NAME OF BIOSPHERE RESERVE - Ubsunorskaya Kotlovina

Ecological characteristics: The Reserve is almost the only place in the World where all natural zones of the Northern hemisphere meet at the relatively small area. The central part of the Reserve (1000 m above sea level) is occupied by sandy and loamy deserts, which closer to slopes are turned into desert-like and dry steppes, after transmitting to forest-steppe and at the 1500-2300 m altitude turned up to the forests. On the higher altitudinal zone the mountain tundra is dominant, and in the snow accumulating and underground water discharging areas the meadows are dominant. There are snow drifts and glaciers at the tops of mountains. The Reserve’s territory is characterized by the unique composition of fauna including 83 species of mammals. The following species are recorded in the IUCN Red List - red wolf, snow leopard, argali (wild sheep), Mongolian gazelle. There are 351 species of birds, 12 of them are recorded in the IUCN Red List (Cygnopsis cygnoides, Oxyura leucocephala, Aquila heliaca, Haliaeetus albicilla, Aegypius monachus, Falco naumanni, Grus monacha, Otis tarda dybowskii). There are 1075 species of vascular plants, including 40 species known to be rare (Oxytropis tschujae, Rheum altaicum, Stipa pennata, Allium pumilum, Orchis militaris).

Declaration date: 1997

Surface area: Total 284300 ha

Core area: 55800 ha

Buffer zone: 228500 ha

Transition areas: Undefined area around each unit of cluster

Administrative division: Republic of Tuva

Human activities: Illegal hunting and fishing; collecting nuts, berries, medical herbs, fallen horns of deer; forest and steppe fires; littering lake banks and water bodies by tourists; impact of separating parts of different rockets launched at Baikonur cosmodrome.

Protection classifications: State nature reserve (Zapovednik)

Contact information: Ubsunorskaya Kotlovina Biosphere Reserve, 144 A, Kalinina St., Kyzyl City, Republic of Tuva, 667010 Russia. Tel.: + 7 394 22 53770, fax: + 7 394 22 53818, E-mail:, web-site: