Zeyа Nature Reserve, Russia


The Zeya State Nature Reserve was established on October 3, 1963 by Order of the Council of Ministers of the RSFSR No. 4297-r.

The reserve occupies the eastern tip of the Tukuringra ridge, where the Tukuringra-Soktakhan-Dzhagdy mountain system is cut through by the narrow valley of the Zeya River. Along the valleys of the small tributaries of the Zeya, narrow bays of the reservoir wedged into the protected area. All the rivers of the reserve belong to the Zeya river basin. The sources of the Zeya and its largest right tributary, the Gilyui, are located on the Stanovoy Ridge. The protected area is limited by the basins of the tributaries of these rivers, the main of which are the Motovaya, Garmakan, Lyucherkan, Bolshaya Erakingra.

The average annual air temperature is 4.60С, the average temperature in January is -30.60, in July - + 18.20 С. The frost-free period is 75-86, the vegetation period is 130-140 days. On the territory of the reserve, in the eastern part of the Tukuringra ridge, the southern border of permafrost passes.

The Tukuringra Ridge is the most important frontier in the distribution of flora elements of various origins. The northern and northwestern borders of typical representatives of the heat-loving Manchurian flora pass through the territory of the reserve. In the reserve there is an endemic of the Tukuringra ridge - the Prokhorov birch, growing on char and valley woodlands.

Currently, the Zeya Reserve is a nature protection, research and environmental education federal state institution.
There are no settlements on its territory, there are no places of permanent residence of people, buildings, roads, other economic facilities and communications that are not related to the activities of the reserve.
The reserve is subordinated to the Federal Service for Supervision of Natural Resources within the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation.
Its staff now consists of approximately 50 people: the administration, the scientific department, the protection department, the environmental education department and the department for ensuring the main activities.
The scientific department employs two zoologist-theriologists, a hydrobiologist and two monitoring engineers (hydrometeorologist and phenologist). They conduct constant monitoring of the development of nature in the protected area under the Chronicle of Nature program. Along with full-time employees, research in the reserve is carried out under contracts by scientific specialists from third-party institutions (the Amur Complex Research Institute of the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the BPI of the Far Eastern Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences and higher educational institutions of the Amur Region).
After the Zeya River was blocked by a hydroelectric dam in 1974, a significant part of the research conducted by the reserve is associated with the impact on the nature of the region of the Zeya hydroelectric reservoir. One of the results of these studies was the monograph "The influence of the Zeya reservoir on terrestrial vertebrates" (N.N. Kolobaev, S.A. Podolsky, Yu.A. Darman, 2000). The specialists of the reserve took an active part in the ecological expertise of the feasibility study of the Gilyuiskaya HPP at the state (Union) level and in the Amur Region.
The protection department has three subdivisions: two forestries and an operational inspection group. The functions of protecting the territory of the reserve from violations of the regime and forest fires are performed by 18 state inspectors.
The reserve has at its disposal three UAZ vehicles, a GAZ-66 vehicle, a dump truck, a tanker truck and several motorcycles. To move around the reservoir, the RM-376 boat and small boats (Amur-V jet boats and motor boats) are used. In winter, in hard-to-reach areas, movement is carried out on Buran snowmobiles.
A network of cordons and forest huts has been set up on the territory of the reserve for the staff to live while they perform their official duties to protect the reserve and collect scientific information. There are 2 base cordons ("Twentieth" and "Warm"), which, in addition to the residential building, house garages for vehicles and rooms for storing material assets. In addition, 9 cordons-huts are located along the boundaries of the reserve, and 2 more huts are located inside the protected area.
Environmental education of the population of the region, carried out by the reserve, is aimed at protecting wildlife and promoting the ideas of conservation. Various forms are used for these purposes: a museum of nature functions in the administrative building; contests, exhibitions and talks are held in schools; provides methodological assistance to teachers; materials about the work of the reserve, about its nature are published in the mass media; on a very limited scale, visiting the territory of the reserve is practiced by small groups of tourists, accompanied by employees of the reserve.

The general color of the fauna of the Zeya Reserve is purely taiga, which distinguishes it from all other reserves of the Far East. The fauna includes 37 species of mammals and 133 species of birds. The main species are elk, red deer, roe deer, musk deer, lynx, brown bear, wolverine, sable, Siberian weasel, hazel grouse, capercaillie, nutcracker, jay. The rare ones include wild boar, raccoon dog, Amur lemming, blue magpie. Two species - mandarin duck and wild grouse - are listed in the "Red Book of Russia". 18 species of fish live in the reservoirs.

The filling of the reservoir has led to an increase in bird population density in coastal areas. The appearance of the reservoir changed the flight paths of birds, and previously unknown species began to be observed on the migration. The Zeya Nature Reserve is one of three in the Far East where the wild grouse lives.

Roe deer evenly populate only the southern part of the protected area, and even then only in the summer. When the reservoir was filled, the main places of calving of this species were flooded. The territory of the reserve is included in the contact zone of two distinct subspecies of elk - East Siberian and Ussuri. The composition of predatory mammals of the Zeya Reserve is purely taiga.


Flora and fauna

The frost-free period is 75-86 days. Mammals live on the territory of the reserve - 52 species. Red deer, roe deer, elk, bear, and sable are most typical for the Zeya reserve. Red deer is the Far Eastern form of a real deer. Birds recorded - 241 species. Of the amphibians in the reserve, the Siberian frog is the most common. The Siberian salamander lives in hummocky bogs, sparse larch marshes and damp larch forests. A viviparous lizard is found along the warmed edges. In the south-east of the reserve, the common cinquefoil is found everywhere. Of the insects, Lepidoptera or butterflies are well studied, about 1400 species of them have been found in the Zeya Reserve (data as of February 2015); the most interesting species are the Tukuringra corydalis (Zaranga tukuringra), known in Russia only from the territory of the Zeya reserve, and the rarest bear Menetrie (Borearctia menetriesii). The world's northernmost places of growth of Mongolian oak are unique (in the area of ​​the Tyoply cordon on the bank of the Zeya reservoir), where animals characteristic of these forests are found. On the Tukuringra ridge, 158 species of fungi have been identified, belonging to 106 genera and 41 families. In addition, 208 species of soil fungi were found in the eastern part of the ridge, some of which are phytopathogenic. 637 species of vascular plants have been identified.