Tsentralno-Chernozemny Biosphere Reserve, Russia

Description of Tsentralno-Chernozemny Biosphere Reserve

The Tsentralno-Chernozemny (literally: Central Black Soil Reserve) Natural Biosphere Reserve, named after Professor V.V. Alekhin, is a state nature reserve located on the territory of the Kursk Region. The boundaries of the reserve repeatedly changed. The reserve is located in the southwestern part of the Central Russian Upland within the middle belt of the forest-steppe zone, on the territory of the Medvensky, Manturovsky, and Gorshechensky districts of the Kursk region. Area - 5287.4 ha. Number of clusters: 6 (Streletsky area of ​​2,046 hectares, Cossack area of ​​1,638 hectares, Barkalovka (2 plots) - 368 hectares, Bukreev Barmy (2 plots) - 259 hectares, Zorinsky - 495.1, Pozyma river, Psel (2 sites) - 481.3 ha.


The territory of the present Tsentralno-Chernozemny Biosphere Reserve at the end of the first - the beginning of the second millennium was occupied by vast steppe open spaces with ravines and gullies overgrown with forests. Here huge herds of tarpans, tours, saigas, kulans grazed. It inhabited an uncountable number of small rodents and woodchucks. Such large birds as a bustard and a little bastard nest. Being on the border of the “Wild Field” and Slavic settlements, the forest-steppe experienced, apparently, a double press, both from the nomadic peoples and from the prince's squads, the sedentary northerly population of Secene. In the XVI century, the main occupation of the inhabitants of Kursk, who defended the southern borders of the Russian state, was agriculture. The raids of the Crimean Tatars demanded a more reliable cover of the southern border. The government began to attract local and alien people to the service, and Don and Zaporozhye free Cossacks were accepted. Archers and gunners were sent here. On June 1, 1626, according to a diploma from Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, the steppes near Kursk were handed over to servicemen - Cossacks and archers of the Kursk fortress exclusively for grazing and haymaking. Thus Russian tsar preserved, never plowed steppe.



The territory of the current Kursk region at the end of the first - beginning of the second millennium was occupied by vast expanses of steppe with ravines and gullies, overgrown with forests. Huge herds of tarpans, aurochs, saigas, and wild asses grazed here. An uncountable number of small rodents and marmots lived. Such large birds as bustards and little bustards nested. Being on the border of the "Wild Field" and the Slavic settlements, the forest-steppe experienced, apparently, a double pressure, both from the nomadic peoples and from the princely squads, the sedentary northern population of the Semya. In the 16th century, the main occupation of the inhabitants of Kursk, which defended the southern borders of the Russian state, was agriculture. The raids of the Crimean Tatars required a more reliable cover of the southern border. The government began to attract local and alien people to the service, they accepted Don and Zaporozhye free Cossacks. Streltsy and gunners were sent here. On June 1, 1626, according to the letter of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich, the steppes near Kursk were transferred to serving people - the Cossacks and archers of the Kursk fortress exclusively for grazing and haymaking. Thus, the protected, never plowed steppe was preserved.

“... Summer 7124 June on the 1st day of the Sovereign, Tsarev, and the Grand Duke Mikhail Fedorovich of All Rus', a letter attributed to the clerk Mikhail Danilov and on the investigation of the voivode, Ivan Vasilyevich Volynsky gave an extract to the Kursk archers on their land, which was given to them as a city became ...
... yes, they were given to the archers in the Kursk district in the suburban camp across the river for the Family to hay Petrin dubrov, and near that Petrina oak forest between nine oaks, and now there are seven oaks. Petrin up and the steep one also walked around Petrina dubrov from the midnight side from the mixed lands to the river to Mlodat and up Mlodat ... and along the wild field and along the oak forest of the streltsy hay mowing according to the estimate of hay six thousand kopecks ... "
- Central State Archive of Ancient Acts, fund 1317 inventory 2, No. 10, sheet 47, sheet 10

According to Professor V.V. Alekhin, in the last 300-400 years, meadow-steppe vegetation in the modern territory of the reserve was formed under the influence of mowing and grazing, and in some cases on the site of forest areas. In the Streletskaya steppe, early spring grazing, haymaking and autumn grazing on the aftermath (grass regrown after mowing) alternated. Periodically, harrowing was used, during which the moss cover was torn off, sods of cereals were broken. Burning was used to improve pastures. These Kursk steppes were first seen like this in 1907 by V. V. Alekhin, being a final year student at Moscow University.

In 1909, the first article by V. V. Alekhin appeared, “Essay on the vegetation and its successive change in the Streltsy steppe near Kursk,” and in 1910, “The Cossack steppe of the Kursk district in connection with the surrounding vegetation,” where he visited a year later.

In 1925, Professor V. N. Khitrovo in the book “Vegetation of the Oryol province. The nature of the Oryol Territory” (the territory of the reserve used to be part of this province) wrote: “Looking at these last remnants of the colorful harmony of the region, an unfortunate thought arises: can we ... not leave for ourselves, but plow up the last remnants of the steppe vegetation, and our children will only from books they will read about the former beauty of our region, accessible for enjoyment to every one” [4] In the same 1925, professor of Moscow University V. V. Alekhin, whose name the reserve now bears, first raised the question of the urgent need to impose a ban on the exploitation of around Kursk. The decision to establish the Central Chernozem Reserve was made 10 years later.

The Central Chernozem State Reserve named after Professor Alekhin was established on February 10, 1935 on the territory of the Kursk and Belgorod regions by a decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Council of People's Commissars of the RSFSR. The total area was set as "about 4536 ha". The Decree of the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee dated 10/II, 1935 on the organization of the CCR outlined the following tasks: “Preservation of virgin steppe areas in their combination with forests of all types (oak forests, pine forests, aspen bushes) as complexes of the natural conditions of the northern steppes, for the study of steppe biocenoses, processes of formation of chernozem, the relationship between forest and steppe. Influence of the forest in the fight against drought, scientific substantiation of the most profitable use of the natural conditions of the steppes of the northern and middle strip of the European part of the USSR for agriculture and forestry.

The buffer zone of the reserve was formed by the decision of the Executive Committee of the Kursk Regional Council of People's Deputies No. 380 dated July 2, 1971. In 1988, it was re-approved and expanded by 3 km (Decision of the Executive Committee of the Kursk Regional Council of People's Deputies No. 294 of 11/17/1988). At present, the total area of the buffer zone is 28,662 hectares (according to the Regulations on the federal state institution "Central Chernozem State Natural Biosphere Reserve named after V.V. Alekhin", approved by Order of the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia No. 530 dated 10.06.2003).

The reserve was awarded a diploma of the Council of Europe.



The Central Black Earth State Biosphere Reserve became one of the first biosphere reserves in the USSR (1978). A biosphere reserve is a specially protected natural area created to preserve the natural ecosystems and gene pool of a given region, to study and monitor the natural environment in it and in the territories adjacent to it. In accordance with this, the natural course of processes in the natural complexes of the meadow-steppe virgin lands, forest-steppe oak forests and their contact zone on the Russian Plain, as well as the influence of the anthropogenic factor on these complexes, are being studied in the reserve, and measures are being developed that contribute to the conservation and restoration of indigenous biogeocenoses (natural communities).

One of the objects of protection and study is chernozem. Its humus horizon of a lumpy-granular structure, penetrated in the upper part by grass rhizomes, reaches 90 cm. Typical chernozems that have not been plowed are now extremely rare. These are benchmarks that can be used for comparison when studying the effects of modern agriculture on soils. Since 1975, a representative of the reserve has been included in the Working Group on deep sounding and monitoring of the Kursk model area using a series of spacecraft "Interkosmos" as part of an international aerospace project and has been used to develop technologies for capturing natural objects from space.

Administrative activity: Aleksey Mikhailovich Krasnitsky, Candidate of Agricultural Sciences, Honored Forester of the RSFSR, gave the reserve more than 20 years. Having headed the reserve in 1963 and until his death in 1985, he remained its permanent director. During the years of management of the reserve by Krasnitsky A.M., the living conditions of employees in the reserve were significantly improved: an office building and a laboratory building, residential buildings for employees were built, communications were laid - water supply, heating mains and sewerage. This made it possible, among other things, to ensure the high quality of research work carried out in the reserve.

In 1985, the Central Chernozem Biosphere Reserve was headed by a student and colleague of A. M. Krasnitsky, a follower of the idea of ​​absolute conservation in the theory of conservation - Alexander Anatolyevich Gusev, deputy director for scientific work, candidate of biological sciences (currently a well-known Russian statesman and public figure , ecologist, doctor of political sciences, professor). A. A. Gusev, before being appointed director of the reserve, worked in it for more than 8 years, having passed all stages of scientific and managerial qualifications: laboratory assistant, junior researcher, senior researcher, head of the laboratory, deputy director for scientific work and, finally, director of the Central Chernozem State Biosphere Reserve named after prof. V. V. Alekhin. The appointment of Gusev as the director of the Central Chernozem Reserve was the desire of Alexei Mikhailovich Krasnitsky himself. Here is what he wrote in the first author's copy of his main monograph “Problems of Reserve Affairs” - “To Alexander Anatolyevich Gusev in good memory with a wish to take over the development of the reserve business and the Central Black Earth Reserve” Krasnitsky A. M. 06/22/1983.

The contribution of Alexander Anatolyevich Gusev to the development of the reserve is truly invaluable. He significantly expanded the staff of the Central Chernozem Biosphere Reserve, increasing it by 20 researchers, mainly focusing on young specialists. All of them were provided with comfortable apartments. Apartments in the village of Zapovedny were given to young specialists - the families of Belyakov, Vlasov (currently director of the reserve), Ryzhkovs (currently deputy director for science), Korolkovs, Budkovs, Panchenko, Polynovs, Grechanichenko and others. amenities and improved their living conditions and employees of other departments: the family of the chief accountant Luneva V.I., the family of the forester Savchenko, the accountant Martynova, the laboratory assistant Obolonkova, the forestry engineer Naumov, the assistant forester Palchikov, the head. the Nepochatykh weather station, the families of veterans of the Great Patriotic War Tertovs and Korolevs, a disabled person of the 1st group, a former employee of the Denisenko reserve, a carpenter Frantsev, the head of the medical center Kharchenko, etc. The new house built for the director of the reserve Gusev A.A. . G.

Gusev A. A. received permission from the Main Directorate of Hunting and Nature Reserves under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR to form new research laboratories in the Central Black Earth Biosphere Reserve, achieved the adoption of the Resolution of the Kursk Regional Executive Committee "On measures to further improve the protection and rational use of the territory and objects Central Chernozem State Biosphere Reserve named after V. V. Alekhin in the light of the Decree of the Central Committee of the CPSU and the Council of Ministers of the USSR "On the radical restructuring of nature conservation in the country" No. 294 dated November 17, 1988. In accordance with it, the Executive Committee of the Kursk Regional Council of People's Deputies decided to consider the Central Chernozem Reserve as the base organization for conducting environmental impact assessment in the Kursk region, which made it possible to significantly expand the buffer zone of the reserve, increase the area with an absolutely reserved regime and significantly strengthen the research and material base of departments and laboratories thorium.

At that time, the following items were purchased: two buses for trips of scientists to remote areas of the reserve, several passable cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles, special equipment for forest protection. A fire-chemical station was formed and fully equipped with new fire-fighting equipment and equipment, biological and chemical laboratory equipment, long-range and short-range radio sets Angara, Lyon-B, Granit and Cactus, as well as equipment for a weather station were purchased . New furniture was purchased for all laboratories and staff offices, new chairs were purchased and installed in the Conference Room, the photo laboratory was equipped with the latest high-resolution equipment, the first computers were purchased, as well as agricultural machines, a hay and potato harvester to ensure the economic activities of the reserve . The decision of the Academic Council was made to prohibit entry into the territory of the reserve during the haymaking of heavy equipment, leading to a strong compaction of black soil.

For the first time, helicopters were used to count the number of ungulates in the reserve. Having received irrefutable data on the number of ungulates in the areas of the reserve, their migration routes and daily movements, using the radio tracking technique, Gusev A.A. achieved a ban on regulating their numbers by shooting on the territory of the reserve, proving to the Collegium of the Main Directorate that the shooting of animals on the territory of the reserves can only be used as an emergency measure.

Gusev A. A. paid great attention to improving the living conditions of work and life of the employees of the biosphere reserve. The reserve, as a research organization, was attached to the wholesale base of the Kursk Regional Executive Committee to provide employees with food. Thanks to his efforts, a regular bus began to run from the reserve 12 times a day to the center of Kursk and back, and the staff of the reserve got the opportunity to make systematic trips to the regional center. During these years, monthly trips of the reserve's employees to the circus, philharmonic and theaters of Kursk began to be practiced.

A kindergarten, a medical center and a shop, a hotel and a guest house, a bathhouse with a steam room were opened, expanded and staffed, a water tower and wells were repaired, a parking lot for agricultural machinery was built, the school received new equipment and became a secondary school, a new two-story building was put into operation. an eight-apartment house for employees, new communications were laid to replace the outdated ones, a new electrical substation was purchased and installed. Natural gas from the newly built gas distribution station of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline was centrally supplied to the houses and apartments of the reserve’s employees, the biological treatment station, storage facilities, a garage, as well as the Museum of Nature, a laboratory building and an office building were repaired. A comprehensive improvement of the Zapovedny settlement was carried out: the production and economic zone was fenced off from the protected area, a car wash was built for transport, a new asphalt canvas was laid, a playground with small forms was equipped, sidewalks and paths were organized, blue spruces were planted, and new street lighting of the village was carried out. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reserve, a bust of Professor V. V. Alekhin was erected on the central estate and a square was built.

According to the results of 1985, the Central Black Earth State Biosphere Reserve took 3rd place among 36 reserves of the system of the Main Directorate of Hunting and Nature Reserves under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR within the framework of socialist competition, which it held for the next three years until the transfer of the reserve to the USSR State Committee for Protection nature.

In 1985-1986, A. A. Gusev, for the first time in the country, developed and theoretically substantiated two basic principles of structural and functional organization and territorial differentiation of state biosphere reserves: the principles of “cluster”, “false island” and “island biota”. The principles of “clustering” and “false island biota” were applied by him to form the organizational and territorial structure of the Central Black Earth State Biosphere Reserve. In subsequent years, these principles have found wide application in the theory and practice of nature conservation in the country and abroad.

In 1987, Candidate of Biological Sciences, Director of the Central Chernozem State Biosphere Reserve Gusev A. A. was awarded the Kursk Komsomol Prize in science and technology for ensuring the effective protection, conservation and study of the natural complexes of the reserve and in 1988 he was nominated for the Lenin Prize Komsomol.

In 1988, Gusev A.A. achieved, through the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR, changes to the design documentation for the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod gas pipeline and the construction of a new gas distribution station in the village. reserved. In the original version, the gas pipeline was supposed to pass 4 km from the boundaries of the reserve through the village of Aleksandrovka, Kursk region. As a result of the changes made, the new project provided for the passage of the gas pipeline through the economic zone of the village. Zapovedny, providing the reserve with natural gas for many years to come. Great assistance in providing the reserve with natural gas was provided by A.V. Nechaev, Deputy Head of the Main Directorate of Hunting and Reserves under the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR, and A.I. Seleznev, First Secretary of the Kursk Regional Committee of the CPSU.


Flora and fauna

The vegetation of the reserve combines the characteristic features of the northern or meadow steppes and oak forests. The animal world also has features inherent in snowy natural zones - it presents both typically forest and typically steppe forms.

1287 species of vascular plants are registered on the territory of the reserve, including adventive (adventive) herbaceous plants and woody introduced species. Among them are 86 rare species, and some of them are threatened with extinction, so their protection is of particular importance. Relics (“living fossils”, as B. M. Kozo-Polyansky said back in 1931) are considered to be such species as: Kozo-Polyansky’s breakwater, multi-veined volodushka, upland wolfberry, Podolsky shiverekia, Zavadsky’s dendrantema. They have broken ranges, parts of which lie in the mountains of the Urals, Siberia or Western Europe. On the territory of the sections of the reserve, created in 1969 - Barkalovka and Bukreevy Barmy - relict vegetation occupies about 25 hectares. The most prominent role is played by the evergreen shrub of the wolfberry upland. In May, during its lush flowering, the slopes acquire a pink hue, and a pleasant aroma reminiscent of lilacs is in the air. Islands of steppe vegetation with all the diversity of life forms, the complexity of the structure, the specifics of seasonal processes are priceless. The main components of the steppe communities include almost 140 plant species! About 200 species of macromycete mushrooms grow in the reserve, which are visible to the naked eye.

50 species of mammals have been recorded in the reserve, 226 species of birds have been registered, which is about 80% of the species composition of birds in the Kursk region, of which more than 90 species nest in the reserve. In the fauna of the reserve there are 35 species of fish, 10 - amphibians, 5 - reptiles, 191 species of spiders: 96 in the steppe, 105 in the forest and on the edges, more than 4 thousand species of insects.

The roe deer is a native inhabitant of the forest-steppe, found today, unfortunately, only in relatively few areas of this natural zone. In addition to roe deer, speckled ground squirrel, common mole rat, hare, fox, badger, pine and stone martens, etc. are typical for the fauna of the reserve. Among ungulates in the reserve there are elks and wild boars, once numerous, but in recent years their numbers in the reserve have been significantly undermined unregulated firing.

Birds are welcome inhabitants of the reserve. There is a large accumulation of gray partridge and quail. There are many swifts, swallows, golden bee-eaters that come to feed from tens of kilometers away. There are Kursk nightingales and larks. Quite often there are kites, steppe harriers, common buzzards, hawks.