The Eastern Arctic Seas Encyclopedia

2016 Edition
| Editors: Igor S. Zonn, Andrey G. Kostianoy, Aleksandr V. Semenov

Taymyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous Area

Reference work entry

Taymyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous Area – a constituent entity of the Russian Federation being a part of the Krasnoyarsk Region. The area is located fully within the polar circle. It borders with the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in the east and with Yamal-Nenets Autonomous Area in the west. In the north it is washed with the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea. The area is 862,100 km2 (three administrative regions, one town, one workers’ settlement, twenty-first country administration). Administratively, the territory of Norilsk Municipal Council is subject directly to the Krasnoyarsk Region. The population (for the end of 2010): total is 34,400, urban 23,000, and country 11,400. Ethnic composition (according to the census as of 12.01.1989): the Dolgans is 8.8 %, the Nenets 4.4 %, the Nganasans 1.5 %, the Russians 67.1 %, the Ukrainians 8.6 %, and other nationalities 9.6 %. The density of the population is 0.1 person for 1 km2. The administrative center is the town of Dudinka (over 25,000 people). The area was established on December 10, 1930, as a national district, since 1987, an autonomous area, and since 1992, a constituent entity of the Russian Federation being a part of the Krasnoyarsk Region.

Half of the area’s territory is the Taymyr Peninsula and the adjacent territory, Severnaya Zemlya and Nordenskiold Archipelagos, and a number of islands in the Arctic Ocean: the Sibiryakova Island, the Arctic Institute Island, the Izvestiy TSIK Island, the Uedineniya Island, and the Sergey Kirov Island.

The rivers are the Yenisei (500 km within the area’s boundaries), the Khatanga, the Pyasina, the Upper and Lower Taymyra, and the Popigay. The lakes are Taymyr (the area is 4,500 km2, and the length is 250 km), the largest lake after Baikal. Other large lakes are Pyasino, Glubokoe, Lama, Kata, and Khantayskoye.

In the north the climate is arctic, and in the south subarctic (continental), the permafrost is widespread, and average temperatures in January are from −29 °C to –31 °C and in July from 2 °C to 12 °C. The precipitation level is 120–300 mm a year, with three quarters from it falling in summer. Natural and mineral resources are nonferrous metals, natural gas, phosphates, oil, and iron ores; huge water (surface and underground); and wind resources. In freshwaters of the Yenisei, lakes, and bays, valuable fish species are found: nelma, cisco, omul, muksun, vendace, etc. Seawater is home for ringed seal, bearded seal, walrus, and white whale; land species are Arctic fox, common fox, glutton, wolf, weasel, ermine, squirrel, muskrat (near the lakes), elk, and reindeer; in coastal areas, on islands, and ice, polar bear is found. Commercial species are Arctic fox, squirrel, muskrat, and wild reindeer. On the Taymyr Peninsula, the musk oxen is acclimatized. Among the bird kind are snow bunting, ptarmigan, and snipes; waterfowl – ducks, geese, seagulls, etc. In the territory of the area, the Big Arctic Reserve, the Putoranskiy Reserve, and the Taymyr Reserve are established. As for the gross national product, in 2002 the industry accounted for 4.3 %, agriculture for 0.3 %, construction for 29.3 %, transport for 6.7 %, and trade and commercial activity on sale of goods and services for 8.1 %. Principal branches of industry: food (bread, fishery), fuel (coal), and electric utility. In the territory of the area, the city of Norilsk is located. In agriculture reindeer breeding, caged-animal farming (blue fox, black fox), fur trapping dominate. Milk and meat farming is underdeveloped.

Taymyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous Area (Source:

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