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Commander Islands (aka Komandorski Islands, and Komandorskie Islands) are an archipelago of sparsely populated isles with total population around 750 people and total land area of 1850 km2 (718 ml2). Commander Islands are in the Bering Sea, located approx 175 km (109 ml) east of Kamchatka Peninsula (Far East Russia).
- The archipelago consist of Bering Island(the largest, with the group's only settlement Nikolskoye) and Medny Island, plus 15 smaller isles, the largest of which are Kamen Toporkov and Kamen Ariy.
- Commander Islands compose the Aleutsky District of Russia's Kamchatka Krai, with Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskybeing the region's largest port city and the krai's administrative center.
- Most of Bering Island plus 14 of the neighbouring isles are part of the Komandorsky Nature Reserve.
Komandorsky Nature Reserve
Komandorsky Nature Reserve has a total area of 36,648 km2 (14,150 ml2) of which 21,774 km2 (8,407 ml2) are marine buffer zone. The reserve's land territory includes most of Bering Island, the Medny Island, plus 13 smaller isles and rocks.
This protected wilderness was created in 1993 to protect the marine ecosystems of the islands, as well of the surrounding waters of Bering Sea and the north Pacific Ocean. The reserve boasts a great diversity of birds and animals - over 1 million seabirds, hundreds of thousands of northern fur seals, thousands of Steller's sea lions, also common and spotted seals, a large population of sea otters, around 20 whale species, 2 Arctic fox subspecies, many endangered migratory seabirds (including whooper swan, Steller's eiders and sea eagles). In the Komandorsky Nature Reserve fishing is prohibited within the marine buffer zone of 50 km (31 ml) surrounding it.
Commander Islands cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Commander Islands dock (anchor) at Nikolskoye - port town on the western coast of Bering Island.