Ecological characteristics: The Reserve is situated in the northern part of the Usman pine forest. It is one of the largest woodland island in forest-steppe zone at the European part of Russia. Forest vegetation on the left-bank sand terraces of Voronezh River has been formed in ancient Holocene. At the same time the human occupation of the territory began. Steppe that surrounded the Usman pine forest has been transformed to agricultural lands. The woodland island is of great importance for permanent residents now as it was in the past. Functional zones of the Reserve allowed to protect and study forest ecosystems and also to satisfy the requirements of people in recreation, wood, berries and mushrooms. The biodiversity consists of more than 1000 species of vascular plants, 133 lichen species, 134 mosses species, about 300 species of fungi, 6000 insect species, 39 fish species, 9 amphibians, 7 reptiles, 200 bird species and 57 mammal species. 30 species of plants and animals are included into the Red Data Book of Russia. The combination of boreal and zonal steppe plants and animals is the principal peculiarity of this woodland island in agricultural landscapes.

Declaration date: 1984

Surface area: Total 45085 ha

Core area: 16811 ha

Buffer zone: 14242 ha

Transition areas: 14032 ha

Administrative division: Lipetskaya and Voronezhskaya oblasts

Human activities: The Federal Railway that crosses the territory of the Reserve; lack of central system of rubbish collection and utilization in nearest settlements; cultivation of food and decorative alien plant species; poaching, cemetery functioning in the buffer zone

Protection classifications: State nature reserve (Zapovednik)

Contact information: Voronezhskiy Biosphere Reserve, Settlement Grafskaya, Voronezhskaya oblast, 394080 Russia. Tel./fax.: +7 4732 59-45-60, E-mail: