The Anyui River watershed is the most pristine section of the nature complex of the western slopes of the Sikhote-Alin range. Ecologically and economically valuable submountain cedar-deciduous and deciduous forests are still common in this region. The level of biodiversity in the Anyui drainage is one of the highest in Khabarovsk Territory. Almost all types of flora and fauna of the southern Russian Far East are represented here, and yet the fauna of the area is poorly studied. It is estimated that more than 300 species of vertebrates (more than 30 species of fish, six species of reptiles, at least six species of amphibians, at least 230 species of birds, and at least 50 species of mammals) inhabit the area. Many are listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. We also believe that at least one form of grayling, an upper-Anyui form, may be a newly recognized species or subspecies.
Five salmonid species are found here: chum salmon, pink salmon, Brachymistax lenok, Savinovi lenok, and Siberian taimen. The most abundant anadromous species is chum. Lenoks are most common salmonid freshwater species. The Anyui River is the last relatively productive salmon river of the upper part of the Amur drainage in the zone of cedar-deciduous forests. The relatively large reproducing population of fall chum is believed to have preserved functioning trophic relations between the cedar-deciduous forests, mountain rivers, and the ocean.
The Anyui is threatened by poaching, off-shore commercial fisheries, logging and road construction. A proposed Anyui National Park would increase the level of protection in the lower parts of the watershed. We believe that the most realistic way to save the upper reaches of the Anyui watershed may be to lease it to a responsible organization for a sustainable sport hunting, fishing and tourism operation.