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Barguzinskyi Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

This biosphere reserve covers 100 km of the north-east shore of Lake Baikal and extends 45-80 km inland to the western slope of the Barguzinskiy Mountain range. Barguzinskyi Biosphere Reserve overlaps with the Lake Baikal World Heritage site. Situated in south-east Siberia, the 3.15 million hectares Lake Baikal is the oldest (25 million years) and deepest (1,637 meters) of the world's lakes.

Designation date: 1986


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 358,600 ha 

    • Core area(s): 263,176 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 95,176 ha
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 54°00'N; 109°50'E

    Administrative Authorities

    State Nature Biosphere Reserve “Barguzinsky”
    61 Kozlova Str.
    v. Nizhneangarsk,
    Republic of
    Buryatia, 671710
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +7 30-130-47-992

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    Ecological Characteristics

    Its age and isolation have produced one of the world's richest and most unusual freshwater fauna that is of exceptional value to evolutionary science. With its outstanding variety of endemic animals and plants Lake Baikal is one of the most biologically diverse lakes on earth. 

    Main habitats of the biosphere reserve include for instance lacustrine terraces with larch (Larix dahurica), coniferous forests with pine (Pinus sibirica), spruce (Picea obovata), fir (Abies sibirica), thickets of dwarf pine (Pinus pumila), Kobresia dominated tundra and lichen covered rocks and cliffs. Hot springs remind of warmer climate in the past with relict species such as violets (Viola spp.).

    The fauna is characteristic of the taiga with 39 species of mammal recorded, including pika (Ochotona hyperborea), Siberian chipmunk (Eutamias sibiricus), marmot (Marmota baibacina), flying squirrel (Pteromys volans), fox (Vulpes vulpes) and brown bear (Ursus arctos).

    Socio-Economic Characteristics


    A small community is situated in the core area of the Biosphere Reserve. This is where the main buildings of the estate and the administration of the Reserve (120 people) used to be until 1998. Nowadays the community has up to 15 permanent inhabitants (staff of the Reserve and the meteorological station) and up to 30-40 in the summer months. There is one cordon in the buffer zone periodically visited by 1-3 staff members. The transition zone is formed by the territory of Severo-Baikalskiy district including the town Severobaikalsk, urban community Nizhneangarsk, rural communities and villages. The main occupations of the local population are hunting, fishing, cattle raising, private farming enterprises, railroad (BAM - Baikal-Amur Mainline) services and maintenance, mining and employment in the touristic branch.

    Tourists mainly visit the buffer zone for amateur fishing in the estuary of the river flowing into
    Lake Baikal. A smaller number of tourists visit the
    Museum of
    (village Davsha) and two ecological paths on the territory of the buffer zone where ecological tours are conducted. Out of the latter number approximately 10-30 (per year) are schoolchildren, 5-15 are students undergoing practical training. There have been cases of ornithological tours and photographic tours. Several groups of overseas researchers from Japan, China and Germany have visited the coast of
    Lake Baikal to study its flora and fauna. 




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    Last updated: May 2019