Reserves of the North Caucasus

This is a general article describing the nature of the nature reserves, such as vegetation, soil types, flora and fauna. The location on the map is also shown.

Caucasian State Nature Biosphere Reserve


Subject of the Russian Federation: Krasnodar Region Karachay-Cherkess Republic of Adygea. republic
Date of creation: May 12, 1924.
International status: UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (1979)
The territory of the reserve is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site “Western Caucasus”
Total area (ha): 280335
Natural zone: highlands, high altitude zone, subtropical forests


The reserve is located on the northern and southern slopes of the Western Caucasus. The territory is a typical mountain landscape and is characterized by altitude elevations from 260 to 3360 m above sea level. The basis of the relief is the Main Caucasian Range, stretching from the north-west to the south-east. In general, the ridge is asymmetric: with a longer northern macroslope and a steep short southern slope. The westernmost peaks – Autl (1856 m), Khuko (1906 m) – barely break out of the forest belt and carry small subalpine meadows. Starting from the Fisht-Oshten massif, with the peaks Fisht (2867 m), Oshten (2808 m), Psheha-Su (2744 m), a typical high-mountain landscape is developed, which continues to the eastern boundary of the reserve. The Fishon-Oshten massif is closely adjoined by the Lagonaki plateau, which represents a system of middle-level aligned ridges with extensive subalpine and alpine meadows developed on a karstic limestone massif.

After a small decrease, called the biogeographs of the Colchis Gate, the Main Caucasian Range starts to rise from the first three-thousand-meter mountain – Chugush (3238 m) and then carries the peaks Pseashkho (3256 m), Aishkhi (3015 m), Akaragwarta (3141 m), etc. The highest one is Tsakhvoa, reaching 3345 m. To the north of the Main Ridge, in parallel to it, is the Forward Range, divided by river valleys into separate segments: the town of Pshekish (2257 m), Dzhuga (2946 m), Yatyrgvartha 2761 m), town of Magisho (3161 m). The northern border of the reserve, mainly, stretches along the Rocky Range, limestone peaks of which represent the southernmost cuesta, ploping to the north and steeply cutting off towards the reserve. The individual peaks of the Rocky Range exceed 2000 m. y. m. (Achebok, Afonka, Slesarnya, etc.).

On the southern macroslope, parallel to the Main Range, lies the Southern Front Range with the peaks of the Stone Pillar (2600 m), Agepsta (3256 m), Atsetuka (2769 m). The southern border of the reserve passes along the spurs of the Main Ridge, divided by rivers, Bzyach (1503 m), Amuko (1918 m), Joshosh (1790 m), Achishkho (2451 m), etc. In isolation from the main territory, 2 km from the coast, on the south-eastern slope of the ridge. Ahun is a subtropical Khostinskaya yew-boxwood grove, with elevations varying from 30 to 550 m. y. Some areas of the reserve (Lagonak Highlands, Messrs Fisht, Oshten, Psheha-Su, Acheshbok, Tru, Akhun, etc.) are karst landscapes with a very large number of caves. Thus, there are more than 130 of them on the Lagonaki Upland. Glaciers are not uncommon in the reserve. There are about 60 of them, and the total area is 18.2 square meters. km.


The reserve is located on the border of the temperate and subtropical climatic zones. The warm and humid climate in the lowlands has a subtropical character with positive average temperatures in January (+4.2 degrees Celsius) and high average temperatures in July and August (+ 20-21 degrees Celsius). In the mountains the snow cover lasts 5 or more months. Summer is moderately warm (average July temperatures from +16 to +22 ° C), the annual precipitation is 700-1200 mm, the maximum is in the early summer. Mountain relief causes high-altitude zone of the climate, for every 100 m of elevation above sea level, the temperature drops by 0.5 degrees. FROM.


The rivers and lakes account for about 1.9% of the reserve. From the southern macroslope of the Main Caucasian ridge, the Mzymta rivers flow with the tributaries of the Chvezysse, Laura, Achipse, Pslukh, Tikhaya, etc.), Khost, Sochi, Shahe (with the tributaries Bzyach, Azhu, Bushchy, etc.), with The northern macroslope is the White (with the tributaries of Ches-su, Kish, Pshaha, etc.), Malaya Laba (with the tributaries of Tsakhvoya, Urushten), as well as the Zakan and Damhurts rivers belonging to the Bolshaya Laba basin. In turn, the rivers of the northern macroslope are the tributaries of the river. The Kuban. Rivers are typical mountain streams with frequent waterfalls, narrow rock gorges, gorges and canyons. There are more than 120 lakes. They are small in area and often completely free of ice only in the middle of summer. The largest lake of the reserve is Lake Silence, with a water surface area of ​​200,000 square meters. The special beauty and popularity of Lake Khuko (1843 m above sea level) on the Main Range, Kardyvach (1850 m above sea level) in the upper reaches of the river. Mzymta, Inpsi in the upper reaches of the river. Tsakhvoa, Blue and Atsetuk lakes on the Southern Front Range.


The soils of the reserve vary from subtropical yellow soils in the foothills to primitive mountains in the highlands. The main soils are brown mountain-forest and mountain-meadow soils.

Flora and vegetation:

The flora of the Caucasian reserve includes about 3000 species, of which at least half are vascular plants. The predominant families are astroids (223 species), bluegrass (114), rosy (108), leguminous (82), etc. Forest flora includes more than 900 species, some of which are also found in the mountain meadow belt. The total number of highland plants exceeds 800 species. Trees and shrubs constitute 165 species, including 142 – deciduous, 16 – evergreen deciduous and 7 – coniferous. The flora of the reserve is characterized by the presence of ancient species and representatives with limited distribution. Each fifth plant of the reserve is endemic or relic. Ferns (about 40 species), orchids (more than 30 species), evergreen and winter-green species, and a large number of ornamental plants give the flora of the reserve its peculiarity.

So, from the five species of rhododendrons growing in the Caucasus – 3 (Pontic, Caucasian and yellow) are found in the reserve. Almost throughout the reserve single trees and small groups there is yew berry. This ancient evergreen coniferous tree can survive to 2-2,5 thousand years, and such patriarchs are not uncommon in the Khostinsky department of the reserve. In the subtropical forests of the Khostinsky and Western divisions, in addition to yew, many ancient representatives of the flora are found: boxwood colchis, Holocaust hollows, Colchis leptopus, Carian figs, St. John’s wort, and many others. The reserve forests differ from the northern European forests by the presence of lianas. On the southern slope there are 8 species of woody lianas, including Colchis and common plums, sassaparil tall, grapes with grapes, Greek oxtail, fragrant honeysuckle, nightshade pseudopersidic, forest grapes.

Among the mushrooms of the reserve are subtropical species (diktiophora double, Caesar fungus), as well as tropical mushrooms-flowers (red lattice, spindle-shaped spider). Most of the territory of the reserve is covered with forest vegetation, and only in the highlands subalpine and alpine meadows are developed. Dubniaks, alders and subtropical Colchis forests of the foothills are replaced by bibles with the participation of hornbeam and chestnut forests. The upper belts of vegetation are formed by dark coniferous fir-trees and fir-trees, light pine forests, park maple trees, crooked forests, subalpine and alpine meadows. Forest vegetation is very unique and subject to changes depending on the macroslope, altitude, exposition, nature of the soil and underlying rocks. In the foothills of the southern macroslope in the Khosta and West forest ranges, unique subtropical polydominant mixed broad-leaved forests with evergreen undergrowth are found. Slopes of southern exposures up to 800-1200 m. y. Both macroslopes are occupied by oak forests formed mainly by rock and Georgian oaks, although six oak species, the Cappadocian maple, the ash tree, the Caucasian hornbeam, etc. take part in the formation of the oak forests. The river valleys and gorges up to the middle reaches are covered with river alder-willow forests with willow white , alder gray, black and bearded. Dubniak higher on the slopes are replaced by hornbeam, chestnut and beech forests, and on the northern macroslope – beech and fir-beech.

The main forest-forming species in them are relic species: Oriental beech, Chestnut sowing, Nordmann fir. The upper forest belts in the reserve, as a rule, are formed by fir and spruce forests, with the participation of endemic spruce of the eastern. On stony and well-warmed areas, a pinhole pine grows. Between the forest and mountain meadow belts the transition zone is made up of park maple trees, crooked forests, small forests, shrub formations and rhodoretes with subalpine high-grass areas. More than 15 species form subalpine tall grass, the height of individual plants exceeds 3 m. In addition, on the outcrops of rocks, a kind of rock-scree vegetation develops, and near waterlogged places, especially in the highlands, is wetland. Among the representatives of the flora, mention should be made of narrow-endemic endemics, the range of which practically does not exceed the limits of the reserve (the bell of Ottran, the buttercup of Helena, the Volkiaadznik of Circassian, the holly, and many others). Dozens of plant species inhabiting the countries of the Black Sea and Mediterranean basins are found only in the southern (Sochi) slope of the reserve and in the Sochi National Park: Rizey’s snowdrop, spiral spiral, Wittmann peony, Provinsky orchus, splinters, etc.

Fauna and fauna:

Representation of the mammal species of the reserve according to the families is distributed in the following way: hunting (1), mole (2), shrew (6), horseshoe bat (3), smooth-billed bats (20), hare (1), squirrel (1) (2), carcass (3), hamster (8), mouse (8), canine (4), bear (1), raccoon (1), cunyi (8), cat (3), pork (1), deer (2), the pedicels (3). Undoubtedly, the most vulnerable part of natural ecosystems are large mammals. In the reserve it is a bison, a red deer, a brown bear, a West Caucasian tour, a chamois, a lynx, a roe deer and a wild boar. However, a number of small species of animals also need emergency conservation measures and in detailed study, including a badger, Caucasian mink, otter, etc. Among birds, representatives of sparrow and Falconiformes predominate. The most numerous groups of herpetofauna are the true lizards and the former, and the fishes have carp-shaped ones. Above the reserve there are large migratory ways of birds, the flight of buzzards gathering in large schools is most evident. Many animals of the reserve have limited distribution (endemics), or are living witnesses of past geological epochs (relics). Especially a lot of them among invertebrates, as well as fish, amphibians and reptiles. The animal world of the reserve is heterogeneous in origin. Here there are representatives of the Mediterranean, Caucasian, Colchic and European faunas. Endemic and relic species are found in all mountain altitude belts. The western border of the distribution of many high-mountainous Caucasian and forest Colchis species of animals passes through the reserve.


Teberda State Nature Biosphere Reserve

Subject of the Russian Federation: Karachay-Cherkess Republic
Date of creation: January 23, 1936.
Total area (ha): 85064
Area of ​​the protection zone (ha): 36350
Number of plots: 2
Natural zone: highlands, high altitude zone, subtropical forests


The area occupied by the Teberdinsky Reserve is a typical mountainous terrain with a range of heights from 1,260 to 4,047 meters above sea level. About 86% of the territory is at an altitude of more than 2000 meters above the sea level. m.

The main Caucasian ridge is a huge crenellated wall, which rises 1500-2000 m above the valley level. The absolute height rises to 4040 m above sea level. Here are the largest glaciers – Alibek, Amanauz, Ptysh, Bu-Ulgen, Chotchinsky, Khokel. A continuous wall of mountains 3000-4000 m high separates the reserve from Abkhazia. This segment of the Main Caucasian Range is covered with eternal snows and glaciers from the Djalovchat peak (3870 m) to Klukhor-Bashi (3450 m), it has a length of 42.5 km. The foot of the ridge to 2000-2300 m is covered with fir forests, which are replaced by beech forest and birch forest near the upper boundary of the forest. From the height of 2000 m to the south and 2300 m to the north – there is a zone of alpine meadows, above it there is a zone of modern glaciation. Above the glaciers surface there are sharp peaks and crests with steep slopes, free from ice and snow. The shape of the ridge is asymmetrical: the northern slope is relatively flat, the southern slope is cut off by an almost sheer wall and very avalanche-hazardous. The northern slope of the Main Caucasian Range is cut by the valleys of the rivers North Klukhor, Khokel, Chochcha, Bu-Ulgen, Northern Ptysh, Amanauz and valleys of Belalakay and Alibek glaciers. The slopes of the valleys are steep, laid out by ancient glaciers. Everywhere there is a retreat, the valley glaciers, which are in the upper reaches of all these valleys, recede at different rates.

In the creation of a modern relief of the reserve territory, the main role was played by the long-term impact of three main factors – geological structure, ancient glaciation and water and avalanche erosion. The main morphological feature of the terrain is a considerable elevation and vertical dismemberment of the Teberda region in relation to others. Here the height of the Main Caucasian ridge reaches a maximum height of 4,046 m (Dombay-Ulgen). Dozens of other peaks have altitudes exceeding 3500 m: Bu-Ulgen (3917 m), Belala-Kaya (3861 m), Erzog (3863 m), Kyshkadzher (3822 m), etc. The sharpness of the relief causes intensive development of snow avalanches. On the territory of the reserve there are up to 530 avalanches, of which from time to time in the winter and spring powerful snow falls are broken. Avalanches originate in the upper meadow-rocky part of the slopes, where snow accumulates. Avalanches are a powerful relief-forming factor, taking out a large amount of snow and detrital material when unloading slopes.


The climate of the reserve is generally warm and humid. The small annual and diurnal amplitudes of air temperature approximate it to the sea. However, in accordance with the vertical zonality, three climatic zones are distinguished on the territory of the reserve: mountain forest, mountain meadow and nival. The climate in the valley of the river. Teberda is moderately continental. With altitude, continentality is weakened, the climate is increasingly approaching the wet, seaside, the air temperature is reduced by half a degree for every 100 m of the rise. The average summer temperature is +14.5 degrees. C, winter -2,1 degrees. On Dombai, respectively, 12,8 degrees. C, winter -5 degrees.

The nival zone is characterized by the sharpest temperature fluctuations and slightly less precipitation than the maximum fall zone, which lies between 1800-2200 m above sea level. The climate of the mountain meadow zone at a low mean annual temperature is close to the climate of the tundra, differing from it in a relatively mild winter. In addition, in the mountains of the Caucasus, the intensity of solar radiation is much higher than in the polar countries. Thanks to it, the soil temperature is usually much higher than the air temperature. This difference increases with height. Strong heating of the soil accelerates the development of alpine vegetation. The shortness of the growing season and the more or less significant freezing of the soil during the cold season are also characteristic. These climatic features, the properties mainly of the Alpine belt, are gradually smoothed out in the belt of subalpine meadows.

The forest zone has a softer climate. For the whole reserve, because of the complicated orography, very sharp microclimatic changes are very characteristic. Almost every gorge, slope or summit has its own microclimate. The average annual temperature in Teberda is 6.9 degrees, in the nose. Dombai 4.3 degrees. The reserve lies in the area of ​​heavy rainfall. The number of them decreases in the direction from the Main Caucasian Range to the northern boundary of the reserve. The average annual rainfall for Teberda is 695 mm, Dombay – 1344 mm. According to long-term data, the average number of days with snow cover in the Teberda area is 89, in Dombai – 147. In the highlands are abundant fogs that quickly arise and dissipate just as quickly. There is also a hail that accompanies thunderstorms.


The rivers and streams on the territory of the reserve have snow and glacier food. In total, 30 rivers flow through the territory. In the Teberdinsky area, they are all tributaries of the Teberda River, on the Arkhyz area – the Kyzgych river, which in turn flows into the Bolshoy Zelenchuk river. Rivers flow from under the glaciers, snowfields and from lakes. Flowing along steep slopes, they often form rapids and powerful waterfalls. According to the latest data, 157 lakes with a total area of ​​1.6 square meters are concentrated on the territory of the reserve. km. Small lakes with an area of ​​less than 0.05 sq. Km predominate here. km, but there are also relatively large ones: the Klukhor (0.17 sq km), the Blue Murugin (0.16 sq km), the Black Murugin (0.1 sq km). The maximum depth of such water bodies reaches 30-50 m, and the volume of water enclosed in each of them exceeds 1 million cubic meters. Almost all the lakes (with the exception of Lake Karakel and Tumanylykel) are located at altitudes above 2000 m in circuses and cars on the site of recently melted or near existing glaciers. Many of them are difficult to access. Most of the modern lakes originated with the melting of glaciers. Their age does not exceed 200-1000 years, with the exception of Lake. Karakel in Teberda, which arose when the ancient Teberdinsky glacier retreated about 8000-10000 years ago. In total there are 109 glaciers on the territory of the reserve, with a total area of ​​74.3 square kilometers. km. The largest of them are valleys, reaching a length of several kilometers and an area of ​​several square kilometers. The largest of these glaciers, Amanauz, is 4.8 km long and has an area of ​​7.1 square meters. km. The maximum thickness of ice in the valley glaciers reaches 180 m. Mineral springs are traces of past volcanic activity. On the territory of the reserve there are more than 30 outlets of mineral waters.


The soils of the reserve are subdivided into mountain meadow, mountain-forest brown, mountain-forest podzolic, mountain-valley alluvial meadow, meadow acidic and mountain-valley alluvial meadow-marshy soils. The former are rather peculiar and have no analogues on the plains, all the rest have such analogs and differ from plain soils with less power and less pronounced soil processes.
A characteristic feature of all soils of the reserve is their high skeletonity. Since mountain soils are particularly vulnerable, erosion processes are highly developed in the forest zone, especially in the areas of snow avalanches and human activities.

Flora and vegetation:

In the territory of the Teberdinsky Reserve forests predominate, covering 36% of its area, meadows occupy 28%, rocks, placers and screes – 26%, glaciers – 10%. On its territory are 5 belts, well expressed in the mountains, though not completely and unequally manifested in all its parts: forest, subalpine, alpine, subnival and nival belt. Steppe and forest-steppe belts are absent, but in the Teberda basin it is possible to find isolated isolated areas of oatmeal-feather grass steppes (Stipa pulcherrima, S. capillata, Festuca valesiaca).

The main types of vegetation of the forest belt are coniferous and deciduous forests. The composition of the forest plantations of the reserve is distinguished by a large variegation of tree species, only a few of them are predominant. The main foresters in the reserve are such species as Pinus sylvestris (pine forests occupy 34% of the forest area of ​​the reserve), Betula litwinowii (27.1%), Abies nordmanniana (12.6%), Picea orientalis (8.4%), Fagus orientalis (3.3%). Less common are forest tracts, in which Populus tremula, Alnus glutinosa, Sorbus aucuparia predominate.

Pine forests (Pinus sylvestris) are widely distributed in the Teberda Reserve, in the underbrush is common Juniperus communis, lower down the slope – Rhododendron luteum. In the southern part of the reserve, dark coniferous forests are widespread. The basis of them are Abies nordmanniana and to a lesser extent, Picе orientalis. In dark coniferous forests there is an admixture of a small number of deciduous forests: Betula pendula, Padus racemosa; The ground cover consists mainly of Calamagrostis arundinacea, Senecio renifolius, Polyganatum verticillatum, Valeriana alliariifolia. In the floodplains of the Teberda River, its tributaries and other wet places, significant areas of the area are occupied by alder forests formed by Alnus incana and A. glutinosa.

Beech (Fagus orientalis) in the reserve is not very common and occurs as an admixture to dark coniferous species, pure planting forms rarely. On the terraces and priterasnyh slopes there are deciduous forests from F. orientalis, with an admixture of Picea orientalis, Betula litwinowii, B. pendula, Acer platanoides and others.

Fauna and fauna:

The animal population of the Teberdinsky Reserve was formed as a result of the complex interaction of the processes of local speciation – the Kuban tour, the Caucasian grouse, the Apollo Nordman and faunistic influences from the coniferous broadleaf forests of Western Europe – the forest cat, the dormouse, the blackbird; the forest zone of Eurasia – lynx, brown bear, owl owl; the highlands of Central Asia – Alpine jackdaw, black neck, snow voles and the Mediterranean – chamois, white-throated thrush. In addition, glacial relics are characteristic – a stone filly. Many animal populations belonging to different faunal groups, due to more or less prolonged isolation from the main habitats, have formed new species or subspecies.


North Ossetian State Nature Reserve

Subject of the Russian Federation: North Ossetia Republic
Date of creation: September 7, 1967.
Total area (ha): 29530
Area of ​​the protection zone (ha): 41635
Number of plots: 1
Natural zone: highlands, high altitude zone


The territory of the reserve is located on the northern slope of the eastern part of the Central Caucasus, at altitudes of 650-800-4646 m (in Wilpat – the highest point of the reserve) on the slopes of parallel, sub-latitude oriented ridges, divided by the longitudinal valleys of Pasture, Skalisty, Side and, in part, in the basins of the rivers Ardon and Fiagdon. The first two ridges are composed of sedimentary rocks, limestones and dolomites. The lateral and main watershed ridges are composed of crystalline rocks. In general, the relief of the Lateral Range, on which the main territory of the reserve is located, is characterized by very steep and rocky slopes. Rocks, screes and glaciers occupy 71% of the entire area of ​​the reserve. The total area of ​​modern glaciation in the reserve is 37 square kilometers. km. It is most developed on the Tepli-Archon and Wilpata-Adayhokh massifs. Lateral and Main ranges, where more than 70 glaciers are located. The largest glacier (up to 8 km and an area of ​​9.7 square kilometers.) Of the reserve is Tseisky. Another large glacier – Skazsky – is in the upper reaches of the river. Skazdon, the right tributary of Zeidon. From the top of Zaramaghoh descends the Zaramagh glacier. On the Tepli-Archon massif, the glaciation is less developed. Carousing and hanging glaciers predominate here (Tsaziu, Khalanna, Urusta, etc.), feeding on avalanches and avalanches. They are concentrated in the upper reaches of the rivers Archondon, Buddon, Bugultadon. Glaciers occupy mainly slopes of northern, north-western and north-eastern exposures. Observations of the regime of glaciers showed that most of them are now retreating.


The climate of the reserve is moderately continental with a predominance of precipitation in the spring-summer period, however abundant snowfalls are most common in the second half of winter and early spring. The coldest month is February, and the warmest month is July, with average monthly temperatures in the Tsei Gorge of the Lateral Range at an altitude of 1750 m above sea level. m, respectively, -8.8 degrees. C and 12.7 degrees. C. The average annual precipitation in the same place is about 800 mm. In intermountain basins to the south and north of the Lateral Range less precipitation, and in the area of ​​Pasture Ridge – more, up to 1000 mm, but the height of the snow cover on the whole generally it increases as we approach the Dividing Range. In winter, hair dryers are frequent, causing a premature waking up of vegetation and the release of insects from hibernation. Ordinary valley and glacial winds are common.


Main waterway of the reserve – r. Ardon – originates in the Zaramagh basin from the confluence of the rivers Nardon, Mamisondon, Tzamiakomdon and Adaikomdon. From here Ardon rushes north along the narrow Kasar gorge to the Sadono-Unal intermountain hollow. It takes a number of tributaries (Uilsadon, Kasaykomdon, Tseydon, Baddon, Arhondon, Unaldon, Tsahtsadkomdon) and through Nyhasskuyu gorge in rocky ridges leaves the mountains. The largest tributary, the river Phiagdon, Ardon takes already outside the reserve on the plain. There are more than a hundred rivers and large streams in the reserve, which form a rather dense hydrographic network.


The most developed in the reserve are mountain meadow subalpine and alpine soils. Mountain-forest podzolic soils are found mainly under pine forests. Beech and birch forests form brown mountain-forest soils. In the arid basins (Sadono-Unalskaya and Zaramagskaya), mountain-steppe soils are widely developed. In the conditions of river valleys, mountain-valley soils are formed. Under marshy meadows, mountain-valley meadow-bog soils develop.

Animal world.

In the area of ​​the Lateral Range, there are about 1500 tours. There are two isolated populations of chamois on the Rocky and Watershed ridges, there are no more than 130 of them. In the broadleaf forests of the reserve there are bison, roe deer and wild boar. The number of wild boar and roe deer does not exceed 60 individuals. The bison population was artificially restored in the 1960s when 48 bison were settled on the territory of the Zeysky reserve on the Woody ridge. By the mid-1980s, the reserve already numbered more than 200 bison.

The bear population in the reserve reaches 30-35 animals. In the intermontane Unal basin, a jackal lives. A forest cat is found, but not numerous. Badger is found everywhere. In broad-leaved forests, marten is widespread. In 1951, an American mink and a raccoon dog were artificially acclimatized and now are common. In 1952 the protein was artificially acclimatized. There is also a brown hare.

There are 175 species of birds in the reserve. A rare black stork is observed regularly. Numerous blackbird, singing thrush and zarya. A wren is widespread, which nests everywhere, up to rocky massifs near the Tseisky glacier. In the forest zone also nests five species of woodpeckers and titmice: a large, an azure, a moscow, a long-tailed one. In addition, broad-leaved forests are inhabited by a flock, buzzard, gray owl, eagle owl, jay, raven. From low-studied birds of high mountains, a large lentil is isolated.

More than 2000 species of invertebrates and insects live on the territory of the reserve. Among them, listed in the Red Data Book of the USSR are the steppe poplar, the colorful musk deer, the Caucasian and Hungarian beetles, the scented beauty butterfly, the butterfly – the machaon, the subalilar, the apollo, the mnemosine, the Nordman apollo, the raspberry band, the brave – the dead head and oleander, the bear Hera and Mistress. Of unusual for the reserve invertebrates are tarantulas, phalanx, mantis flecked.

There are five kinds of bats in the Shubi-Nykhas cave. Ostroukha nocturnal forms a colony of up to 1,300 specimens. In small numbers there are small and large horseshoe. Once there was a mustached moth. In 1982 in the cave for the first time for the Caucasus was observed a small bass


Kabardino-Balkarian State Highland Reserve

Subject of the Russian Federation: Kabardino-Balkarian Republic
Date of creation: January 8, 1976.
Total area (ha): 82642
Area of ​​the protection zone (ha): 26000
Number of plots: 1
Natural zone: highlands, high altitude zone, subtropical forests


The reserve is the highest part of the Caucasus and the whole of Russia. All five-thousandths of the North Caucasus except Elbrus and Kazbek are located here, the highest point of the reserve is Dykh-tau (5204 m), the lowest point is 1800 m above sea level. The main Caucasian ridge here forms the highest chain of the Caucasus, including the famous “Bezengi wall”, consisting of such peaks as Gestola (4859 m.), Katyn-tau (4858.8 m.), Dzhang-gi-tau ( 5058 m), the peak of Pushkin (5033 m.) And Shkhara (Kysh kara, 5068 m.). The side ridge is not inferior in height to the Main Ridge, here is the highest point of the Dykh-tau reserve (5204 m.) And Kostan-tau (5152 m). The lateral ridge is not monolithic and consists of three spurs separated by deep valleys of the Chegem, Cherek-Bezengi and Chereka-Balkarian rivers. The first array (western) is called the Kargashil Range. It is a watershed of the Cherek-Bezengiyskiy-Chegem rivers and consists of heights, such as the town of Salyngantau (4510m.), Tyuturgu (4242m.), Etc. The second array of the Lateral ridge (eastern) divides the basin of the river. Cherek in two parts: Bezengiyskaya and V.-Balkaria. The main peaks besides Dykh-tau and Koshtan-tau are Musostau (4421 m.), Mizhirgi (4928 m), Krumkol (4676 m), Tyutubashi (4558 m). The massif between the Cherek-Balkar and Urukh is called the Sukan Alps. A number of spurs with the peaks of Gyulchi (4477 m.), Sabalakh (3616 m.), Etc., depart from Sukan (4486.5 m).


In the climate, the reserve belongs to the high-mountainous zone of the Greater Caucasus. The temperature regime in the reserve is determined by the peculiarities of the circulation of the atmosphere and a large range of heights. In the highland zone, the cold period continues from the beginning of November to April at an altitude of 2000 m and from the beginning of September to July at an altitude of 4000 m. The absolute minimum of the air temperature at an altitude of 2000 m is -30 °. C and at altitudes of more than 4000 m-50 deg. C. The permanent snow cover is established in November. During the warm season in the mountains, air temperatures are relatively low, reaching a maximum in July-August. The warmest month of July, according to long-term observations, the average temperature is +12.6 degrees. C. With the change in altitude, there are differences in climatic conditions. With height, the growing season is reduced, the humidity of the air and the amount of precipitation increase.


The territory of the reserve is covered with a network of rivers, originating from numerous glaciers. The main water arteries are the rivers Chegem, Cherek-Bezengiysky, Cherek-Balkaria, Sukan-su and Khaz-nidon (Kyzny-suum.). In Bashil-Chegem and Verkhne-Balkarian areas of the reserve there are several outlets of mineral springs.


The soils are mountain meadow peaty on acidic and other crystalline rocks, mountain meadow typical for sands and clays, mountain meadow chernozem-like on limestones and other carbonate rocks and mountain-forest brown on clays, sands and carbonate rocks.

Flora and vegetation:

The vegetation of the reserve is very diverse, which is due to differences in altitude and complexity of the relief. Well expressed zonality. Nival belt (from 3600 m and above) is devoid of terrestrial vegetation. In the subnival (from 3000 to 3500 m), the community resembles a rocky tundra. There is no continuous vegetation cover. On rocks and rocks settle lichens, willow creeping, saxifrage mustache, dumpling two-lobed, gentian thin, violet two-flowered, etc. The alpine belt is located at altitudes from 2300 to 3000 m. There are alpine low grass meadows (height of grass stand 10-30 cm) with a scavenger alpine, windmill, bathing-place, dandelions, primroses, etc. For the subalpine belt (from 1400 to 2700 m), the development of subalpine tall grasses (the height of the grass stand about one meter) of meadows with the participation of tree and shrub vegetation, birch forest, wooded meadows, hazelnut groves, alder glue, Caucasian rhododendron and its satellites – blueberries, cranberries, veronica, etc. The belt of forests and forest meadows is located approximately at altitudes from 1000 to 2400 m. Broad-leaved (medium-sized) forests rise to about 1600, and Coniferous up to 2400 and even up to 3000 m (rock pine). Below there are pine bushes and grass-grasses, birch forests, oak forests, bouillards and other deciduous forests. The flora has many valuable plants, endemic and rare species and forms, including relatives of cultivated plants, such as Biberstein currant, mountain raspberry, dog-rose, hawthorn, meadow strawberry, mountain ash, etc.


State natural reserve “Erzi”

Subject of the Russian Federation: Ingush Republic
Date of creation: December 21, 2000.
Total area (ha): 5970
Number of plots: 1
Natural zone: high altitude zone, subtropical forests


Geomorphologically, the territory is located within the high and middle mountainous terrain of the Greater Caucasus. Mountain macroforms of the relief of this part of the territory are largely dissected by rivers, gorges, beams and ravines. Along the southern border stretches a chain of ridges – Seinty, Yukurulolduk, Ardzhel, Veligan, Kyureolam – the absolute elevations of the surface here reach 3075 – 4229 m. These ridges are part of the Lateral Ridge. The slopes here are steep, often steep, rocky. Widespread are glacial forms: carpets, circuses, hanging side valleys. The firn line passes at a height of more than 3500 m. From the north to the listed chain of ridges adjoins a predominantly latitudinal direction – the ridge of the Skalisty and its numerous spurs Oreyyam, Tsoreylyam, etc. Absolute heights here reach 3,172 m – Goikoled; 3032 m – Hahali, 2457 – Kule. The relief of this part is more rocky, but here the surface slopes are, in general, much higher than 30%, and individual mountain massifs have clear features of the Alpine relief. In general, areas characterized by surface slopes of up to 30% have an insignificant distribution, and up to 10% are practically absent.


The climate is characterized by vertical zoning. The rocky ridge protects the territory from the penetration of moist air masses from the north. Therefore, in the valley of the river Armhi and the Targhima depression, there is little precipitation from 350 to 400 mm per year. Higher in the mountains the amount of precipitation increases to 700-800 mm and more. Summer in the valleys is cool, sunny, in the mountains – cold, rainy overcast. July temperature with a rise in the mountains drops to 6-4 degrees and below. The duration of the summer season with a temperature above 15 degrees – 50-60 days; at an altitude of 1600 m. it is practically absent.

Winter is stable and snowy. Its duration with height increases from 70 to 200 days. For this period, intense surface inversions are characteristic. At an altitude of 1-2 thousand meters, the weather is more pronounced. The temperature of January is 6-8 degrees. The snow cover is usually installed in October and its height varies depending on the height of the marks and the type of relief from 30 cm to 2-3 meters. The mountain-valley circulation is developed. These winds in the valleys of the rivers Assa, Armhi, create excellent ventilation, not allowing to stagnate air. In the mountains, the summer comfortable period, the most favorable for rest, is reduced with a height of 90 days (at an altitude of 1000 m) and up to 30 days (1600 m). The winter season in the mountains, where clear, fairly stable weather prevails, is favorable for recreation.


The hydrographic network is represented mainly by the rivers of the Terek River basin. The largest rivers are Assa and Armhi. The Assa River flows into the river. Sunzha, its total length is 133 km, including 19 km within the territory under consideration. the catchment area is 2,060 km, including 280 square kilometers within the territory under consideration.
The Armhi River flows only within the territory of the guard zone and flows into the Terek River, its total length is 36 km. the catchment area is 292 square kilometers.
The main food is received in a warm period due to the melting of glaciers and snow. In accordance with this, the regime of rivers is characterized by significant upswings of levels beginning in late April-early May, high water in the warm season and a fairly stable fall-winter low.
The river valleys differ in the variability of form along the river valley. At the intersection of the transverse ridges, the valleys are narrow and deep gorges and cracks with rapid currents abounding in rapids and waterfalls, and when they enter the longitudinal basins and intermountain depressions, they acquire a V-shape with small sections of stony plains alternating along the banks. The width of the valleys is from 0.2 to 0.6 to km.

Rusla rivers are meandering in width (p.p. Acca and Armhi) 10-15 m., Flow velocities from 1.5 2.0 to 3.0-5.0 m / s, depth 0.5-1.5 m.
The course of water temperatures in the warm part of the year is characterized by a gradual increase from the time of clearing the rivers from ice to July with a subsequent decline. The highest water temperature in the warmest month of July is 9.5 – 10.5 degrees, the maximum of urgent observations is 12-15 degrees.
The appearance of the first ice formations on rivers occurs on average in late November – early December.
Ledostav is not annually, only in very severe winters in small areas of flows, often only in the form of ice bridges.
The average date of the beginning of the freeze-up is at the end of December beginning of January.
Opening is accompanied by an ice drift lasting 2-5 days. The complete purification of rivers from ice ends in the second decade of March.
On the territory of the reserve there are numerous springs in decaying, gullies, ravines, river valleys and on the slopes at the foot of the mountains. Many of them are seasonal in nature – they dry out in the summer, they freeze in winter.


The formation of the soil cover is due to the location within the Alpine and subalpine mountain belts. Soils formed in the alpine belt are characterized by a low-power soil profile, skeletonized, often swamped. The soils formed in the subalpine belt are characterized by the presence of a peaty horizon, an acid reaction, a high humus content in the upper horizon, and a sharp decrease in it down the profile. Among the latter, there are 6 main types of soils. Mountain gray forest low-power skeletonized heavy loamy soils are represented by a relatively large contour in the central part of the reserve and a small contour in the west. Mountain-meadow subalpine clay soils – formed under sub-alpine grasses relatively large contour in the central part of the reserve have a fairly thick humus horizon (up to 30-40 cm), the profile is noticeably skeletonized, and the soil is slightly acidic. Mountain-meadow subalpine dark-colored clayey and heavily-argillaceous soils are quite widespread in the territory of the “Erzi” gas processing plant, they have high natural fertility.

The territory with the last two types of soil is used as pasture. Irrational use and overgrazing can quickly lead to degradation of soil fertility. Mountain chernozems are typical medium-thick low-humus medium loamy soils – they have an insignificant distribution in the Targum depression on the terraces on either side of the Assa river. Minor-chestnut low-moisture low-humus noncarbonate light loamy soils are represented by a small contour along the slopes of the southern exposure.
Mountain meadow steppe subalpine medium loamy soils are isolated within arid hollows. Occur on the southern slope of the Rocky Range.

Flora and vegetation:

Mountain landscapes of this territory can be combined into two subclasses: the medium-sized (height from 1000 to 2000-3000 m) and high-altitude (over 3000 m) complexes.
In the highlands of the reserve, there are distinctly expressed 2 zones: the zone of limestone ridges of Pastbishny (2000 m). Rocky (up to 3000 m) and slate-sandstone zone of the Lateral Range with its spurs. The structure of landscapes is characterized by the presence of steep southern slopes, gentle northern slopes of ridges, trading valleys. There is a difference factor in the altitudinal zonality of the exposure of the ridges.

The forest type of landscapes (up to 1800-2600 m) of dismembered slopes, valleys, gorges, is represented by various coniferous-broadleaved forests.
– within the northern macroslope of the Lateral, less often southern macrocrack of the Rocky Range, at an altitude of up to 800 m, mainly on the southern and south-eastern slopes, small areas of the oak forest;
– beech stands occupy the northern slopes of ridges from 500 to 1500 m. Sometimes here there is a maple-leaf maple;
– in the floodplains of the rivers Assa, Armhi from 1500 to 1200 m. there is tree-shrub vegetation represented by sea-buckthorn, willow, gray alder;
– above 1500 m on steep slopes, where the climate is dry (the southern slope of Skalisty, the northern slope of the Lateral Range), the stand forms a pine hooked with an admixture of oak, birch, hornbeam, linden, mountain ash.
On the upper limit, pine forests border on birch forest, and sometimes with subalpine and alpine meadows.
Birch woods are wedged by separate curtains alternating with pine or on beams of subalpine meadows. In the underbrush occurs the Caucasian rhododendron.
Rhododendrovo-birch crooked forests brightly on the northern macroslope of the Lateral ridge in the Guloy-hi basin, the upper reaches of the Shok-dong on the concave slopes of the northern exposition, forming a belt from 1200 to 2500 m.

The landscapes of broad-leaved, coniferous-broad-leaved forests on weakly and moderately dissected relief elements, mainly located in the upper Arkhi flow, can be attributed to complexes favorable for the purposes of the reaction, and on the strongly dissected relief in the southern and northeastern regions it is limitedly favorable.
Forests occupy about 30% of the territory, grow mainly on mountain slopes. Pine and birch stands prevail, in the undergrowth – mainly hazel.
High altitude mountain-steppe type of landscapes is located at an altitude of up to 2000 m along the valleys of the Armhi (lower course), Assy within the Targhim depression (arid) and along the southern slope of the Rocky Range. They are represented by the herbaceous-wormwood-cereal xerophytic steppes on low-mountain meadow soils. Intensively used for grazing livestock.
High altitude mountain meadow type of landscapes (50%).
At an altitude of 1800 to 2500 m, subalpine meadows are located on the wetter sections of the northwestern slopes, along creeks and troughs, on mountain-meadow soils, which are based on cereals. Alpine meadows lie above 2500 m, are formed by low-growing densely derninni cereals on thin mountain-meadow soils. The high-altitude nival-glossy type of landscapes is located above 3500 meters (about 2% of the territory under consideration) (Lateral ridge) is represented by screes, masons, glaciers, practically devoid of vegetation. Medium-mountain landscapes are represented by mountain-cuest species of Montenegrin (Lesid), Pasture (Cretaceous) and the foot of the northern slope of the Rocky Range on Neogene, Paleogene, Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments. Forest, forest-meadow, meadow-steppe mountain complexes and complexes of fragmentary karst are formed here.
The type of landscape of the fragmentary karst is developed on the northern slope of the rocky ridge in the massif of the Black Mountains.

Fauna and fauna:

The animal world is very diverse. The greatest variety he reaches in the floodplains of the subalpine crooked forest. Mammals here are represented by a wolf, a fox, a bear, a marten, a wild boar, a mole, shrews, a hare, a forest duck, mice and voles. Here the Dagestan and chamois tour descends from the overlying places, and the bezoar goat in the upper reaches of Nel’ha. Birds in this strip in summer meet up to 47 species, in winter – up to 16. The most common are various species of tits; from plain land, ordinary lentils come up here; Within the Rocky and Lateral ranges there are Caucasian grouse. From the reptiles there are found a rock lizard, a snake, a Viper’s dipper, a Georgian lizard, an anemone.
In the mountain forests of the reserve there are a bear, various kinds of martens, caress, rarely a badger, a forest cat, various species of mouse (sony, mouse, voles) and insectivorous (shrews, belozubki); wild boar and roe deer are common here.

Birds in the forests occur in the summer about 40 species, in winter 16 species; the main ones are different kinds of tits, cich, and thrush. Here you can meet very rare species for the republic – a clyster, a yellow-headed king. Of the reptiles there are the same species as in the subalpine taiga, as well as the Georgian lizard.
Caress, fox, bear, tour, chamois, bezoar goat are encountered within the subalpine and alpine meadows, and occasionally comes the trot. Subalpine and alpine meadows are used extensively for summer pastures, often in violation of grazing cattle and small ruminants, as a result, chamois tours and bezoar goat are displaced in the subalpine zone of the cliffs and scree with poor forage. Of the birds there are 27 species in the summer, and 12 in summer. Mass species in the summer include a puppy, a mountain oatmeal, a mountain tap-dance, a horned lark, a mountain horse, a redstart – a black-bellied, red-bellied fin. Ulnars, Caucasian lentils nest in the subnival zone. Birds of prey are represented by a black neck, a bearded buzzard, a golden eagle and an ordinary kestrel, and very rarely a peregrine falcon.
In the arid hollows of mammals there are voles, mice, in the thickets of sea-buckthorn – foxes, martens, hares. Of birds, there are up to 25 species in summer, and in winter 10 different species. Massovymi are – krasnoshapochny finch, klushitsa, field horse, mountain oatmeal, field lark, mountain horse, stove dancer. More rarely a stone sparrow. Of reptiles – Loteev rocky lizard, possibly the habitation of a western boa constrictor. On rocks and screes – there are about 22 species of birds. Massive are the white and black wagtails, often found in the kulik – carrier. Along the thickets of bushes along the rivers and streams in the mountains rise plains – cane, ordinary cricket. In addition, from the mammals here are found the curator and the water vole. There are few amphibians in the reserve: the lake frog, the green toad, the tree frog, the Asian frog. On the territory under consideration, there are rare endangered vertebrate animals that need protection. There are 31 species, including trout, trout, one species of amphibians, two species of reptiles, 18 species of birds and 9 species of mammals.


Trout brook.
Amphibians: Cauldron vulgaris.
Reptiles: western slave, Vinnya’s viper.
Birds: bearded vulture, griffon, black vulture, golden eagle, peregrine falcon, black grouse Caucasian, ular Caucasian, early bird horned krasnobryuhaya redstart, blackbird colorful stone, bead yellow-, stenolaz lycidae, lentils large, crossbill-Elovikov, sparrow stone, sparrow rocky , a pink starling.
Mammals: a small horseshoe, a large horseshoe, a nighty eagle, a caucasian cat, a roe deer, a leopard, a bezoar goat, a chamois.

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