Zhiguli State Biosphere Reserve
In the Samara region, on the Samara Luka (in the bend of the Volga river), between the Kuibyshev and Saratov reservoirs, the state natural Zhiguli reserve is located.
The Zhiguli State Nature Reserve, with an area of 2500 hectares, was organized in 1927. In 1932, the Seredysh and Shalyga Islands were annexed. In 1935 – the first renaming: the reserve became “Kuibyshevsky”. Its area began to be 10,000 hectares. Zhiguli Reserve The attitude to natural resources in the USSR was different than today. For us, the reserve is something genuine, authentic. Then it was believed that the reserve should hit the richness of the flora and fauna.
Trying to multiply the number of species, alien shrubs were planted in the Zhiguli reserve of the Samara region, and spotted deer were brought. The animals did not long survived in an unusual climate. Without constant human support, all livestock died because of snow and wolves. In the mid 40s. began active oil development. Forests were cut down, roads were laid, territories were polluted with toxic wastes.
This irreparably damaged the ecosystem of the Zhiguli nature reserve, changed the number and composition of animals living in it. In 1951, the Kuibyshev Reserve was liquidated. In 1959 – re-created and named Zhigulevskim. In 1977, received the name of its creator – I.I. Sprygin. In 2007 – entered in the list of UNESCO.
Now its area is 23157 ha. Security zone around – 1132 hectares. Animals of the Zhiguli Reserve The species diversity of inhabitants corresponds to the “standards” of the forest-steppe zone.
The most numerous and in terms of the number of species prevailing are mouse-like. Hare hare and hares are numerous. The hoofed animals are elk, wild boar and roe deer. Zhiguli State Nature Reserve can not boast a variety of predators. The wolf and the fox are quite common, the raccoon dog and the lynx are extremely rare.
Bears – completely exterminated. Badger, ferret, ermine and weasel represent a group of small predators. Bats – 14 species. On the territory of the reserve there are 230 species of 17 orders of birds. 127 – sedentary, 73 – span, 16 – hibernating; 12 – listed in the Red Books: Osprey; snake eater; white-tailed eagle; owl; splyushka and others. Amphibians and reptiles are few in number. Invertebrates – almost 7000 species: 6000 – insects (mainly – beetles, butterflies and hymenoptera); 400 – arachnids; 81 mollusks, 93 crustaceans. The plants of the Zhiguli Flora Reserve are diverse and contrasted.
Nearby are typical representatives of the middle-steppe forest, desert plants (thin-legged stileleaf, wormwood) and taiga (bearberry, Gruinganka and ferns), Mediterranean species (Alpine aster, speckle moth), Siberian and Ural inhabitants. There are 997 species in total. The main riches are relict (50), rare plants and endemics (6): rock; Kachim Yuzepchuk; Zhigulevsky spurge; Yaskolka Zhigulevskaya; thyme Zhiguli; sunflower 9/10 of the territory of the Zhiguli National Reserve is covered with forests. Most of them are broad-leaved; The most common trees: linden, aspen, birch. Pine forests – the pride of Zhiguli. The rest – meadow steppes and steppe meadows. Here grow a feather grass, rump, groundweed, cornflower and others.
Moss forest tier for Zhiguli alien; lichens do not play a significant role in the soil cover. The administration of the reserve conducts educational activities: articles, lectures, meetings on the history and diversity of the natural world of Zhiguli.
Organized excursions to the territory are allowed, accompanied by a regular guide.