Ecological characteristics: The Reserve is located in the Valdai Highlands, the main watershed of the Russian plain (including the source of the River Volga). The relief is hilly and includes hill-moraine glacier relief with different forms of glacial morphology. The area has various ecosystems typical for the southern taiga. They are following: pine forests characterized by Pinus sylvestris, Diphasiastrum complanatum, Pteridium aquilinum etc.; spruce forests with Picea abies, Populus tremula, Betula pubescens, B. pendula etc.; small-leaved forests characterized by B. pubescens, B. pendula, Alnus incana, Equisetum pratense etc.; broad-leaved forests with Quercus robur, Acer platanoides, Fraxinus excelsior etc. The flora encompasses more than 750 species of vascular plants and 126 moss species including rare and endangered species (17 of them are included into the Red Data Book of Russia). There are about 50 mammals and more than 180 bird species. Due to human activities in the past the native forests, typical and unique bogs and lake-river ecosystems, are mixed with former agricultural landscapes, and in particular with areas of regenerating clear-cut forest. The area holds 230 monuments of historical and cultural value, including the Iversky monastery from the 17th century located on the Valdai Lake Island. Recently 500 archeological monuments (burial hills, mounds, settlements, sites from the Stone and Iron Ages) have been identified.

Declaration date: 2004

Surface area: Total 158932 ha

Core area: 23418 ha

Buffer zone: 70514 ha

Transition areas: 65000 ha

Administrative division: Novgorodskaya oblast

Human activities: Forestry development in nearby areas, illegal fishing and hunting and possible impact of ecotourism which is a key priority of the local community development strategy.

Protection classifications: National park

Contact information: Valdaiskiy Biosphere Reserve, 2, Pobedy St., Valdai town, Novgorodskaya oblast, 175400 Russia. Tel./fax: + 7 384 53 21809, E-mail: