Altai State Natural Biosphere Reserve
The Altai Reserve was founded in 1932, modern borders are designated in 1968. It is located in the Chulyshman river basin and is included in the ten largest reserves of the Russian Federation. The area – 881 238 hectares, of which 13 thousand hectares fall on water bodies and 247.8 thousand hectares – on the forest zone.
The Altai Natural Reserve is a part of the Altai territories included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The purpose of creating a protected area is to protect the natural complex of Siberia, to study the region’s ecosystems.
Features of the landscape and climate Altai Reserve of Russia, stretching for 230 km, amazes with a variety of landscapes.
Here there was a place and taiga forests, and steppes, and tundra, and meadows. The pearl of the protected area is Lake Teletskoe (the water area is 223 km2). 70 rivers flow into it, the largest of which is Chulyshman. The coast of the lake is decorated with 150 waterfalls. The main part of the Altai Nature Reserve runs at an altitude of 1,450–1,650 m above sea level, the ridges rise to 3,000–3,500 m. The mountains are characterized by pronounced high-altitude belts: coniferous taiga, where cedars, larch and fir grow, is replaced by light forest.
Above are alpine meadows and tundra with a predominance of low shrubs and lichens. Mountain areas are rich in springs, springs and lakes, occupying an area of 15 thousand m2. On the territory of the Altai Reserve dominated by continental and mountain climate. The first is due to the location – the protected zone lies in the central part of the continent, where the air masses of the Arctic and the anticyclones of Asia affect the weather. The mountain climate prevails in the zone of the Altai ranges. The formation of climatic conditions depends on the specific landscape of individual areas.
Thus, the southern part, where the valleys of the Chulyshman River and Lake Teletskoye are located, is characterized by mild winters and short cool summers. There is almost no snow here, the annual precipitation is 400–500 mm. In the northern part of the Altai Reserve and the middle mountain zone of the taiga, on the contrary, cold winters prevail. Snow falls at the end of October. In summer, the air temperature rises to +30 ° C. The amount of precipitation per year is 800-900 mm. Plants of the Altai Reserve According to botanists, the number of vascular plants growing in the Altai Reserve is 1 480 individuals from 107 families.
Among them are endemics and relics: loose sedge, zirconia, Siberian kandyk, black cohosh, and dextrantema edematous. Business card are cedar forests. The diameter of some trees is 1.8 meters, and the age reaches 500 years! The flora of alpine meadows fascinates with its diversity. Numerous violets, azure gentian, crimson kopechnik, golden adonis and rare edelweiss bloom here. Among the grasses dominated by saxifrage, five-leafed grass, cotoneaster, silvergrass, bergenia and beautiful flowers.
The slopes of the mountains are decorated with raspberries, gooseberries, sea buckthorn, viburnum, and Daursky rhododendron. The steppe belt is represented by a feather-like feather and fescue. The marshland is covered with ferns. Of the lower plants in the Altai Zapovednik, about 100 species of fungi are known, 668 – algae and 272 – mosses and lichens that cover the tundra soil. Animals of the Altai Reserve The fauna protected by the Altai Reserve is typical of the taiga forests of western Siberia. However, due to the variety of reliefs and climatic conditions, there are also animals whose habitats are mountains, tundra and steppes.
According to 2010 data, the reserve has: 73 mammal species; 15 thousand species of invertebrates; 10 species of amphibians and reptiles; 334 species of birds; 18 species of fish.
Among the animals of the Altai Reserve, representatives of three families of insectivores and eight species of bats are of interest. The most rare are the Siberian white-toed shrew, discovered in the protected zone only in 2003, brown eared bat, whiskered maiden, large trumpet and northern leather jacket.
The family of weasels is represented by badger, weasel, ermine and mink, to a lesser extent otter and wolverine. The sable, which was practically exterminated in the 30s of the XX century, now lives in the taiga everywhere. From hoofed animals, musk deer, red deer, elk, and roe deer are widespread. Extremely rare forest reindeer. Argali and Siberian ibex inhabit the southern regions. Everywhere you can see a white hare, Altai pika, an Asian chipmunk and an ordinary squirrel. The teriofauna includes 16 predators, the characteristic representatives of which are the brown bear, wolf and fox.
On the territory of the Altai Reserve, there are 59 endangered fauna representatives. This represents 52% of the total number of animals protected in the region. Here you can also see the snow leopard, on the verge of extinction and listed in the Red Book of the world and the Russian Federation. Invertebrates, amphibians, and reptiles The world of the invertebrates of the Altai Reserve is extremely rich, but due to the diversity of species, little has been studied.