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Ubsunorskaya Kotlovina Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

This is a cluster biosphere reserve consisting of five distinct units, covering a total of 284,300 hectares next to the Mongolian border. It has similar ecological characteristics to the Uvs Nuur Basin Biosphere Reserve in Mongolia but without the large lake: wetlands, large sand massifs, scattered dry steppe, rocky mountains, high altitude forests, tundra and alpine meadows. 

Designation date: 1997


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 284,300 ha 

    • Core area(s): 55,800 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 228,500 ha
    • Transition zone(s): N/A

    Location: 49°53'-50°10'N; 95°10'-95°30'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Federal State Institution “Uvs-Nur hollow” state nature biosphere reserve”
    Kalinina 144-a
    Kyzyl, 667010
    Republic of Tuva
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +7 (39422)53770

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The cluster areas of the reserve as far as possible meet the conditions of representation of basic nature zones of Uvs-Nuur hollow, in order to make a close study and preserve the biological species, to maintain the natural state of conservations. The numerous historical and cultural sites are the additional peculiarity of the hollow.

    The most world northward sand deserts are in the Tsugeer-Els area. Here there are all types of sand dunes – beginning with barren and windblown to caragana bush and other desert plants fixed. The following animals are typical to this area – an tolai hare, a hairy-footed jerboa, reptiles -  a Przhevalskii desert lacerta, a Tuvan desert lacerta. In the buff zone of the area there is unique freshwater lake Tore-Khol - a bird kingdom. The unique character of the area of the Tore-Khol Lake is that the lake is the only freshwater and trans-border in the Uvs-Nuur hollow.  The lake itself and the surrounding banks are unique not only in Uvs-Nuur hollow, but also in the territory of Tuva.


    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    The Uvs-Nuur hollow, situated on the border area of arid lands of Mongolia and mountain part of the Southern Siberia, having great variety of landscapes and countless archeological sites which are valuable of the natural e and cultural heritage, a unique mixture of cultures of ancient people:  beginning with Old Stone Age and the New Stone Age up to ancient Turkic people and Uigurs, beginning from Chingiskhan empire to the Tzin Dinasty reign.

    The basic economy activity of the very districts is agriculture. There are 27 agricultural enterprises, 167 farms, 4, 6 thousand of the subsidiary farms, 21 consumer cooperatives. Because of the severe nature conditions the pasturing is dominant in agriculture; beginning from 65, 4 % in the more favorable soil-climate are, in Chaa-Khol to almost 100% in the severe high altitude Mongun-Taiga. The animal productivity is low, than in the republic on the average. The territories belong to the zone of the risky husbandry. The plant growing is not developed. Pastures take the dominating agriculture areas. The ploughed areas are mainly feeding crops. Potatoes and vegetables are mainly grown in private subsidiary farms. The agricultural products’ converting is not available.

    There are 4 ecology and information tourism itineraries within the different areas of conservations of the reserve. The itineraries are made in the order that allow a tourist to get as much information as possible about the flora and fauna, customs and traditions of the Tuvan people. The programs suppose the visiting the different types of the landscapes: desert, steppe, water-bog lands, wood-steppe, mountains, taiga, alpine meadows, snowdrifts and glaciers.





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    Last updated: May 2019