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Reserves and National Parks

About National Parks

Reserves and National parks of the Baikal region:

Barguzinsky zapovednik, in the central part of the Republic of Buryatia. The Zapovednik was founded in 1916. With an area of 374.3 thousand ha (925 thousand acres), including the area of the biosphere polygon — 111.1 thousand ha (274.5 thousand acres). It is situated on the North-Eastern shore of Lake Baikal, including the western slope of the Barguzinsky Mountain Range up to its ridge, with absolute heights up to 3000 m (9843 feet) above sea level. On the South the Zapovednik borders on the Zabaikalsky National Park. Large amphitheatres with lakes and plumb rocks are characteristic of the high mountains. In the lower heights, on the terraces of the lake, open larch forests with cedar elfin woodland are spread. In the middle mountains taiga dark coniferous forest of fir and cedar prevail, and in the valleys great numbers of spruce, balsam poplar and Chosenia. In the next belt there are larch and spruce light forests and thickets of cedar elfin woods. Above 1500 m (4921.5 feet) in the mountain tundra are rhododendron and rocky lichen zones. Sometimes meadows of alpine plants can be met. The wood-covered area makes more than 220 thousand ha (543.6 thousand acres). Flora counts 850 higher plants species, including 7 rare species. There are many hot springs with the temperature of 40-760 C and with peculiar terminal communities near them. The fauna of vertebrate animals presents 39 mammal species, 260 birds' species, 4 reptile species, 2 amphibian species. The number of sables, who's protection happened to be the primary aim of the Zapovednik's creation, has grown 300-400 times compared to the foundation date (in 1993 — 900 sables). Of typical mountain taiga animals brown bear, reindeer (forest form), elk, skunk bear, otter, hazel grouse, Tetrao urogalloides are usual. Of rare birds white-tailed eagle and fish hawk can be met. In the water of lake Baikal 50 fish species are known, including 25 species of goby, and also Arctic sisco, sisco, taimen, etc. The Zapovednik has the status of biosphere Zapovednik. It belongs to the World Natural Heritage Site «Lake Baikal».

Baikalsky zapovednik is located in the southern part of the Republic of Buryatia. The zapovednik was founded in 1969. Its area is 165.7 thousand ha (409.4 thousand acres). Situated on the terraces of the southern shore of lake Baikal and in the central part of the Khamar-Daban Mountain Range, at the heights of 2000-2300 m (6562-7546 feet) above the sea level. For the northern slopes alpines relief is characteristic, with cirques, canyons and sharp ranges; the relief of southern slopes is flater. In the plant cover of the northern slope a dark-fir taiga prevails formed of fir, cedar and spruce with muskegs and birch areas. On higher level it is replaced with almost Park-like fir forests, thickets of cedar elfin woodland, rhododendron, and alpestrine meadows. In the upper parts of slopes and flat mountain tops bush and lichen tundras have developed. The southern slopes of the Khamar-Daban Mountain Range are occupied by light coniferous larch-pine and cedar-larch taiga with steppe zones at the foot of the slopes. The wood-covered area is 112.5 thousand ha (278 thousand acres). Flora comprises 812 plants species, including 12 rare species. Fauna is typical for mountainous southern taiga. It consists of 49 animal species, 272 bird species, and 7 fish species. Sable, brown bear, Siberian weasel, and common weasel are very numerous. Lynx, skunk bear and river otter are encountered. In summer such species as maral and elk are usually migrating in winter to the southern slopes. Of the bird species hazel grouse, wood grouse, Tetrao urogalloides, Lagopus mutus; birds of prey (black kite, hen harrier, kestrel, sparrow hawk) and owls (hawk owl, Ural owl and great gray owl) are the most prominent. Nesting places of fish hawks and golden eagles are found. Since 1985 the Zapovednik has a structural subdivision, the Kabansky Nature Zakasnik, a federal Park founded in 1974 with area of 12.1 (30 thousand acres) thousand ha. The Zapovednik has biosphere status.

Dzherginsky Zapovednik, in the northern part of the republic of Buryatia. The Zapovednik was founded in 1992. Its area is 237.8 thousand ha (587.6 thousand acres). It is located in the upper flow of the Barguzin River. The relief is mountainous with a maximum height of 2840m (9318 feet) above sea level (on the Barguzinsky Mountain Ridge). More than 75% of the area is covered with forests. Plants are defined along different height belts. From 500 till 1000-1200 m (from 0.3 till 0.6-0.75 mls) forest steppe is spread, formed of birch and larch forests, which is mixed with steppe sites of pine and aspen forests. Higher up mountain-taiga forests are located where larch forests with some birch, cedar and pine dominate. These turn at higher altitude into light larch forests, pine larch and pine forests, which give way in their turn to elfin cedar thickets. Alpestrine glades and bogs with springs are met. Fauna includes taiga, mountain-taiga and insignificant numbers of steppe species. There can be found within the Park elk, musk deer, roebuck, wild boar, Siberian roe, and, rarely, reindeer. There can also be met wolf, fox, brown bear, lynx, and also occasionally skunk bear. Squirrel, mouse-hare, chipmunk, are numerous; sable is usual. Of birds species can be met wood grouse, hazel grouse, black grouse, Accipiter gentilis and sparrow hawk; in inundation zones there live mallard duck, pintail, goldeneye, some species of surfbirds and gulls, and the common heron. In the rivers there live: taimen, lenok, Siberian sturgeon, and Arctic cisco.

Zabaikalsky National Park, in the Republic of Buryatia. The Park was founded in 1986. Its area is 246.0 thousand ha (607.9 thousand acres), 37 thousand ha (91.4 thousand acres) of this being water. The Park is located on the eastern shore of Baikal, and it includes the peninsula of Svyatoy Nos, the southern part of the western slope of the Barguzinsky Mountain Ridge, the Ushkanyi and Chivirkuiskye islands, and Chivyrkuisky and Barguzinsky Bays. In the north it borders the protected area of Barguzinsky Zapovednik. The relief is middle-mountainous and high-mountainous. The bottom height belt is occupied by larch light forests with undergrowth formed by cedar elfin cover. Higher pine-larch forests with cedar are spread. Between 400-500 m (122-152 feet) and 1000-1200 m (305-366 feet) above sea level dark coniferous forests of fir, spruce, cedar are to be found; higher they change to larch and spruce light forests, with thickets of elfin cedar. From a height of 1400-1500 m (427-457 feet) above sea level mountain tundras and rocky slopes are spread; on the Barguzinsky Mountain Ridge there are alpine meadow sites. In the north and around river mouths bogs are numerous. Typical taiga animals live there — roebuck, musk deer, brown bear, sable, wood grouse, hazel grouse, and black grouse. On lake Arangatuy there is a lot of waterfowl; on the Ushkanyi Islands there are Baikal seal rookeries. In Chivyrkuisky bay live Arctic cisco, cisco, grayling, id, darter, and pickerel. It belongs to the World Natural Heritage Site «Lake Baikal».

Tunkinsky National Park, within the Tunkinsky District of the Republic of Buryatia. The park was founded in 1991. Its area is 1183.7 thousand ha (454 thousand acres). It occupies the valley of the river Irkut, a tributary of the Angara, with the adjacent ridges of Eastern Sayan and Khamar-Daban. Absolute heights range from 668 m to 3172 m (204-967 feet) above the sea level. In the plant cover mountain cedar, larch and pine forests prevail, higher changing to elfin cedar thickets. Tundra is present; alpine glades are to be met. There can be found Siberian roe, roebuck, elk, musk deer, sable, common weasel, Siberian weasel, Alpine weasel, Mustela eversmanni, otter, skunk bear, wolf, fox, brown bear, lynx, and Alpine hare. Birds make up more than 200 species. In the river valleys mineral water springs are located on the rivers Kyngargy and Maly Khangoldoy.

Baikalo-Lensky Zapovednik, in the southern part of Irkutsky Region. The Zapovednik was founded in the 1986; its area is 660.0 thousand ha (1631 thousand acres). The Zapovednik is located on the western shore of Lake Baikal, and includes the basin of the upper parts of the river Lena and its tributaries the Kirenga, Tongoda and Malyi and Bolshoi Anoi which have their sources in the Baikalsky mountain range. The Zapovednik includes 100 km (62 mls) of lake Baikal shore. On the western slopes of the Baikalsky mountain range and in the lower taiga dark coniferous forests prevail of cedar, fir, larch-cedar, cedar fir and spruce. Along the rivers one can meet poplar forests, and many bogs. The eastern slopes are occupied by light coniferous taiga formed from pine and larch; in the valleys grow poplar and Chosenia. Above the forest border thickets of cedar elfin wood are spread, and mountain tundras with high-mountain meadows. The wood-covered area is 570.4 thousand ha (1409.4 thousand acres); meadows occupy 1.4 thousand ha (3.46 thousand acres) and wetlands 1.6 thousand ha (4 thousand acres). Flora makes up about 800 higher plant species, including 27 rare species. Fauna is spread over 48 animal species and 171 birds species. Brown bear, roebuck, reindeer, black-capped marmot, and Baikal seal live in the Zapovednik permanently. Rare and disappearing bird species include the fish hawk, white-tailed eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and Eastern solitary snipe. Wetlands are inhabited by valuable fish species, like the Arctic grayling, taimen, round whitefish, Siberian whitefish, etc. It belongs to the World Natural Heritage Site «Lake Baikal».

Pribaikalsky National park was established in 1986 in Irkutsk region. Its area is 452.7 thousand ha (1118.6 thousand acres). The territory extends in a narrow band along the western shore of Baikal. It includes low mountains of the Primorsky range, rise up to 1100 m (335 feet) above the sea level in the south and 1500 m (457 feet) above the sea level in the north. The range is dissected by the valleys of the rivers Angara, Goloustnaya, Buguldeika, Sarma, Anga. The slopes facing the Lake are covered by stepped pine forest with an admixture of larch. On wet tops of the mountains pine forests with Siberian pine, Siberia pine-fir forests are to be found. In the valleys spruce and larch-spruce forests are developed. In the middle part of the shore and on the Olkhon Island soddy steppes are widespread. The rare plants to be found are: Deschampsia turczaninowii, Viola incise. The fauna of terrestrial vertebrates includes 220 species. The ungulate dwellers are: the Caspian deer, Siberian roe deer, moose; the carnivores are as follows: sable, Siberian weasel, ermine. Typical of the steppe plots are: steppe polecat, long-tailed souslik, horned and meadow lark, black kite. In hard-to-reach rocks and on the islands, rock dove, Siberina swift, ruddy shelduck neck. The park belongs to the World Natural Heritage Site «Lake Baikal» and is very popular among tourists. There are several interesting tourist routes along the Baikal shores.


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