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Nerusso Desnianskoe Polesie Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

This is a cluster biosphere reserve covering a total of 126,700 hectares next to the border with Mongolia, 700 km south-east of Lake Baikal. Situated in the Mongolian-Manchurian Steppe biogeographic region, the area covers vast steppes and pine forests on elevations ranging from 598 to 769 meters above sea level. 

Designation date: 2001


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 128,394 ha 

    • Core area(s): 17,631 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 21,363 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 89,400 ha

    Location: 52.5° N; 34.0° E

    Administrative Authorities

    Bryansk Forest State Nature Reserve
    242180 Bryanskaya Oblast
    Suzemsky raion, Nerussa Station
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +7 (48353) 9 57 74

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The biosphere reserve is located in the western part of Russia (on the border with Ukraine), in the basin of the Dnieper River, within the Polesie province mixed forest zone.  The territory of the biosphere reserve represents part of the low-lying, sparsely populated forested landscapes found on the left bank of the Desna River (a tributary of the Dnieper River) in the Bryansk Region. Forests make up the majority of the vegetation cover, and meadows, bogs, and wetlands are widespread.

    Big carnivores such as brown bear, lynx and wolf have viable populations here and ungulates such as elk, red deer, wild boar and roe deer are numerous. 


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The territory of the biosphere reserve is sparsely populated.  Overall in the Nerussa-Desna Woodland natural area on a territory of about 250,000 ha reside no more than 36,000 people. The average density of the population here is 12-14 people per square kilometer, which is several times less than the average for the Bryansk Region.  In terms of nationality, most of the population is Russian. The second major nationality is Ukrainian, who do not make up a separate ethnic community but are part of the Russian-speaking population.  In the Altukhovo settlement gypsies concentrate, forming a small ethnic community. Representatatives of other ethnic groups are few and don't form separate communities.  The main economic activity of the local population is forestry and agriculture.


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    Last updated: May 2019