At the start of the third millennium, new opportunities have arisen in biogeographical research, namely in the generalisation, visualisation and cross-spectrum analysis of biological and geographical information and in the compilation of biogeographical maps and innovative models for regions that differ in the availability of distribution data. These tasks include long-term monitoring of plants and animals which are in danger of extinction, geographical analysis of biodiversity distribution and development of effective wildlife conservation strategies for specific regions. The studies of the Department of Biogeography of Moscow University on geography and biodiversity conservation are based on long-term field expeditions. The examples of the Asian Subarctic Mountains, the steppes of Central Kazakhstan and the urbanised north-west of Russia are used to illustrate Russian approaches to the use of biogeographical monitoring for the identification of priority areas for biodiversity conservation. The species populations of the higher plants and vertebrates listed in the Red Books have been considered as the basic units of biodiversity.