Realizing the scientific, social, and political advantages of a detailed biological survey of the islands of the Kuril Archipelago, curators and staff of the University of Washington Burke Museum (UW), will join with Japanese scientists, primarily from the Sapporo and Hakodate campuses of Hokkaido University (HU), and Russian scientists, primarily from the Russian Academy of Sciences, Far East Branch, Vladivostok (RAS), to conduct a five-year program having the following objectives:

  1. Inventory existing collections of Kuril plants and animals at the various institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Vladivostok, Magadan, St. Petersburg, Moscow, Novosibirsk, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk;

  2. Survey the 17 major islands of the Kurils, and the southern tip of Kamchatka, focusing on vascular plants, insects, spiders, freshwater and terrestrial mollusks, freshwater fishes, and terrestrial vertebrates;

  3. Sort, identify, and curate whole specimens and ethanol-fixed tissue collections for future study;

  4. Develop a database of specimens and taxa for use in later studies;

  5. Make the immediate results of the surveys--databases, written information, as well as preserved collections--widely available as quickly as possible to researchers around the world;

  6. Provide training, field experience, and research opportunities for students and professional biologists of all three participating institutions;

  7. Prepare keys, guides, and annotated checklists of the flora and fauna of the Kuril Islands.

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