. Up to 20 % of the tundra zone lands demonstrate pasture degradation as a result of domesticated reindeer grazing. The share of arable land varies from 35 to 80 % of the total steppe area, with black soils being ploughed almost completely. The humus content in steppe soils has decreased by 1.5 - 2.0 times over the last one hundred years. Considerable areas of the zone are eroded, salinated and flooded. Russian dry steppes and semi-deserts have been dramatically transformed into devastated pastures which were vulnerable to wind erosion, substitution of aboriginal vegetation, and massive loss of cattle in the 1980s.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 13: Climate Action
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
03.06.2019 – 18:33 CEST