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Sayano-Shushensky Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

The Sayano-Shushenskiy Biosphere Reserve is located in the Krasnoyarsk Territory of Siberia on the ‘left bank’ of a large man-made reservoir, where the Yenisey valley cuts through the Western Sayan Mountain range.

The state natural biosphere reserve "Sayano-Shushensky" is nature protective, scientific and educational establishment of federal value which purpose is preservation and studying of the natural course of natural processes and the phenomena, genetic fund of plant and animal life, separate types of communities of plants and animals, typical and unique ecological systems of Western Sayan Mountains - the center of the biogeographical province of the Altai-Sayans highland relating to a biome of the mixed mountain forests and mountain systems of Palaearctic area.

Designation date: 1984


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 690,968 ha

    • Core area(s): 390,368 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 106,200 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 198,000 ha

    Location: N52°36'21"; E92°11'53"

    Administrative Authorities

    Gennady Victorovich Kiselev
    7 Zapovednaya St.
    Krasnoyarsk area 662710
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +8 (39139) 32300

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    Ecological Characteristics

    Covering a vast area with an elevation change from 400 to 2,735 meters above sea level, the biosphere reserve comprises a rich diversity of habitats. It includes extensive coniferous and mixed forests, sub-alpine and alpine meadows, mountain tundra, mountain steppe, taiga, streams and marshlands. There is a marked difference in climate and soils between north and south-facing slopes of the Sayan Mountains. The first, influenced by Atlantic air masses, is wetter than the latter which is more continental due to Arctic influence.




    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    About 20 people live within the core area and buffer zone (1997, no figures on the transition area). To the south of the biosphere reserve, the territory of the Tuvinian people is located who traditionally live from livestock raising. All kinds of traditional use of natural resources take place in the buffer zone and transition area of the biosphere reserve, including forestry, agriculture, fishing, hunting, plant gathering and eco-tourism. The Sayanskaya Hydroelectric station and the aluminium plant cause some impact on the transition area of the biosphere reserve. A visitor center, a natural museum and interpretation trails provide information on the region and its environment for tourists and school classes.




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    Last updated: April 2019