Animals and Fish
The species composition of animals inhabiting the region is quite varied. There are 316 species of verterbrates, including 10 species of amphibians, 8 secies of reptiles, 200 species of birds, and 68 species of mammals. The most common species are medium-sized animals: foxes, hares, weasels, badgers, squirrels.
As part of the programme of restoring the wildlife diversity, 7 new species were introduced in the region: Amercan mint, muskrat, racoon dog, wild boar, siberian roe deer, red deer, spotted deer. Bobak marmots, beavers, Russian desmans were reintroduced. Muskrats and American mints have adapted and populated the water bodies of the region. The hunting species, such as roe deer and wild boar, became the common inhabitants in local forests.
There are 5 wildlife protection areas and several scores of game reserves in the region.
There are more than 50 species of fish in the region. The largest water basin of the region, Sura Reservoir, accounts for 30 species. The major sport fish species in the reservoir are common bream, silve bream, pike-perch, ide, wels catfish. Rivers and small water basins are abundant with roach, perch, crucian carp, carp, pike. The most valuable and the rarest species is sterlet. Sterlet is listed in the Red Book of Penza Oblast, which has 10 fish species in total.