NAME OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Middle-Volga Integrated

Ecological characteristics: Both unique and typical ecosystems of Samarskaya Luka and adjacent territories are represented in the Reserve. The unique ecosystems of limestone mountains are widely spread here: stony steppes, primeval steppificationed pine forests and mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests. There are typical forests on the plateau of Samarskaya Luka with lime, birch, aspen, oak, maple, and also forb meadows and meadow steppes, pastures and croplands are formed on chernozems and grey forest soils. At the Volga wetland flood-plain there are oak forests, black poplar and black poplar-white willow forests, purple willow forests and wet meadows. Due to this variety of ecosystems there is a great number of different plant species: 1500 angiosperm, 4 gymnosperm, 21 ferns, 9 horsetails species, more than 170 moss species, about 200 lichen species and more than 800 species of mushrooms. There are more than 300 vertebrate species: 62 - mammals, about 240 - birds, five - amphibians, seven - reptiles, 68 - fishes. The known part of the invertebrate fauna consists of about 7000 species. The most interesting component of the fauna and flora are endemics (five plant species), relicts (more than 50 species of plants and invertebrate animals) and rare and endangered species (14 plant species, six species of insects, eight bird species and two mammal species are listed in the Red Data Book of Russia, eight bird and four mammal species are included to the IUCN Red List.

Declaration date: 2006

Surface area: Total 150000 ha

Core area: 30000 ha

Buffer zone: 50000 ha

Transition areas: 70000 ha

Administrative division: Samarskaya oblast

Human activities: Mining operation, timber harvesting, industrial production, tourism.

Protection classifications: Two entities: State nature reserve (Zapovednik) and National Park

Contact information: Middle-Volga Integrated Biosphere Reserve, Bakhilova polyana village, Urban Zhigulyovskiy district, Samarskaya oblast, 445362 Russia. Tel: + 7 848 62 37838, fax: + 7 848 62 23855, E-mail: zhr@samtel.ru, zhr_sl@pochta.ru