Wolves in Russia
Marcus Wohlsen / GORP
Owing to its currently volitile political and economic situation, Russia is in a less than ideal position to promote the kind of strict environmental regulations that have proven necessary to protect wolf populations in other parts of the world. Nevertheless, packs continue to thrive here in greater numbers than anywhere else. Siberia's isolated wildernesses and Russia's western taiga remain largely undeveloped, allowing wolves to live in their native habitat undisturbed.
Though it is possible to encounter wolves throughout the Russian countryside, you are more likely to find them in national parks and preserves, the only areas where wolf hunting and trapping is restricted by law. An obvious destination is Lake Baikal . Located in eastern Russia's Irkutsk region, Lake Baikal is the deepest lake in the world and the largest, holding about one-fifth of the world's fresh water. Prime wolf habitat near the lake includes Barguzinsky Zapovednik (one of Russia's oldest nature preserves) and Zabaikalsky National Park . Wolves enjoy protected status in both parks.