Kolguyev Island

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Kolguyev Island
Native name: о́стров Колгу́ев
Kolguyev Island. 1963 U.S. Army map section
Kolguyev Island is located in Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Kolguyev Island
Kolguyev Island
Location of Kolguyev Island in the Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Location Arctic Sea
Coordinates 69°05′N 49°15′E / 69.083°N 49.250°E / 69.083; 49.250
Area 3,497 km2 (1,350 sq mi)
Highest elevation 166 m (545 ft)
Highest point Gora Paarkov-Sarlopy
Oblast Arkhangelsk Oblast
Okrug Nenets Autonomous Okrug
Largest settlement Bugrino (pop. 210)
Population 300
Ethnic groups Nenets

Kolguyev Island (Russian: о́стров Колгу́ев) is an island in Nenets Autonomous Okrug Russia located in the south-eastern Barents Sea (east of the Pechora Sea) to the north-east of the Kanin Peninsula.[1]


The approximately circular-shaped island has a diameter of 80 kilometres (50 mi) and is 3,497 square kilometres (1,350 sq mi) in area. The highest point on the island is at 166 m (545 feet). The vast wetland consists of many bogs and morainic hills, covered by vegetation characteristic of the tundra. Notably, a proposed subspecies of the Candle Larkspur, Delphinium elatum ssp. cryophilum, is only found on this island, but its distinctness from the mainland population is disputed.

There is only one inhabited settlement on the island, Bugrino, located on the southeast coast. Nenets form the majority of the population, with fishing, reindeer farming and trapping being their main economic activities. Oil and gas are also present.[citation needed]

Report by Trevor-Battye[edit]

The island was explored in 1894 by the British naturalist Aubyn B.R. Trevor-Battye. He landed in June with an assistant, intending to spend about one month studying the wildlife, especially the birds. Due to mechanical problems with the vessel, and a misunderstanding, they were left stranded on the island for 12 weeks. He published his study of the natural history and topography of Kolguyev as: "Ice-bound on Kolguev" (Trevor-Battye 1895). The book includes observations on the Nenets (whom he called Samoyed) who brought their reindeer to the island for summer grazing and to trap geese for trade in Russia.[2] Trevor-Battye eventually left the island with these reindeer herders in September 1894, and had to travel 1,000 miles (1,600 km) overland from the Pechora River to Archangel. He described this adventurous journey in: "A northern highway of the Tsar" (Trevor-Battye 1898).[3]


Kolguyev Island. Coastal landscape.
A reindeer herd in Kolguyev Island in 1895. The caption reads: "We entered today on a new phase of reindeer life. For the first time the fly appeared (Hypoderma tarandi), known to the Samoyeds as Pi-liur, and to the Russians as Orwot..


  1. ^ GoogleEarth - Location
  2. ^ Trevor-Battye, Aubyn. (1895). Ice-bound on Kolguev, Constable, London, 1895.
  3. ^ Trevor-Battye, Aubyn. (1898). A Northern Highway of The Tsar, Constable, London, 1898.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 69°05′N 49°15′E / 69.083°N 49.250°E / 69.083; 49.250