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Russian Nature

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Russian Zapovedniks and National Parks

<<< Zapovednik "Koryaksky" | Index and Map | Zapovednik "Kurilsky" >>>

Zapovednik "Kronotsky"

Address: 684010 Kamchatskaya obl., Elizovo, Riabikova st., 48.

Zapovednik Kronotsky, in the southern part of Kamchatskaya Region, was founded in 1934, but it did not function in 1951-1959 and 1961-1967. Its area is 1142 thousand ha; of which 135,0 thousand ha is accounted by the water area.

It is located on the eastern shore of the Kamchatka Peninsula and is bordered by natural boundaries — the rivers Chazhma and Semiyachik, the Pacific Ocean shore, and the Valaginsky Ridge.

Lake Kronotskoe is situated in the inter-mountain depression. A chain of 16 volcanoes goes along Kronotskoye Lake; the highest of them is the dome of Kronotskaya (3526 m above sea level). In the eastern part of the Zapovednik mountains are lower (up to 1400 m above the sea level); mountain-glacier landscapes are widely present here. The greatest of the glaciers (Tyushevsky) reaches 8 km in length.

The network of rivers and streams is dense — one each 100 ha of area. There are 650 rivers and streams, on average, are located. The Zapovednik has a unique natural feature — the "Valley of Geysers". Along 6 km of the valley of the river Geysernaya at the foot of Kikhpinych volcano 22 big geysers function.

With changes of height several landscape belts can be seen — sea shore, forests, bush thickets, and forestless highlands. Near the shore line sites of bushy and moss tundras are met. Forests are composed mostly of birch wood-meadows of Betula ermanii.

Among rare communities in the Zapovednik are plantations of Chosenia and Populus komarovii. There are isolated forest sites of Dahurian larch (on the northern coast of Kronotshoye Lake), and a grove of Abies sachalinensis (on the lower parts of the river Stary Semiyachik).

Flora accounts for 810 plant species, including 38 which are endemic. Groups of Fimbristulis ochotensis, true mosses, Agrostis scabra, Lycopus, and sometimes — of Ophioglossum thermale are especially notable.

The animal world is formed of representatives of taiga and tundra fauna with some steppe species (Citellus parryi, Marmota camtschatica). Widely spread subspecies are often present with larger than usual and more darkly colored (the Okhotsky subspecies of wild reindeer, Kamchatka subspecies of sable, Kamchatka brown bear, etc.). The Zapovednik is distinguished by its very high density of brown bear.

At the sea shore sea bird and sea animal communities are located. In the lakes and in near-sea tundras numerous waterfowl nest. Of rare and disappearing animals in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation there are met: sea beaver, Steller’s sea eagle, fish hawk, Arctic Falcon, and Aleutian tern.

The Zapovednik has biosphere status. It integrates the South-Kamchatka Federal Nature Zakaznik under its jurisdiction; the zakaznik was founded in 1983 on an area of 225,0 thousand ha.

It belongs to the World Natural Heritage Site "Volcanoes of Kamchatka".

<<< Zapovednik "Koryaksky" | Index and Map | Zapovednik "Kurilsky" >>>

 

 


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