Природа Забайкальского края
Проект Олега Корсуна
Nature of the Transbaikalian Region
Project by Oleg Korsun
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The Sokhondinsky Reserve was established in 1973 as the first
ecological reserve in the Chita Region. The Reserve was established to allow
for the preservation and the scientific investigation of the natural territory
of Southern Transbaikalia, located in the vicinity of Sokhondo Mountain.
The Sokhondinsky Reserve is unique in that it is composed of a variety of ecosystems. The landscape surrounding the Reserve is primarily a steppe ecosystem. A series of forest ecosystems replace each other as one gains altitude in the mountainous terrain. Birch, pine, larch, fur, Siberian pine and spreading pine (Pinus pumila) forests form a variety of forested zones. Mountain tundra predominates at altitudes extending from 2000 м above sea level. The summit of Sokhondo Mountain is composed of a flat plain strewn with large boulder concentrations, called “kurums” in Transbaikalia.
The vegetation and fauna of the Reserve are extremely diverse. This species richness is associated with the mountainous relief of the territory and the fact that steppe, forest and high altitude montane species of plants and animals are located in close proximity to each other.
Many common Transbaikalian species of mammals are protected from hunting and trapping in the Sokhondinsky Reserve: fox, deer, hare, boar, squirrel, bear, sable, musk deer, hazel grouse, etc. In addition, a unique aspect of Sokhondinsky is the presence of a southern Siberian taiga ecosystem within the confines of the Reserve. The Reserve has recently received the status of “Biosphere Reserve”, emphasizing the importance of this landmass for the preservation and study of a unique and significant planetary biosphere.
Besides the presence of the Sokhondo taiga, the Reserve is the headwaters for many Transbaikalian rivers. The continental divide passes through the Reserve dividing rivers belonging to the Pacific and Northern ocean basins.
Sokhondinsky reserve in the facts and figures:
Established in 1973.
Surface area: 211 thousand hectares.
Localization: Kirinsky, Krasnochikoisky and Uletovsky Districts of the Chita Region.
The highest summits: Bolshoy Sokhondo – 2505 м and Maly Sokhondo – 2404 м above sea level.
Nikita Sokolov was the first researcher to ascend and explore Sokhondo Mountain in 1770. He was a participant in the Academic Expedition of P.-S. Pallas.