The Khakassky Reserve is situated in theterritory of Republic of Khakassia and includes 9 isolated areas in different districts. It is a protection, research and ecological-education establishment of federal importance and its purpose is the study of natural processes and phenomena, genetic diversity of flora and fauna, and conservation of some species of plants and animals.
The following tasks are assigned to The Khakassky Reserve:
· Realization of protection of natural complexes and objects (including wetland conservation)
· Realization of ecological monitoring;
· Organisation and realisation of scientific researches, including conducting the Annals of nature;
· Ecological education;
· Assistance in training of scientific staff / specialists in the field of nature protection.
The Khakassky Reserve is funded by a combination of grants, financing from federal and regional government, education and excursion activities and Friends of the Zapovednik donations.
Founded / Opened
The Reserve was established by the Resolution of Government of Russian Federation of 4.09.1999 1004 on the basis of the state natural reserves “Chazy” and “Small Abakan”. Then it included 8 isolated plots and its total area was 131.8 thousand h. In May, 2001 new plot “Lykov’s Zaimka” (the area 142441 ha) was added to the Khakassky Zapovednik. Now the total area of the Khakassky Reserve is 267.6 thousand h.
The Khakassky Reserve provides opportunities for student summer research and co-operation with researchers of the institutions of higher education and research institutions. We act as a base for the organisation and delivery of research and scientific work.
The Zapovednik Khakassky has its own three-floor building with a conference room, museum, library and auditorium for 20-30 people. In addition, we have a summer field camp for 30-40 people, two visitor houses and visitor centre for 10-15 people. For our visitors we offer tents, bunks, binoculars and etc. We have special cars and a 26-seat bus.
The reserve has a very rich biodiversity and vaired landscape, and can be split into natural groups – steppe and mountain, and taiga (coniferous forest). If you drive around 80-100 km from the capital of Khakassia Abakan you will reach the kingdom of steppes. In the territory as little as 10000 sq. km there are more than 200 lakes of different salinity degree. These lakes are wetlands and two of them are also Key Ornithological Areas. The first one is “The Shallow strait of Lake Bele”. Second is the lake Ulug-Kol. Both of lakes are water-marshy areas of international importance.
Khakassia is one of those areas where you can see practically all kinds of landscape within the limited territory. To the North there are spurs of Kuznetski Alatau with heights up to 1500m. Mountain tops eroded by the Khakassian winds are covered by larch and birch forests. In the South Khakassia is framed by Sayan Mountains. It’s the land of snowy mountain peaks, impassable taiga and cold clear rivers.
95 staff work at the Zapovednik Khakassky: 53 staff work at the ranger department, 6 work at the scientific department, 6 work at the environmental education department and other staff in the common department and the financial department. The head of our organization is the Director.
The departments are managed the Deputy Directors.
CEPA activities are implemented by staff of the environmental education department and the scientific department and they are managed by the Director and the Deputy Director of the environmental education department.
THE BASIC OBJECTS OF PROTECTION
Key species and features:
• Steppe, meadows and wood-bush vegetative communities; animal population of the steppe and forest-steppe vegetative zones of Minusinsk hollow; internal reservoirs (lakes);
• Water-marshy areas;
• Places with rare and endemic species of plants Mountain-taiga group
• Cedar forests, with their complexes of flora and fauna;
• Valuable hunting kinds of animals;
• Rare kinds of animals of Altai-Sayan mountain country, registered in the Red Book of Russian federation and Khakassia, inhabiting in the territory of reserve;
• Rare kinds of plants.
The fauna of reserve includes 295 kinds of birds, 35 species of them are in the Red Book of Russian Federation; 65 kinds of mammal; 5 kinds of reptiles; 4 kinds of amphibians.
In the reserve there are more than 1000 kinds of high vascular plants, 16 kinds of them which are in the Red Book of Russian Federation (in flora of Khakassia – 23 kinds), rare and disappearing – 63 kinds (in flora of Khakassia-137 kinds).
The lake Ulug-Kol is very interesting for research. This lake is 1 of 9 the Zapovednik’s plots. It is located in the Uibat steppe which is the oldest heart of Khakassia. There are a lot of old historical monuments on the territory of the plot and bordering areas. Most monuments are more than 4000 years old.
The lake is located in the lowland lakeside basin and its depth doesn’t exceed1 m. The lake water is bitter-salty and during certain arid years the lake may dry up completely. The northern and the western shores where three little streamlets disgorge into the lake cover swamps and saline fields. The rest of the shore line is mud littoral shelf. Intense showers during dry summers cause temporary springs of water. Active salt solution causes carst development. Because of hard habitat factors on this plot only 138 species of plants are here.
However none of the factors mentioned above reflects the unique nature of the area. The lake Ulug-Kol falls to the Key Ornithological Areas and it is the water-marshy areas. This is a place of rest for more than 120 species of birds during spring and autumn migrations.
Migratory birds have been landing on Ulug-Kol and staying in the area for more than thousand of years already. So that they could have some rest and get stronger for the approaching voyage. Some of them stay here for the summer and bring up their young .
The lake is the biggest Avocet habitat in the Middle Siberia. The numbers of avocets has been registered as many as 80-100 couples which is 50% of Avocet population in Middle Siberia. The roody shelduck (50-80 couples), the shelduck (20-30 couples), the demoiselle crane (5-10 couples), the pochard, the pigeontail, the gadwall, the curlew and the whimbrel and other species bring up posterity on the lake.
The ecological educational activity of the reserve is particularly aimed at the public understanding of the role of guarded natural territories in conservation of landscape and biodiversity, and also their place in socio-economic development of region.
The basic areas of activity include:
Work with mass media.
Advertising–publishing activity. The reserve designs and prints information booklets, posters, and calendars with images of natural complexes and objects within the reserved.
Development of museum affair and visit centers. The reserve works closely with the local cultural museum, where exhibitions, excursion lectures and thematic conversations are carried out.
Excursions and development of ecological cognitive tourism. The main aim of educational excursions is to access a broad range of the public.
Work with schoolchildren and interaction with educational authorities. This is aimed at engaging them in nature protection activity, broadening their ecological awareness, development of the knowledge, skills, and assistance of professional orientation of pupils.
We run children’s ecological camps and expeditions; young naturalists societies based on the Centre of Children’s Creativity and Union of Young Naturalists; thematic lessons with schoolchildren; competitions, quizzes, Olympiads, conferences; attraction of schoolchildren to participation in ecological holidays and actions.
Organization of ecological actions and holidays. Ecological holidays and activities are effective means of raising the attention of wide sections of the population, and members of the government and local management to the modern problems of the nature reserve. Holding holidays and actions “Day of the Earth”, “March of Parks”, “Day of Birds”, “Day of Reserve”, “Reserved Fir-Tree” have become traditional in Republic of Khakassia.
Formal (school and university) learning
There are school and university programmes in the form of workshops, seminars and camps. These are advertised through Regional and District Departments of Education, mass media, the Reserve’s office and mailing. Programmes are tailored to relevant curricula/syllabi.
We published a handbook and CD for teachers of biology, ecology and kindergarten tutors. This is “The collection of educational methodologies in conservation activities”. Four films were made about our Zapovednik. We have made and make different presentations about all direction of Zapovednik’s activities.
Informal (general public) learning
Depending on visitor age and visitor interests, and seasonality, the following are offered: three tours on the nature route, presentation the Zapovednic’s nature, wetlands, history of the Reserve Khakassky, museum exhibit, environmental activities, bird observation. The Reserve Khakasskyorganizes a lot of big actions – “Day of the Earth”, “March of Parks”, “Day of Birds”, “Let’s feed the birds in winter!”, “At struggle with steppe fires!”, in addition to activities mentioned above, include award ceremonies for winners of these actions and ecological competition etc.
Staff and volunteers deliver the above.
We do not have any Club of Friends of the Reserve Khakassky, but we have support by commercial and non-commercial organizations constantly.
There are three other environmental organisations near the Zapovednik. Together we deliver different professional meetings and training workshops.
In 2008 the Reserve Khakassky delivered:
· First Council Meeting for Promotion of the Altay-Sayan Reserve Areas;
· Four Round Table Meeting for the environmental organizations, region cabinet members and journalists;
· Two educational seminars for staff of public interest environmental groups
· Four Scientific and Technical Council meetings of the Reserve Khakassky where peers and professional colleagues was invited.