Location: The Altai Reserve is located in the mountains of Southern Siberia in the Turochaksky and Ulagansky districts of the Altai Republic.
Formed: October 7, 1967 within the boundaries of the previously existing reserve (1932-1951).
The reserve area: 881 238 hectares of forest management in 1981.
The length of the Altai Reserve: from the north-west to the south-east – 230 km, width 30-40, up to 75 km.
The territory of the Altai and Katunsky reserves is included in the list of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of UNESCO under the name “Golden Mountains of Altai” (1998)
Physical and geographical features of the Altai Reserve
High ridges are located along the borders of the reserve: in the north – the Torot ridge (spur of the Abakan ridge, extending from it to the west almost at a right angle), in the northeast – Abakansky (Sadonskaya mountain, 2,890 m above sea level), at the extreme in the south – the spurs of the Chikhachev ridge (Gotedei mountain, 3,021 m); in the east – Shapshal (Toshkalykaya mountain, 3 507 m). Several separate mountain ranges are located in the center of the reserve: Kurkure (the city of Kurkurebaži, 3,111 m), Tetykol (up to 3,069 m), Chulyshmansky (Bogoyash mountain, 3,143 m).
The western border runs along the Chulyshman River and on the Teletskoye Lake. More than 20% of the area of the reserve is covered with rocky, scree and pebbles. In the reserve there are 1,190 lakes with an area of more than 1 ha each. On the Chulcha River, 8 km from the mouth, there is the largest waterfall in Altai – the Big Chulchinsky (Uchar), a 150-meter cascade of water. The climate is continental.
Flora of the Altai Reserve
The flora reserve is extremely rich. Algae and lichen over 500 species. Plants – 1 480 species. The forests of the reserve are mainly composed of conifers: Siberian larch, Siberian cedar and Siberian fir.
34 species of moss, fungi, lichens and vascular plants are listed in the Red Books of the Republic of Altai and Russia. More than 200 endemics, as well as rare steppe, forest, water and alpine communities are located on the territory of the Altai Reserve. This determines its prominent role in protecting the flora and vegetation of Southern Siberia.
Fauna of the Altai Reserve
There are 11 insect-eating species, 7 bats, 3 hares, 13 rodents, 16 predatory species (bear, lynx, otter, wolverine, sable, columns and squirrel) and 8 species of pedigree (elk, maral, mountain ram, Siberian roe deer, Siberian ibex, reindeer and musk deer). Extremely rare in the reserve snow leopard – snow leopard. This animal is listed in the Red Book of Russia. It inhabits mainly high in the mountains, above the boundary of the forest.
A stay of 323 bird species has been recorded. The white partridge, wood-grouse, quail, hazel grouse, sandpiper and others live here. Gray heron, black stork, whooper swan, small gull, pink starling, Altai snowcock, white-tailed eagle, golden eagle, peregrine falcon and osprey are listed in the Red Book.
Reptiles are found in 6 species: viper, snakes, lizards and others. A great variety of invertebrates – about 15 thousand species. In the reservoirs of the reserve lives 18 species of fish.
Features of visiting the Altai Reserve
A visit to the reserve is only with the permission of the administration and is issued the appropriate pass.
The territory of the Altai Reserve of extraordinary natural beauty and aesthetic value, containing the most significant habitats of biological species and having exceptional worldwide value from the point of view of science. The Altai Reserve is one of the largest reserves in Russia, its area is 9.4% of the entire territory of the Altai Republic. The entire right bank of Lake Teletskoye and 22 thousand hectares of its water area are located in a protected area.
The entire territory of the reserve does not have a single road (except for the recently continued gravel road in the north from the village of Biika to the village of Yaylu.) The territory is practically impassable if you do not use the rare trails laid by foresters and employees of the reserve. However, the location of these trails must be well known, going on a journey without a guide.