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Naurzum nature reserve in Kazakhstan.

Travel to the Naurzum reserve.

Naurzum nature reserve is a nature reserve in the north of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It was founded in 1931 with the aim of protecting parts of the Asian steppes. Today, the reserve is of national importance as a resting place along the important migration routes of birds of Eurasia. Being a part of the northern Kazakh steppe of Saryark, it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Naurzum reserve geography.

Naurzumsky nature reserve is located in the Kostanay region, in the north of Kazakhstan. It stretches across the wide plains within the Turgai Valley, which lie at an altitude of 120-320 m. The area has numerous stocks of freshwater and salt lakes, the largest of which are Lake Zharman, Bolshoi Aksuat and Baltaysor. The lakes have a depth of 3 m and are fed by groundwater and rain. The most important rivers are Shchochkaly, Akkansay, Karasu and Danabike. The reserve consists of three subareas separated by an ecological corridor about 9-14 km long: 1) Naurzum (main part), 2) Sypsyn and 3) Tersek.

Naurzum reserve history.

The Naurzum region was inhabited by Kazakh nomads before the creation of the reserve. In the 18-19 centuries, many naturalists crossed this area during their expeditions, including such well-known researchers as Alexander von Humboldt. The pine forests of the region passed to the Russian Tsar in 1884. After Kazakhstan entered the Soviet Union, the Naurzum Reserve was founded in 1931. It is one of the oldest reserves in the former USSR and the second oldest in Kazakhstan. The reserve was closed in 1951 and was not restored as such until 1966. During this time, its pine forests were transferred to a collective forestry company. After 1966, the area of the protected area was constantly expanding, and an ecological corridor was created between the subareas. In 2008, the Naurzum Nature Reserve was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Kazakh steppe Sarah Arka.

Naurzum reserve geology.

The geological composition of the protected area consists of several layers of sediments, the oldest of which dates back to the Paleozoic. The near-surface horizons consist of sandy and loamy deposits of Oligocene and Miocene. These continental deposits form meter-wide and wide steps in the wide plains of the region.

Soil Naurzum reserve.

Common soils in the reserve are loamy and sandy Kastanozem, Solonchak and Solonetsboden.

Climate Naurzum reserve.

The climate of the reserve is continental. Winters are cold (average January temperature: −17 ° C), little rainfall and long frosts [1]. Summer, however, is very hot (average July temperature: 24.2 ° C). The average annual rainfall is 233 mm, with up to 40% of annual rainfall in the summer.

Flora and vegetation Naurzum reserve.

687 plant species are known in the reserve, including 12 protected species listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan, such as Schrenka tulip (Tulipa schrenkii). In this area, forest fragments of common pine, birch and aspen, which are one of the most southern forest fragments in the steppe region of Kazakhstan, are widespread. The dry steppe or the steppe with short grass occupies a large area dominated by feather grasses such as spiky grass (Stipa capillata) and sandy feather grass (Stipa borysthenica). In spring, numerous geophytes bloom here, such as a yellow finger flower (Pulsatilla flavescens), Bieberstein tulip (Tulipa biebersteiniana) and Fritillaria meleagroides.

Fauna Naurzum reserve.

342 species of vertebrates are known by the reserve. The number of birds here is especially large, including because this area is located on one of the most important bird migration routes (282 bird species, including 158 wintering ones). Among the 44 rare species of birds that live in the reserve, there is a Dalmatian pelican and pink pelican, a young crane and a gray crane. Among the predators, among other things, the steppe harrier, the golden eagle and the eastern imperial eagle. A globally rare species living in this area is the Siberian crane (Grus leucogranus).