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The oldest Russian nature reserve

Source:  Buryatia. The sunny side of Baikal. - Ulan-Ude, 2010. - H. 30-32.

Barguzin bay, Barguzin valley, the Barguzin river. The name is associated with ethnicon «Bargut» [wilderness, outskirts), the name of one off Mongolian tribes, which used to inhabit the Barguzin valley.

Barguzin biosphere nature reserve was established in  1916 between the north-east shore of Baikal and western  i side of Barguzin mountain range. Three  1 kilometer-wide water-zone of Baikal is also under protection. This wonderful land was named Podlemorie («Near-sea»). Nature reserve was founded in 1916 with the purpose of protection of the sables and studies of sable hunting, it is included in the list of the World Cultural and Nature Heritage by UNESCO.

The nature reserve was established between Baikal and the crest of Baikal mountain range right in the middle of wonderful mountainous valley. It was called Podlemorie. Podlemorie is the realm of severe Barguzin mountains and cozy Baikal bays, river valleys and watershed cirques, Alpine lakes and unknown animal tracks. It is the cradle of Barguzin sable.

Bagruzin nature reserve is one of the most attractive regions for tourism and recreation. It has lots of wonderful sandy and pebble beaches, the water here is much warmer than in the rest of Baikal basin. Especially famous are powerful mineral water hot springs in the valleys of Ezovka and Davsha Rivers. Water temperature can be up to plus 70 C°. There

I are relic and southern kinds of plants and animals, which you can find near the mineral water hot springs, for instance, a violet or Pallas coluber.

280 km long Barguzin mountain range provides the tourists with the most interesting types of active tourism. The peaks of the range can be up to 2600 m high, the highest of them being 2840 m. Ancient glaciers left numerous traces of their activity here: hanging river valleys, cirques, kars. Upland alpine meadows present a sight for the sore eyes, blooming from early spring to late autumn. Dwarf Siberian pine occupies vast areas. The valleys of the rivers are rich in red and black currants, honeysuckle, raspberries. Cedar is of great value as a tree, giving food and shelter to numerous taiga inhabitants. Besides, the nature reserve is populated by chipmunks, musk-deer, mooses, bears, foxes and many other animals. Sometimes roedeer visit these areas.

The routs of tourist eco-tours cross the nature reserve, Big Baikal Track is established here with the purpose of protecting virgin ecosystems and keeping them for the future generations.



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