Russian Far East Assessment
The Russian Far East (RFE) is an immense geography of over 1,865,000 square kilometers. Assessing the condition of watersheds within this geography using consistent indicators is a challenge. This project outlines an approach applied to the RFE to prioritize watersheds based on a series of criteria chosen to represent regionally-specific conservation value for salmonids. These criteria focused on using readily available information and dataasets from RFE.
A 100-point system for rating was created to score each of the river basins using a common set of criteria. The rating system is composed of five criteria groups: Population Condition, Habitat, threats, hatcheries, and community. The overall aim for each criteria was to first summarize the data by river basin and then develop a formula to scale all data values between 0 (minimum) and the maximum point scores for each criteria listed above. Below we describe what data were used and how formulae were used to score each criteria. Experts selected basins and provided a mixture of empircal data and expert judgement to rank several parameters of watershed health.
Across such a large geography, it is challenging to measure the same indicators. However, using this system, experts were able to provide input into most of the relevant criteria groups. This assessment was used to inform the selection of priority rivers for Russian Federal Fisheries Protected Zones.