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Visimskiy Biosphere Reserve, Russian Federation

The Visimskiy Biosphere Reserve is located in the forests of the central Ural Mountains north-west of Yekaterinburg. Situated in the natural border between Europe and Asia, the site plays a significant role in maintaining the ecological balance of the region. 

Designation date: 2001


Regional network:  EuroMAB

Ecosystem-based network: 




    Surface : 33,508 ha 

    • Core area(s): 25,958 ha
    • Buffer zone(s): 7,550 ha
    • Transition zone(s): 46,333 ha

    Location: 57°25'N; 59°40'E

    Administrative Authorities

    Visimskiy State Natural Biosphere Reserve
    Stepana Razina St., 23
    624140, Kirovgrad
    Sverdlovsk Region
    Russian Federation

    Tel.: +7 (34357) 3-16-03

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    Ecological Characteristics

    The territory of the Visimskiy State Reserve is located on the dividing ridge of the Ural Mountains and extends from north to south for 25 km and from east to west – for 38 km. A geographical border of Europe and Asia passes through the reserve. The main part of the reserve is located in Europe on the western slope of the Middle Urals in the upper tributaries of the river Chusovaya (Sulem, Daria and Shishim rivers) that belongs to the Volga-Kama basin. The smallest is the Eastern part of the reserve. It belongs to the dividing ridge area where the river Vogulka - a left tributary of the Tagil belonging to the Ob basin - starts. The virgin southern-taiga mountainous spruce-fir forests (with Picea obovata and Abies sibirica) represent the most characteristic ecosystem in the region. Visimskiy also includes human-derived meadows ('yelan') and secondary forests.

    The climate is temperate continental in the western part and more severe - cooler and wetter (humid) - in the east, which is due to the high altitudes of the Ural Mountains. The main features of the local climate are persistent winter and even summer temperature inversions – temperature disruptions.

    Socio-Economic Characteristics

    Communities and towns around the biosphere reserve borders are mainly engaged in agriculture, forestry and mining. The region is of special significance for ancient religious groups (Starovers – branch of Russian orthodox Christianity) for whom nature plays an important role. Sites especially devoted to performing religious rites are located in the area.


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    Last updated: July 2019