Episode 44 Nikita Zimov is turning back time in the Arctic

Nature Magic

Oct 18 2021 • 45 mins

Today Mary is talking to Nikita Zimov, director of Pleistocene park. Nikita is a Russian scientist at the cutting edge of the fight against climate change. Nikita and his father Sergey have been resurrecting an Ice Age biome since 1998.
Pleistocene Park is a major initiative that includes an attempt to restore the mammoth steppe ecosystem, which was dominant in the Arctic in the late Pleistocene era. The initiative requires replacement of the current unproductive northern ecosystems by highly productive pastures which have both a high animal density and a high rate of biocycling. (Biocycling is the cycle through which energy and essential substances are transferred among species)
Grazing ecosystems in the Arctic promote climate cooling through series of ecological effects.

Experiments with animal reintroductions were begun in 1988 including 8 major herbivore species: reindeer, Yakutian horse, moose, bison, musk ox, yak, Kalmykian cow and sheep.
It will soon hopefully welcome the genetically cloned Woolly Mammoth that is predicted to be born in the next six years.

This project has the capacity to spread across the Arctic region and reduce worldwide carbon emissions by up to 20%. We have much to thank these tough resilient scientists who started and have been running Pleistocene Park with no recognition until very recently. Suddenly everyones heads are turned in their direction and the world is looking at their important work and their life’s quest to save this planet.

Nikita Zimov is the Director of Pleistocene Park, a nature reserve on the Kolyma River south of Chersky in the Sakha Republic, Russia, in northeastern Siberia. In the early 2000s, Nikita attended one of Russia’s top science high schools, in Novosibirsk, and then stayed there at the state university for undergraduate and master’s degrees in math and computer modeling.

Nikita grew up on the research station and returned to the Arctic after graduation to contribute to the scientific discoveries and development of the Pleistocene Park. The park is a scientific experiment on reconstruction of grazing ecosystems in the Arctic and mitigating climate change. It was originally found by Sergey Zimov, Nikita’s father, in 1988. The aim of the project and Zimov’s work is to research the climatic effects of the expected changes in the ecosystem as it relates to permafrost melting.

Contact Nikita and check out the project at

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39 Ways to save the planet
By:Tom Heap

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Thinking While Walking