Pribaikalsky National Park, Russia


Pribaikalsky National Park is a specially protected natural area (SPNA) of federal significance, created to preserve the nature of the western coast of Lake Baikal.

The area of the park is 417,297 hectares. Located on the territory of the Slyudyansky, Irkutsk and Olkhonsky districts of the Irkutsk region.


National parks appeared in Russia in the 1980s. One of the first was the Pribaikalsky National Park, organized during the peak of the public's struggle for the preservation of Lake Baikal. The decision to create it was made by the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR on February 13, 1986. In 1996, as part of the Lake Baikal site, it was included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List.

The territory of the park in the form of a narrow strip covers most (about 470 km) of the western coast of Lake Baikal - from the village of Kultuk in the south to Cape Kocherikovsky in the north (we can say that this is the "longest" of the national parks in Russia), and occupies the eastern slopes of Primorskoe ridge, the southern part of the Olkhinsky plateau, the basin of the Bolshaya Rechka river (a tributary of the Angara), as well as the Olkhon island. The southern part is cut by the Angara River flowing out of Lake Baikal.

The park includes the largest protected area of ​​the Baikal shores (almost a quarter of their total length). More than the sum of the Zabaikalsky National Park, Baikal-Lensky and Barguzinsky reserves. In terms of the richness of flora and fauna, the number of rare species of flora and fauna, as well as the abundance of archaeological sites, the Baikal National Park surpasses any other specially protected natural territory of the Baikal region.

Unlike reserves, the local population can live on the territory of national parks, agriculture can be carried out on a limited scale, traditional types of nature use can be carried out, intensive tourist activities, provided that this does not cause damage to nature. Currently, about 15,000 people live in the park. In the summer season, hundreds of thousands of tourists are added to them, because the park contains almost all popular recreation areas on the western coast of Lake Baikal.

The main tasks assigned to the park are preservation of the unique nature of the western coast of Lake Baikal, creating conditions for regulated tourism and recreation. In recent years, the number of tourists visiting the park has increased significantly. They are attracted by the possibilities of "beach" tourism on the coasts of the Maloye More and Peschanaya Bay, beautiful landscapes, attractions of the Circum-Baikal Railway, clean air and water. The park preserves a unique flora and fauna, the largest collection of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna in the Irkutsk region.

The variety of landscapes makes it possible to admire here rare and unique plant communities, which cannot be found elsewhere. Especially noteworthy are the mountain stony steppes of the Olkhon region, inhabited by relict plants - natives of the tundra of the Arctic, steppes and deserts of Central Asia, local endemics; sand dunes of Olkhon Island; desert steppes in the vicinity of the salty Tazheran lakes; dark coniferous cedar-fir wilds of the upper reaches of the Altai River; areas of tundra and thickets of cedar elfin on the watersheds of the Zunduk and Ilikta, Kocherikov and Anai rivers.


Functional zones of the park

In 1989, the Rosgiproles Institute (Moscow), together with the Lengiprogor Institute (St. Petersburg), developed the National Park Project (“General Plan for the Organization of the Pribaikalsky State Natural National Park”). According to the design solutions, the territory of the national park is subdivided into functional zones with different regimes of protection and use. The following functional zoning is currently adopted:
Protected zone - 86.5 thousand hectares (20.7% of the total area of ​​the park), including the area of ​​reference sites - 8.3 thousand hectares.
The zone of regulated recreational use - 171.1 thousand hectares (40.9%).
The zone of intensive recreational use - 13.8 thousand hectares (3.3%).
The area of ​​traditional farming - 33.9 thousand hectares (8.1%).
Agropark zone - 112 thousand hectares (27%) - land of agricultural enterprises included in the boundaries of the park without exclusion from economic activities.

A protective zone with a total area of ​​1203.7 thousand hectares has been allocated around the park, including a three-kilometer coastal zone of Lake Baikal (246 thousand hectares of water area).



The territory of the park is divided into 10 forest districts:


Flora and fauna of the Pribaikalsky National Park

More than 300,000 hectares of the total area of ​​the Pribaikalsky National Park are covered with forests. Pine forests predominate, often with an admixture of larch; there are spruce, cedar and cedar-fir forests.

The flora of the park numbers over 1000 species of vascular plants (this is more than half of the flora of Central Siberia), about 250 species of lichens and 200 species of mosses. The fauna in the park is also rich and varied. There are 9 species of amphibians and reptiles, 55 species of mammals, about 340 species of birds.



The main attraction of the Pribaikalsky National Park is the largest wintering of waterfowl in Eastern Siberia. In the place where the Angara flows from Lake Baikal, a huge polynya is formed, where up to 10-15 thousand ducks survive the winter. The southwestern coast of Lake Baikal is a kind of route for the massive autumn migration of birds of prey. Up to 2 thousand of them fly here a day, this is an exceptional phenomenon for Siberia.



The territory of the Pribaikalsky National Park is part of the mountains of Southern Siberia and is part of the Pribaikalsky forest-growing region, wholly belonging to the Primorsky District of the Western Pribaikalskaya province. The distribution of vegetation cover is subject to the patterns of altitudinal zonality. The predominant vegetation is characteristic of the continental type of zonation. The spectrum of high-altitude belt complexes (VPK) includes the steppe VPK (absolute altitude 500-700 m), mainly represented by communities with a predominance of some species of cereals; VPK of forest-steppe pine and larch forests (Pinus sylvestris, Larix sibirica), confined to the coastal part and the lower belt of the mountains; The military-industrial complex of subtaiga pine forests forming the lower part of the forest belt; occupying a fairly large area of ​​the military-industrial complex of mountain taiga pine (concentrated in the southern part of the park) and larch forests; MIC of mountain-taiga cedar forests (Pinus sibirica); VPK subalpine cedar forests and dwarf pine (Pinns pumila), subalpine tundra VPK.

The territory of the park belongs mainly to the group of regions dominated by moderately humid mountain taiga-forest-steppe light coniferous and mixed forests. Conifers predominate in forest plantations - 73%, among which pine (Pinus sylvestris, 51.4%) dominates, a significant share is also larch (Larix sibirica, 11.7%) and cedar (Pinus sibirica, 7.9%). Deciduous species make up 26% of the plantations, including birch (Betula sp.) - 18.1%, aspen (Populus tremula) - 8.2%. Shrubs occupy 1% of the plantations, mainly dwarf pine (Pinus pumila).

The list of rare and protected plant species of the national park includes 76 plant species. The Red Book of the Russian Federation includes 20 species, including representatives of fungi, lichens and mosses; endemics of the shores of Lake Baikal - Astragalus olkhon (Astragalus olchonensis), Zunduk pennyweed (Liedysarum zundukii), Turchaninov's meadow (Deschampsia turczaninowii), brilliant cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus); six representatives of the orchid family (Orchidaceae), etc. Among the endemics and relics of Lake Baikal growing on the territory of the park: three-leafed acupressure (Oxytropis triphylla), Prebaikalian pennyweed (Hedysarum cisbaicalense), touch-up corydalis (Corydalis impatiens) and others. Plants with dwindling populations: various lilies (Lilium spp.), Asiatic bather (Trollius asiaticus), bird cherry (Padus avium), dahurian rhododendron (Rhododendron dauricum), berry apple (Malus baccata), etc.



The fauna of the southwestern and western Baikal region is distinguished by its exceptional originality, largely due to the fact that a significant part of the species live near the boundaries of their ranges. In the area where the national park is located, 380 species of vertebrates are recorded: 59 species of mammals, 272 - birds, 6 - reptiles, 3 - amphibians and 40 species of fish.


The park is inhabited by a common bear (Ursus arctos), elk (Alces alces), red deer (Cervus elaphus), roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Typical species of the Siberian faunal complex are flying squirrel (Pteromys volans), chipmunk (Tamias sibiricus), gray-red vole (Clethrionomys rufocanus), sable (Martes zibellina), musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), nutcracker (Natacifraga) caryus caryus , three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus) - prefer mountain-taiga larch-cedar forests. Typical inhabitants of the light coniferous forests of the national park are the red vole (Clethrionomys rutilus) and red-gray voles, the common shrew (Sorex caecutiens), the East Asian wood mouse (Apodemus penmsulae), the wood grouse (Tetrao urogallus), the long-tailed owl (Strix) Turdus spp.). The complex of species historically associated with coniferous-broad-leaved and forest-steppe formations is well represented: Siberian mole (Talpa altaica), wood mouse (Sicista betulina), badger (Meles meles), wild boar (Sus scrofa), black grouse (Lyrurus tetrix), jay (Garrulus glandarius), etc. On the non-freezing source of the Angara River, a unique in Eastern Siberia wintering of waterfowl - gogol (Bucephala clangula), crested (Aythya fuligula) and sea ducks (A. marila), long-tailed ducks (Clangula hyemalis), smelt (Mergus albellus) ), long-nosed (M. serrator) and large (M. merganser) merganser, mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). The total number of wintering waterfowl in some years reaches 10 thousand individuals and more. The list of rare animals inhabiting the territory of the national park includes 75 species: 15 species of insects, 2 - fish, 1 - amphibians, 2 - reptiles, 45 - birds, 10 species of mammals. Among them are species listed in the IUCN and Russian Federation Red Data Books, endemics of the Baikal region.



The peculiarities of the climatic conditions of the Lake Baikal basin are determined by its location in the central part of the Asian continent, radiation and circulation processes and the originality of the landscapes of this region. The huge water mass of the lake has a significant impact on the climate. The territory of the park lies within the North-Western subdistricts of the South and Middle Baikal districts, which are characterized by the softening of the continental regime and the highest precipitation and moisture values ​​in the region. The average January temperature is up to -18 ° С and below, in July and August from +11 ° С to +14.1 ° С. The average annual temperature is +1.9 ° C. Precipitation falls on the coast to 370 mm, in the mountains - 400-500 mm. At the same time, the climatic conditions of the territory of the Lake Baikal basin are extremely heterogeneous.


Geology and relief

The territory of the park in geomorphological terms is located within the dry areas of the bottom of the Baikal depression, on its north-western slopes, partially including the watershed areas of the surrounding ridges. The main individual feature of the relief of this territory is its connection with the processes of rifting. It is characterized by the predominance of negative forms, the subordination of the orographic plan not to mountain ranges, but to depressions. The boundaries of the park include completely rift landscapes and largely subrift landscapes. Rift structures include the Baikal and Tunkinskaya proper. Faults constitute a special and most important class of rift structures. They form the framework to which the internal differentiation of morphostructures is subordinated. The largest Obruchevsky fault can be traced through the entire territory of the park. Large fault benches can be traced along the entire coast of Lake Baikal, abruptly breaking off into the depths of the lake. Subrift landscapes include massifs of the Olkhon plateau type, with a leveled topography and well-defined signs of physical weathering. Negative forms of the subrift type relief are represented by relict formations - ancient depressions that have not stopped their tectonic development until now (ancient valleys of the Goloustnaya, Buguldeika, Liga rivers and a small Jurassic depression in the upper reaches of the Pravaya Olkha River). The territory of the national park is distinguished by a large set of forms and extreme dissection of the relief with relatively small (within 900 m) fluctuations in absolute heights.



Pribaikalsky National Park is mainly located within the catchment areas of Lake Baikal, and in the southern part - the Angara River (Irkutsk reservoir). Lake Baikal is one of the largest in area and the deepest lake in the world, it contains 20% of the world's fresh water reserves. The shoreline of the lake within the boundaries of the park is 470 km (not counting the coast of Olkhon Island) and is relatively weakly indented, in some areas it is straight. At present, the average long-term level of the lake is 457 m. The excitement is almost constant, the height of the waves in the northern part of the lake reaches 6 meters. In summer, the water temperature in the open Baikal rises only up to + 12-14 ° С.


The Irkutsk Reservoir was created in 1956. It is a water-filled section of the Angara river valley, is flowing and belongs to river-type reservoirs. The territory of the national park is covered by a well-developed and relatively evenly distributed river network. Its density is close to or exceeds 0.5 km / km². Only Olkhon Island and Priolkhonie are relatively poor in surface waters. The park is dominated by small rivers less than 10 km long, most of them have a pronounced mountainous character. Large rivers include Goloustnaya (122 km), Buguldeyka (80 km), Anga (90 km), Sarma (56 km), Bolshaya Polovinnaya (25 km). There are also a large number of streams and temporary streams in the coastal strip. The main source of power for rivers is rainfall. Most of the district's rivers have low water salinity. In the northern part of the national park there are small lakes of various origins (deltaic, lagoon, sor, etc.), mostly fresh. Bogs have a limited distribution and are confined mainly to river floodplains. Almost all of them are of the lowland type.



Acidic soils are most widely represented in the park. On drained surfaces, shallow podzolic soils are developed, swampy depressions are occupied by peat and peaty-gley soils with a close occurrence of permafrost. Mountain tundra soddy and peaty humus soils are found in the mountains. However, mountain humus-podzolic ones are predominant here. Mountain humus-carbonate, mountain podzolic-boggy, mountain sod-podzolic, pre-alpine deep-skeletal, mountain floodplain-alluvial, sod forest soils are also widespread, and in the forest-steppe and foothill steppe zone - sod forest, chernozem, gray forest soils.

Monuments of nature, history and culture
There are 54 natural monuments on the territory of the national park: geological - 22, water-hydrological - 8, botanical - 2, zoological - 10, complex - 12.

Various forms of weathering of rocks, rocky outcrops, caves, karst sinkholes, sand dunes, dunes and other forms are classified as geological natural monuments. Two of them - Cape Ulan-Hyp and Shaman-Kamen - have a protected regime. Cape Ulan-Hyp is an object of the International Geological Year, a massif with a rare accumulation of rare and unique minerals. Over the past decade, 120 different minerals have been diagnosed here. Shaman-Kamen is the most popular and legendary place on Lake Baikal - a tiny island in the source of the Angara River, the only overwater ledge of the Angarsk rapids. The list of water-hydrological monuments includes springs, hydrolaccoliths, Tazheran lakes and a mineral spring.

The botanical monuments include two objects - the “Courage of Life” cedar and the relict spruce forest on Olkhon Island. These objects are a botanical mystery and are of cognitive and scientific interest, they have a reserved regime. Nine out of ten zoological natural monuments are located in the Maloye More. These are typical for Baikal rocky tower-type islands with steep banks: Shokhoi, Borgodagon, Oltrek, Shargodegan, Zumugoy, Urungoy, Khubin, Khunuk, Bolshoi Taynik. All islands are places of mass nesting of herring gulls. The tenth zoological natural monument - the Bird's Bazaar cliff - is the only place on Lake Baikal where herring gull nests are located on sheer walls. The most interesting and most popular of the complex natural monuments are the Peschanaya Bay and the Sagan-Zaba cliff. Among the historical sights of the national park is the famous Circum-Baikal Railway - a monument of history and engineering art.


Scientific research

A large complex of scientific research is being carried out on the territory of the national park. In the field of scientific research, its partners are the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Institute of Geography, SIFIBR, Institute of the Earth's Crust, Limnological Institute, etc.), the Rosgiproles Design and Research Institute (Moscow). The "Program of environmental monitoring of the Pribaikalsky national park and the Baikal region" has been drawn up. The collection, generalization and automated processing of data is carried out under the program "Integrated system of bioeconomic monitoring and automated management system for natural resources of the Pribaikalsky National Park". In 1994, an unparalleled automated system "Lesopark" was developed and introduced, which allows creating a database of forest resources. Foreign partners participate in international research programs - the University of Wisconsin (USA), Uniwersytet Śląski (Poland), Raleigh International (England). Pribaikalsky National Park took part in the work of international, federal and regional meetings, congresses and symposia, international fairs, including "Baikal - a natural laboratory of the environment", "Davis Program", the regional meeting "Sibecology", the Russian-German seminar on ecotourism ... The Pribaikalsky National Park is a member of the Association of Specially Protected Areas of the Baikal Region "Baikal Nature", as well as international organizations - Sierra Club, Pasific Asia Travel Association (PATA). The national park cooperates with Russian and foreign organizations in various fields of activity: SES, Ecoyu Rice, Krug environmental information agency, US national parks - Yosemite, Rocky Mountain, Germany - Berchtesgaden, Environmental Education Center of Virginia.



About 400 thousand people visit the Pribaikalsky National Park annually [source not specified 682 days]. The maximum influx of visitors is in July-August. The most visited territory of the park is the Maloye More region (Olkhonsky region). There is a network of tourist service facilities in the park. Under the jurisdiction of the national park are three camp sites and tourist shelters: "Taezhnaya" (with a capacity of 15-20 people), "Kadilnaya" (for 30 people), "Akademicheskaya" (for 25 people), "Black Pad" (15-18 people), "Semyonikha" (15-18 people), a tourist shelter on the Circum-Baikal Railway (15-18 people). In addition, on the territory of the Pribaikalsky Park, there are more than 20 boarding houses and tourist centers belonging to various departments. In the village of Listvyanka there is the Intourist hotel with a capacity of 112 people, the Baikal sanatorium for 210 people. The largest and most visited tourist centers are Malomorskaya and Sandy (with a capacity of 300 people). Currently, during the period from May to September in the park there are several tourist routes for groups of up to 15 people: weekend route (duration - 2 days); sports walking route according to the Primorsky Range system (length - 100 km); pedestrian route "along the Pribaikalsky National Park" (duration - 5 days, length - 40-50 km); a cruise on a motor ship with rest at the Kadilnaya tourist center (duration - 4 days); cruise on Lake Baikal (duration - 10 days). On these routes, it is proposed to visit the village of Listvyanka, the Baikal Ecological Museum, the Museum of Wooden Architecture, Kadilnaya, Peschanaya and Khargino bays, Kadilskiye caves, Dry Lake, rest at the Kadilnaya and Peschanaya tourist centers. In the future, it is planned to develop both summer and winter types of tourism in the park: fishing, water tourism on rubber rafts, horse-riding, hunting, winter on snowmobiles. In the field of ecotourism and ecology, the national park cooperates with foreign organizations: Baikal Watch (USA), the Korean Government Corporation for Land Exploitation, etc.