The Yakutia Wilderness is envisioned along the East Siberian Arctic coast and upon the off shore islands. It would stretch east from beyond the Lena River Delta on the west to the Kalyma River in the east - approximately 1500 kilometers. The included lands are primarily mossy tundra, rising into mountains to the south. Natural corridors would connect this great wilderness to tundra to the west and east and to the boreal forest to the south.
This wilderness is visualized as a home for a wide assortment of megafauna that can thrive in an arctic environment - similar to the Pleistocene Park envisioned by Sergey A. Zimov and described in a 2005 Science article. Beside wildlife currently extant in these lands, the wilderness would include representatives of pleistocene fauna found elsewhere as well as recreations of extinct megafauna such as the woolly mammoth and woolly rhinocerous.
The table below lists wildlife inhabitants proposed to act as stand-ins for Pleistocene creatures that are now extinct. The modern representatives are either closely related genetically or would play a similar ecological role.
|Extinct Arctic Pleistocene Megafauna & Proposed Stand-ins|
|Cave Lion||Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)|
|Woolly Mammoth||Genetically modified African or Asian elephant to increase bodily hair and other characteristic beneficial in a colder climate.|
|Pleistocene Horse||Yakut Horse (Equus caballus)|
|Wooly Rhino||Genetically altered Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensi) or White or Black Rhinoceros|
|Steppe Bison||Wood Bison (Bison bison athabascae)|