|Biosphere Reserve Information|
The Astrakhanskiy Biosphere Reserve is situated some 90 km from the town Astrakhan in the Volga Delta. This largest inland delta in Europe is predominantly a freshwater riverine wetland complex with permanent and seasonal lakes and riverine floodplains. The area comprises a Ramsar site since its wetland support up to 750,000 waterfowls during mild winters.
A particular feature is the presence of lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) – a common species of the tropics - which here finds its northernmost distribution. This species increased in distribution from 3.5 hectares in the 1930s throughout the entire Volga Delta to several thousands of hectares in the biosphere reserve in the 1980s. Analysis of historic vegetation maps, aerial photography and satellite imagery has been used to describe the response of vegetation to substantial changes in the Caspian Sea level. Within the biosphere reserve, research carried out by the Moscow State University and the International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation will continue to observe this changing ecosystem.
|Major ecosystem type||Freshwater riverine wetland complex; delta and fore-delta shallow freshwater zone|
|Major habitats & land cover types||The lower part of the Volga delta with channels, creeks and alluvial islands including shallow lakes; shallow bays "kultuks", representing a transformation zone between the delta and the fore-delta; freshwater wetlands; riverine forests dominated by Salix alba and S. triandra; shrublands with Tamarix ramosissima and Rubus caesius including Carex acutiformis; grasslands dominated by Phragmites australis and Typha angustifolia; permanently flooded areas such as shallow bays "kultuks" and fore-delta covered by emergent vegetation such as Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia, Sparganium erectum and Nelumbo nucifera, floating species such as Trapa natans, Nymphoides peltata, Nymphaea candida and Nuphar lutea, and submerged vegetation such as Potamogeton pectinatus, Ceratophyllum demersum and Butomus umbellatus|
|Location||45°28' to 46°22'N; 47°49' to 49°07'E|
|Core area(s)||66,816 (three units respectively 29,262; 9,508 and 28,046 ha)|
|Transition area(s) when given||not defined|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||-26,5 to -24,5|
|Administrative authorities||Director of Astrakhanskiy Zapovednik, reporting to the Federal Ministry on Natural Resources|
|Last updated: 01/03/2007|