Ecological characteristics: The Reserve is interesting for the landscape and biological diversity which can hardly be found anywhere else in such relatively small territory. The main types of ecosystems are following: unique system of 35 lakes and numerous rivers; bog and flood meadows along local streams with rare species of orchids; large complex of long sandy ridges left by glaciers in the past; mossy wetlands, formed 9000-11000 years ago; old-growth coniferous, spruce and broad-leaved virgin forests with particular composition of flora and fauna. The flora consists of more than 900 species of vascular plants (89 of them are rare for Smolenskaya oblast and for Russia). Among animals it is possible to meet here typical steppe and forest-steppe or taiga species. The bird population is more than 225 species, including 67 rare ones. The water bodies are inhabited by 35 species of fishes and their abundance indicates that this region has a clean water environment. There are archeological sites of Stone, Bronze and Iron ages, remains of the ancient town Verzhavsk near Lake Rzhavets.

Declaration date: 2002

Surface area: Total 156237 ha

Core area: 26261 ha

Buffer zone: 85537 ha

Transition areas: 44438 ha

Administrative division: Smolenskaya oblast

Human activities: Forest cutting, melioration, construction and laying of new communication lines, use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, conversion to arable lands could have destructive impact on the Reserve’s territory. There are incidents of fires and poaching of moose or wild boar, violation of laws in fishing.

Protection classifications: National Park

Contact information: Smolensk Lakeland Biosphere Reserve, 19, Gurevicha St., Przhevalskoe town, Demidovsky District, Smolenskaya Oblast, 216270 Russia. Tel.: + 7 481 47 46636, fax: + 7 481 47 46636, E-mail: