NAME OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Sokhondinskiy

Ecological characteristics: The Reserve is situated 25 km north of the Mongolian border and occupies the isolated mountain massif of Sokhondo (2,508 m above sea level) which is the highest part of the Khentey-Chikoiskoe highland. Here, major rivers of the Baikal-Amur watershed have their source. Ecosystems in the Reserve have influence of East Siberian taiga and Mongolia-Manchurian steppe. There is a series of altitudinal vegetation belts with a steppe, taiga, alpine meadows and high mountain tundra. Up to 1200 m uneven forest-steppe rises where larch and birch forests are interspersed with areas of open steppe. At the height 1200 – 2100 m there are different forests: light coniferous taiga with larch (Larix daurica) and pine (Pinus sylvestris); dark coniferous taiga formed of Siberian pine (Pinus sibirica), spruce (Picea obovata) and fir (Abies sibirica). The highest belt is occupied by mountain tundra with thickets Pinus pumila and alpine meadows. In total flora counts more than 600 vascular plants with such rare species as yellow lady’s slipper, Cypripedium macranthon and Iris tigridia. There is a high diversity of vertebrate animals: more than 60 mammal species and more than 200 bird species including such rare species as Daurian hedgehog, Pallas’ cat, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, and hooded crane.

Declaration date: 1984

Surface area: Total 347000 ha

Core area: 211000 ha

Buffer zone: 36000 ha

Transition areas: 100,000 ha

Administrative division: Chitinskaya oblast

Human activities: Forest fires, poaching hunting and fishing and cattle breeding in near-by areas.

Protection classifications: State nature reserve (Zapovednik)

Contact information: Sokhondinskiy Biosphere Reserve, 1, Cherkasova St., Kyra village, Chitinskaya oblast, 674250 Russia. Tel./fax: + 7302 35 21559, E-mail: sochondo@rambler.ru