Fieldwork on the distribution, habitat preferences and status of birds was conducted in the Bikin River basin, northern Ussuriland, south-east Russia, during May–July 1992,1993,1995,1996 and 1997. The results of this survey combined with data collected during 1960–1990, show the area to be of high conservation priority and one of the most important for the conservation of Blakiston's Fish Owl Ketupa blakistoni, Chinese Merganser Mergus squamatus, Mandarin Duck Aix galericulata and Hooded Crane Grus monacha. This paper reports on all of the 13 threatened and near-threatened breeding species of northern Ussuriland, with special emphasis on their occurrence and status in the Bikin area. Three more species, included in the Red Data Book of Russia, are also briefly discussed. Maps show the distribution of the breeding sites of the species discussed. The establishment of a nature reserve in the lower Bikin area is suggested as the only way to conserve the virgin Manchurian-type habitats (wetlands and forests), and all 10 species of special conservation concern. Monitoring of the local populations of Blakiston's Fish Owl, Chinese Merganser and Mandarin Duck in the middle Bikin is required.