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Kenozersky Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

Kenozersky Biosphere Reserve in the Arkhangelsk Region in the northwest of the country includes virgin taiga forest and mixed pine-spruce forest ecosystems. The site is a globally important migratory bird habitat, and contains unique swamp and forest ecosystems.

Designation date: 2004


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 139,663 ha 

    • Core area(s): 18,688 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 71,951 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 49,024 ha

    Location: 61°55'N; 38°10'E

    Administrative Authorities


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    Ecological Characteristics

    The Kenozersky Biosphere Reserve corresponds to the Kenozero National Park. It has both bird species typical to the middle-taiga as well as to deciduous forest and steppe zones and numerous birds inhabit the northern or southern limits of their natural distribution. Many birds of prey are recorded in the area such as buzzard, goshawk, hen harrier and marsh harrier. Cultural landscapes play an important role in the development of high biodiversity levels in this natural protected area. Natural-geographical features and centuries-old history have created conditions for the existence of a variety of plant and animal species. 534 plant species are recorded in the area, of which 53 are rare or endangered, including many orchid species. The fauna include many typical taiga species such as wolf, brown bear, glutton, elk, lynx, otter, marten and mink.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    There are 46 settlements with 2,400 people living in the transition area of the Biosphere Reserve, whose activities include tourism and traditional trades and crafts, which are being revived. In the buffer zone sustainable forestry techniques are practised.

    Kenozero has a unique historical-cultural heritage with monuments of wooden architecture under federal protection (Pochozero and Porzhensky grave yard of the 17th - 19th centuries). There are also 42 sacred groves, seids (sacred stones), and sacred trees on sites where pagan burials took place and that have been conserved from pre-Christian time. Traditional cultural landscapes have conserved the features of planning of the 17th - 19th centuries Northern Russian rural landscapes, lost in other industrial areas. 



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    Last updated: July 2019