Magadansky Nature Reserve, Russia


On the territory of the Magadan Region there is one of the largest specially protected areas of federal significance in Russia - the Magadansky (or Magadan) State Nature Reserve, consisting of the Kava-Chelomdzhinsky, Seimchansky, Olsky, Yamsky Island and Yamsky mainland sites with a total area of 883 thousand hectares. All sites are at a great distance from each other, difficult to access, there are no settlements or transport routes on their territory; they sharply differ from each other in relief, climatic conditions, flora and fauna. The central estate of the reserve is located in the regional center - the city of Magadan (100-650 km from the sites).

The reserve was formed to preserve in its natural state the totality of unique landscape, floristic and faunal complexes of northeast Asia, study the natural course of processes and phenomena in them, develop the scientific foundations for nature conservation in general, rare natural objects and the maximum number of animal and plant species, especially rare and disappearing.

On the territory of the Magadan Reserve there is a reproductive rookery of the sea lion, listed in the Red Book of Russia. Among the birds listed in the Red Book (endangered species list) of the Russian Federation are Steller's sea eagle, Kloktun teal, Lesser tundra swan, osprey, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, peregrine falcon, Far Eastern curlew, common owl and fish owl.
The symbol of the Magadan Reserve is the Steller's Sea Eagle, whose stylized image is the official logo of the Reserve.



The protected rivers - Kava and Chelomdzha - at the confluence form the Tauy River, which is the largest river system of the Tauyskaya Bay. Chelomdzha, originating in the upper reaches of the Okhotsk-Kolyma Range, has a length of 215 km and is entirely part of the reserve. The most significant of its tributaries flowing through the territory of the reserve are Mana, Elgendzha, Khetandzha, Kutana, with a length of 40 to 70 km. All the rivers of the site have a pronounced mountainous character - a rocky bottom, a small width and depth, a fast current, a lot of riffles.

The exception is the Kava River, which in its middle and lower reaches flows through a marshy lowland. In this part, the Kava flows slowly, the banks are low, the channel is winding, the bottom is sandy, in some places overgrown with grass.

On the Kava-Chelomdzhinsky site, coral-shaped blackberry grows - a mushroom listed in the Red Book of the Magadan Region.

In the Chelomdzha River, one of the largest ecologically undisturbed spawning grounds for chum salmon and coho salmon are located on the North Okhotsk coast. In the upper reaches of the Kava River, early chum salmon rise to spawn, in the Chelomdzha River - late. From October to May, the basis of the fish population of the site is grayling and anadromous char, with Dolly Varden predominating in Chelomdzha, and white trout in Kava.

Of the birds, the red-throated and black-throated loons, gray-cheeked and red-necked grebes, whooper swan, taiga bean goose, teal-whistle, pintail, wigeon, shoveler, mallard, sea and crested ducks, American blue-eye, goldeneye, medium and large mergansers, as well as smew. On the interfluve lakes there are large whooper swan moulting sites. In the middle reaches of the Kava, on the territory of the reserve, there is an isolated nesting center of the white-fronted goose. Only in the Chelomdzhi valley has a sedentary population of the common pika been found to date.

Of the birds, the red-throated and black-throated loons, gray-cheeked and red-necked grebes, whooper swan, taiga bean goose, teal-whistle, pintail, wigeon, shoveler, mallard, sea and crested ducks, American blue-eye, goldeneye, medium and large mergansers, as well as smew. On the interfluve lakes there are large whooper swan moulting sites. In the middle reaches of the Kava, on the territory of the reserve, there is an isolated nesting center of the white-fronted goose. Only in the Chelomdzhi valley has a sedentary population of the common pika been found to date.

The most typical representatives of wintering birds are the nuthatch, the powder puff, the long-tailed tit, the bullfinch, the waxwing, the tap dance, the scurry, woodpeckers (three-toed and small motley). White partridge, stone capercaillie and hazel grouse are common. There are yellow, raven, kuksha, gray shrike. On the rifts of Chelomdzhi, which do not freeze all winter, brown dipper and mountain snipe get food.

The Kava-Chelomdzhinsky site is home to a significant number of species from the Red Book of the Russian Federation: the Steller's sea eagle and osprey stably nest here. In the Chelomdzhi valley, at the northern limit of its range, the eagle owl nests.

In the valleys of large rivers, the highest density and species diversity of mammals is observed. Shrews (medium, large-toothed and even-toothed), forest voles (red and red-gray), housekeeper vole, chipmunk, mountain hare, squirrel, flying squirrel, brown bear, fox, sable, ermine, American mink (introduced), otter, moose. The wolf and wolverine are common, but not numerous. From the southwest along the coast of Okhotsk, the Far Eastern shrew and the East Asian wood mouse penetrate here. There are 3 species of bats in the Chelomdzhi basin (water bat, Brandt's bat and brown long-eared bat). The muskrat is common in the Kava valley, and in recent years it has also invaded Chelomdzha. Reindeer is found in the interfluve and mountain taiga landscapes.

With the start of the salmon run, the common seal (larga seal) enters the Tauy River. On pebble-sand spits at the confluence of the Kava and Chelomdzhi, spotted seals annually form a haulout numbering from a few to several dozen animals. Following the spawning salmon, the spotted seal sometimes rises up the Chelomdzhi River up to 150 km from the sea (to the Khuren tributary).


YAMSKY PLOT (mainland)

The Yamsky section of the reserve is located in the valley of the lower reaches of the Yama, the largest salmon river on the Okhotsk coast, 180 km east of Magadan and 20 km from the small village of Yamsk. The need to create a protected area here is due to the growth of Siberian spruce, which is widespread throughout Siberia, and in the Magadan region grows only in the valley of the Yama River. Within the reserve, spruce forests are distributed between the rivers Khurchan and Khalanchiga, the total area of forests with spruce is about 30 square meters. km. In Yamsky Spruce Island, spruce does not form pure plantations, but is part of mixed forest stands formed by other forest-forming species - larch, poplar, chosenia, tall willows, hairy alder and stone birch.

Among the plants growing on the site are species that are widespread in the low-mountain areas of the Okhotsk-Kolyma Territory. However, relics of more heat-loving floras have been found here: golokuchnik, double-leaved mullet, Shamisso honeysuckle. A number of such species are associated with the dark coniferous taiga by their origin and distribution - brown clematis, drooping pearl barley, ostrich. Many of them are rare and are listed in the Red Book of the Magadan Region. Another feature of the Yamskaya Valley is the “black alder” floodplains of hairy alder, which are rare in the Okhotsk-Kolyma Territory. On the edges and clearings of alder groves, tall ones dominate - as tall as a man and taller than grass: hemp-leaved cross, meadowsweet, spear-shaped and Langsdorf reed grass.

Along with the centers of growth of Siberian spruce, spawning grounds for Pacific salmon - chum salmon and coho salmon, which are considered the largest in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, are protected in the Yamsky section of the reserve. Spawning migration of chum salmon begins in the first half of July and ends in late August - early September. Its peak falls at the end of July - beginning of August, when an average of about 180 thousand individuals are allowed to spawn. Spawning grounds for pink salmon are located in the Yama up to the Alut tributary above the border of the reserve. In the floodplains of the Khalanchiga and Studenaya rivers - two high-water tributaries of the Yama, flowing within the reserve - there are coho salmon spawning grounds. In total, the fish fauna of the Yamsky site includes 17 species. In contrast to the Kava-Chelomdzhinsky site, there is no Amur nine-spined smelt here, and the grayling is represented by the East Siberian, and not the Kamchatka subspecies.

In the Yamsky area, 90 nesting species of birds were noted, among them wintering ones - ptarmigan, hawk owl, three-toed woodpecker, puff. Of the migratory species, the hobby, the shrike, the spotted cricket, the little flycatcher, the brambling, and the baby bunting are widespread. Near-water species make up one third of the faunistic list. For the most part, these are also widespread species, for example, black-throated and red-throated loons, whooper swan, whistling teal, black scaly, merganser, osprey, carrier, gray gull, river tern.

Among the species that live only in the Far East, the Yamsky area is inhabited by stone capercaillie, American singa, stone eagle, Steller's sea eagle, Far Eastern curlew, king warbler, rubythroat nightingale.

Among insectivores and rodents, there are even-toothed and middle shrews, squirrels, chipmunk, flying squirrel, red and red-gray voles, forest lemmings, house vole. Of the lagomorphs - hare and northern pika. From predatory - fox, otter, brown bear, sable and ermine. Wolverine and mink are also not rare in the Yama Valley. In summer, bats are common in forest and meadow floodplains: Brandt's bat and brown long-eared bat.


YAMSKY PLOT (Yamsky Islands and Pyagin Peninsula)

The Yamsky Islands are mountain remnants rising from the water 10-15 km from the coast of the Pyagin Peninsula in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk. The archipelago consists of two large islands - Matykil and Atykan, and three smaller ones - Baran, Hatemalnyu and Kokontse, which are huge rocks. The islands are separated from each other by 1.5-10 km. The water area near the islands is characterized by a complex bottom topography, large depth differences, a very complex current regime, and abnormally low water temperatures. Even during the calm, a chaotic wave crowd is common here. Winds accompanied by fogs and storms are very characteristic, especially in autumn. The average annual wind speed here is 5.6 m/s at extreme levels above 40 m/s.

Matykil Island is the most studied island of the archipelago. The coastline is of complex configuration, most of the coast is sheer cliffs up to several hundred meters high. The slopes of the island are very steep (the angle of incidence usually exceeds 60 degrees), their relief is complex and is a bizarre conglomeration of various forms of weathering in the form of picturesque stone pillars, walls and ridges, interspersed with scree and narrow gorges. On the northern side of the island there is a bay protected by a rocky cape from the north and northeast winds. At different times and different people called it "Tamar's Bay", "Camp" or "Northern". Regardless of the name, this is the only place on the island where you can dry-land and set up a few tents on quiet days. Landing conditions are dangerous, besides, stones periodically fall on the narrow coastal beaches. In wet weather, the intensity of rockfalls increases.

In the area of the Yamsky Islands, located at the exit from Shelikhov Bay, the highest concentration of plankton in the Sea of Okhotsk is noted, and the bay itself is one of the most productive areas of the World Ocean.

Colonies of sea birds, with a total number of up to 6 million individuals, are present on all islands of the archipelago. The largest colonies are located on Matykil Island - 12 species of seabirds nest here, with a total number of 4.7 million individuals. The basis of the colony (the largest in the Sea of Okhotsk) is made up of baby auklets. Bazaars are formed by auks (guillemots, spectacled guillemots, axes, ipatka, baby auklets, auklets, white belly), gulls (Pacific gull and common kittiwake), petrels (silly) and cormorants (Bering cormorant). At the same time, the settlements of the spectacled guillemot are the largest in the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk, and the settlement of the fulmar is the largest in the Sea of Okhotsk and the second largest colony in Asia (after Rasshua Island in the Kuriles). A distinctive feature of the colony of fulmars on Matykil is that many pairs build their nests on cushion-like growths of the golden root (Rhodiola rosea).

At the eastern tip of Matykil Island, there is the northernmost reproductive rookery of sea lions in the Sea of Okhotsk, as well as several bachelor rookeries that form sea lions that have not reached breeding age. On the island you can also find a rookery of bearded seals, located in the southern part of the island on a narrow, very elongated pebble beach, framed by steep rocks. In other places of the island, bearded seals do not form haulouts, but they can sometimes be found in the water on various parts of the coast of the island.

According to the latest data, 140 species of vascular plants are found on Matykil Island. The flora of the Yamsky Islands was formed under the constant influence of a colony of sea birds - this explains its impoverishment and peculiarities. Plants on the island have adapted to the conditions of nesting colonies - cereal meadows covering a large surface of the slopes have a characteristic appearance: here the Langsdorf reed grass forms tussocks with a base of up to 1 meter. The lower part of the steep cliffs is covered with cushion-like growths of Rhodiola rosea - the so-called "Rhodiola belt". On such "flowerbeds" silly people willingly arrange nests.

The least studied part of the reserve, the territory on the Pyagin Peninsula, is a narrow strip of the sea coast from Cape Yapon to Cape Cherny, 1 km wide and 51 km long with breaks. There is no forest vegetation on the peninsula. Of the mammals, brown bears are the most common here.



The Seimchansky site (117,839 ha) is located in the continental part of the region, on the left bank of the river. Kolyma, 100 km below the village of Seimchan. The border runs along the fairway of the Kolyma, goes to the left bank, captures the floodplain, the terrace above the floodplain, the slopes of the mountain framing of the valley and again returns to the Kolyma. The security zone includes the right side of the Kolyma up to the marginal channel. The Seimchansky section of the Magadansky nature reserve is the only protected area in the Kolyma basin, the largest river in the Far East. The site preserves a variety of floodplain and valley landscapes of the upper reaches of the river, as well as wetlands and mountain taiga in the left-bank part of the Kolyma.

The low-mountain frame of the protected area has a calm outline. The peaks of the hills on the northern and western periphery of the site are located at elevations from 350 to 750 m. From the Seimchano-Buyunda depression to the Yakut village of Zyryanka, for almost 500 km along the Kolyma floodplain, the world's largest under-channel talik stretches 5-6 km wide.

Most of the protected area is occupied by mountain taiga, swampy larch sparse areas, fresh and overgrown burnt areas, sedge tussocks and thickets of shrub birch. The river bed, insular floodplains, terraces above the floodplains, valleys of small tributaries of the Kolyma, and oxbow lakes on the terraces above the floodplains occupy a relatively small area. However, it is in these areas that the main centers of flora diversity are concentrated, and it is here that many relict and rare plant species live.

Chosenia, fragrant poplar, tree-like willows (Schwerin, Boganidskaya, dewy) dominate in the riverine forests of the middle and high floodplains. The old floodplain areas are dominated by mixed larch-white birch and mature larch forests. In the forest floodplains there are groves of flat-leaved birch, Asian bird cherry, Siberian mountain ash. In the undergrowth of the islands of the middle floodplain, wild rose, white svidin, sad currant and wild grouse are common. The herbaceous cover is dominated by meadow horsetail, Langsdorf's reed grass, spear-shaped spear, red wintergreen, lateral meringia, pale sedge, and others. , hawkweed, three-flowered gentian, etc. In the valleys of small tributaries, large-shrub willows and swampy larch forests grow.

The species composition of the ichthyofauna of the Seimchansky area is fundamentally different from other areas of the reserve. The list includes 25 species of freshwater fish, most of which are widespread in the water bodies of Siberia, but do not penetrate into the basins of the Sea of Okhotsk rivers. On the channel and channels of the Kolyma, pike, perch, thin-tailed burbot, Siberian chukuchan, Siberian dace, river minnow are common; there are ruff, Siberian char, whitefish. On rapids and in mountain tributaries, lenok and East Siberian grayling keep. Yakut crucian carp, perch, lake minnow live in oxbow and thermokarst lakes.

Indigenous taiga species nest on the site, such as stone capercaillie, hazel grouse, eagle owl, bile, three-toed woodpecker, cuckoo, gray-headed tit, nuthatch, and migratory species - bluetail, spotted pipit, brambling, small flycatcher, baby bunting and some others. A characteristic feature of the Seimchansky site and the adjacent areas of the Kolyma Valley is the diversity and relatively high density of nesting birds of prey - goshawk, sparrowhawk, field harrier, hobby. The osprey also nests in the island's floodplains, and among the nocturnal predators there are the boreal owl, the hawk owl, the great gray owl and the short-eared owl.

Here you can meet shrew, hare, northern pika, squirrel, chipmunk, red-gray and red-backed voles, fox, brown bear, wolverine, sable and ermine. The elk living on the site belongs to the large Kolyma subspecies. The brown shrew, flying squirrel, North Siberian vole, otter and lynx live in forest and meadow floodplains. Two American species, introduced more than half a century ago and well established in the Northeast, can be added to this list - the muskrat and the American mink, which are found in all taiga areas of the reserve.



The Olsky site is located in the south of the Magadan region at a distance of 100 km from the regional center and occupies the western part of the Koni peninsula (103,426 ha). The northern, southern and western boundaries of the site run along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, the eastern one crosses the peninsula from north to south from Cape Plosky to the mouth of the Antara River. The protected zone covers a 2-kilometer strip of the Sea of Okhotsk from Cape Plosky to two nameless streams flowing into the Sea of Okhotsk 8 km east of the Antara River. From the side of the continental border, the territory of the regional hunting reserve adjoins the reserve. Beautiful mountains covered with elfin coats and rocky bald patches of snowfields, mountain rivers and lakes, traces of ancient human settlements - all this is the Koni Peninsula, located just 50 kilometers from Magadan on the territory of the Olsky section of the Magadansky nature reserve. The peaks of the mountains of the peninsula rise to 1300-1500 m above sea level, the most significant of them is Mount Skalista, 1548 m high. Traces of ancient glaciation have been preserved in the high ridges. The geological landmark of the site is the crystalline schists that come out on the coast near the mouth of the Antara River. The appearance of the landscape is enlivened by rocky ridges, glacial cirques, alpine lakes and waterfalls.

The inner part of the peninsula is a very inaccessible territory, surrounded by the slopes of high mountains, which amazes with its pristine silence. Leming voles, pikas live here, buzzards nest.

All the rivers of the peninsula originate in the mountains and have a pronounced mountain character. They have many rifts, a channel, a small width and depth, a rocky bottom. The rivers are fast, often change their course and are not navigable even for a small fleet. The largest of them are Khinja and Burgauli. Crystal streams in the mountains form numerous waterfalls, and alpine lakes reflect all the multicolored slopes. On rainy days, low clouds hang over the mountains, fog creeps into the valleys, dissolving the silhouettes of the hills surrounding the river. The rivers of the Koni Peninsula are exclusively "pink salmon" - no other salmon, except pink salmon, enter them to spawn. In coastal and littoral waters there are up to 70-80 marine, including commercial, species of fish. Pentagonal hairy and spiny crabs, common sea urchin and mussels are numerous.

The maritime climate and mountainous relief of the peninsula determine the originality of its vegetation. There is no larch, which dominates the territory of the Magadan Region, vast areas are occupied by thickets of elfin cedar, and pure stone birches are characteristic of the coastal slopes of the mountains. In the river valleys there are amazing groves of fragrant poplar and chosenia, replaced in the upper reaches by impenetrable thickets of alder and elfin cedar. This is one of the most unique areas of the northern coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, distinguished by the greatest plant diversity in the entire Magadan region, which includes endemics of various regions and relics of various ages and origins, many of which are listed in the regional Red Book. In spring, the slopes of the peninsula enchant with a variety of flowering rhododendrons, wild rosemary and cassiopeia. The forests are rich in berries and mushrooms.

On the coast of the peninsula with picturesque bays and rocky capes, life is always in full swing: bighorn sheep graze, fox and ermine hunt, Steller's sea eagle nests. However, the true owner of the peninsula is the brown bear. Most of these predators gather in the summer, during spawning - clubfoot approach the mouths of the rivers to feast on pink salmon. Three species of true seals live in the coastal waters of the peninsula: spotted seal, akiba and bearded seal. Large concentrations of spotted seals have been noted near Cape Alevina, in the mouths of small rivers and streams, and near Cape Plosky - up to 300-400 individuals form haulouts on stones protruding at low tide during the pink salmon run.

On the rocks of the coast there are 48 colonies of sea birds - mainly kittiwakes and slaty-backed gulls. Bering cormorants, spectacled guillemots and ipatki also nest here. On the grassy slopes of the southern coast there are 3 large settlements of puffins. In July-August, large flocks of wandering slender-billed petrel appear off the coast of the peninsula, whose nesting sites are located in the distant islands of the Southern Hemisphere.

It's hard to believe, but many centuries ago people lived on the peninsula. In 1999, archaeologist Alexander Orekhov discovered 6 ancient settlements on the Koni coast, which were previously attributed to the Atargan stage of the ancient Koryak culture (1500-500 years ago).