Ecological characteristics: Raifa unit of the Reserve is one of the oldest in Eastern Europe massive of sub-taiga, which is surrounded by agrocoenosis and urbanized landscapes. It is the unique center of the landscape and biological diversity preservation in the region. In Sarali unit there are nemoral forests with steep field portions and system of gulfs and bypasses of the largest in Europe Kuibishev reservoir. Accordingly it plays an important role in preservation and reproduction of aquatic and semi-aquatic fauna of the region. Sviyazhsky unit is comprised by valley and water ecosystems of mouth part of Sviyaga River (tributary of Volga), enriched in islands, gulfs and bypasses. Spassky unit includes the system of 64 islands and shallowlands of Kuibishev reservoir. “Spassky Archipelago” was included into the List of Key Ornithological Territories of Russia and into the “List of objects, recommended for incorporation into the list of wetlands, protected by Ramsar Convention”. The territory of the Reserve is distinguished for its biodiversity. The natural communities of coniferous, mixed, broadleaved forests, meadow steppes, herbaceous and sphagnum swamps and lakes are present here. 900 species of higher plants, 180 species of mosses, 210 species of lichens, 800 species of macromycetes, 3200 species of invertebrates, 343 species of vertebrates were registered.

Declaration date: Raifa and Sarali units –2005; Sviazhsky and Spassky units –2007

Surface area: Total 19008246 ha

Administrative division: Republic of Tatarstan

Human activities: Agriculture in buffer zone and transition area promote the erosion processes, which have negative influence on the water streams, lakes and boreal ecosystems of core area. The increase of cottage building in transition area and tourism promote the pollution of the territory of the Reserve.

Protection classifications: Three entities: State nature reserve (Zapovednik) with Raifa and Sarali units and two Republican nature refuges (Zakazniks) - Sviyazhsky and Spassky units.

Contact information: Great Volzhsko-Kamsky Biosphere Reserve, Settelment Sadovy, p/o Raifa, Zelenodolsky district, Republic of Tatarstan, 422537 Russia. Tel.: +7 843 71 34720, fax: +7 843 71 34724, E-mail: