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Barsakelmes state nature reserve in Kazakhsta.

Adventure tour to Barsakelmes nature reserve.

Barsakelmes State Nature Reserve has a very rare flora and fauna. There are more than 256 species of plants and animals, animals, mammals and amphibians. Due to the drying of the Aral Sea, rare fish species disappear, new plants and animals appear.

Barsakelmes story.

The Barsakelmes Nature Reserve was founded in 1929. December 10, 1939 he received the status of a state reserve. Due to the drying of the Aral Sea, the salinity of the water exceeded the norm. Lack of fresh water makes life difficult for animals. From 1982 to 1991, more than 260 wild donkeys of the Kulans were transferred to other reserves of the country. Currently, the number of wild Kulan is increasing. The Barsakelmes Nature Reserve has rare species of flora and fauna. The number of fish is growing every year. Recently, scientists from the State University. Korkyt Ata, together with students, are updating the economy, ecology and botany of the region. The main task today is to save 100-150 000 ha and 400 000 ha of land and increase the number of plants. Barsakelmes is the most unique of the country's 9 reserves, and all Kazakhstanis should be interested in learning about it.
Since the early 1960s, the gradual shrinkage of the sea due to a sharp decrease in water inflow into the Aral Sea through the Syr Darya and Amu Darya rivers has worsened the state of the reserve. In the end, Barsakelmes became known as the "island". After all, the eastern coast of the sea merged with land, and the nature of the reserve was forgotten. Nevertheless, thanks to the dedicated work of ordinary people devoted to their work, the famous reserve not only survives, but also looks to the future from the point of view of high tasks.

Legend of the Barsakelmes reserve.

There are many legends about Barsakelmes among the population of the Aral Sea region. One of them is described as follows. In the past, when hostilities broke out between the nearby tribes, a tribe led by a man named Latpai decided to go far. There were people who suggested going to a wonderful island in the middle of the sea with fresh water, meadows, fish, a variety of birds and saxaul. When the ice freezes, they will make a cousin and reach the island. The legend of the island said: “Do not be afraid of this island, there is no evil, there are no wolves, there are no people. If you save nature on the island, you will live a happy and long life. Your descendants will not need anything. There will be a lot of cattle. Do not kill animals. Do not touch the swans. " When the old man said this, he immediately disappeared into the depths of darkness. The words of the old man come true migrants became rich. The end of this long legend ends when one of the brothers ignores the old man's commandments, cuts saxaul, kills birds and swans, and for one everything has disappeared.

Research work at Brasakelmes.

The fundamental scientific research of Barsakelmes began in the middle of the XIX century. First, in 1831, the Russian scientist R. Levshin discovered the existence of such an island in the Aral Sea and drew a map. In 1848, the tsarist government launched the first expedition to explore the Aral Sea and appointed sailor Alexei Butakov as its leader. In mid-May of the same year, the caravan left the fortress of Or and reached the shores of the Aral Sea in more than a month. In the middle of summer, travelers head to the sea, first stop at Kokaral, and then sail to Barsakelmes on the other side. After that, the foot of researcher L. Berg came here. This is the story of the discovery of Barsakelmes.
The island amazes researchers with its beautiful nature. The soles are covered with greenery. There are many fresh water lakes. Most of the plants that are found here do not grow anywhere else. The expedition leader writes that there are 200 species of birds on the island. Snakes and lizards, crabs and lizards were woven. The gazelles and saigas protected by saxaul were not even afraid of people. At that time, it seemed like a really amazing place.

Natural resources of Barsakelmes.

Today the Barsakelmes State Nature Reserve, which is almost seventy years old. Today, 165 species of plants grow in the reserve. The fauna includes island species such as wild donkey, saiga, gazelle, and hare. Once upon a time in the steppes the beast "Kazakh Kulan" wandered. Then this species disappeared, and in the winter of 1953, 14 wild donkeys of the Kulans were delivered from Badkhyz State Nature Reserve in Turkmenistan. Imported animals immediately settled in a new place and began to breed. By 1982, when a large migration to the reserve began, their number reached 300 individuals.
Unfortunately, in 1997-1999. Barsakelmes ceased to be an island, and due to the loss of fresh water sources, all these animals were resettled. Since then, 250 long-tailed deer have been evacuated, most of them were sent to the Altynomelsky National Park near Almaty, and another group was sent to the Ustyurt ridges near Mangistau. According to the director of the reserve Magzhan Tursynbaev, some deer and snake gazelles died due to a lack of clean water. 1,500 deer and 350 gazelles were saved. Lack of drinking water on an isolated island further aggravated the bird habitat.
Currently, every effort is being made to preserve Barsakelmes as a state nature reserve. As for the current state of the Barsakelmes reserve, over the past two years its size has increased 10 times.
The area of the saxaul forest in Barsakelmes State Nature Reserve is 41.5 thousand ha. In addition, 354 plant species grow here, 14 of which are endemic. There are 178 species of birds, 26 of which are listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. In addition, there are 12 reptiles and 2 amphibians.

Film about Barsakelmes reserve.

The documentary film “Kulan Island” about the reserve took third place among more than 110 participants of the 2004 Tashkent Film Festival. Another such documentary is being shot this year. In addition, joint research is underway with the Institute of Botany and Zoology in Almaty and Kyzylorda State University named after Korkyt Ata.

Ecological situation of Barsakelmes.

Today, hundreds of millions of tons of salt dust spread on the surface of the earth every year. Over the years, if the rest of the western part of the southern Aral Sea is completely destroyed, the ecological situation will be much worse than today. However, there are ways to stop this phenomenon. This, as mentioned above, cover the dry bottom of the sea with green shoots and grow a forest here. Local salty black mud is highly regarded in medicine. In the same way, in the western part of the North Sea, in the settlements of Akbasty and Akespe, one can find healing sources that cure many diseases. People come here for forty days in July and receive treatment on their own.

Ecological catastrophe.

One of the differences between the Barsakelmes nature reserve and other similar settlements is that it is in an ecological disaster zone. This worries the global environmental community.