|Biosphere Reserve Information|
© Photo: Prioksko-Terrasnyi BR
This biosphere reserve is situated in the south-west of Moscow on the terraced slopes of the left bank of the Oka River Valley. Sandy ridges and hills overgrown with pine (Pinus sylvatica) are characteristic of the southern part of the area. Two rivulets cross the area, one which drains into the Oka River and the other into the marshy part of the Oka flood plain. The vegetation is characterized by the transition of two major biomes, the southern part of the Eurasian Taiga and the Middle European Forest. Prioksko-Terrasnyi also comprises the northernmost part of steppe vegetation in European Russia, called ‘Doly’.
The area has been under man’s influence since a long time with archeological findings dating back to the Paleolithic period. Today, about 1,500 people live here (1997), mostly making their living from agriculture and forestry.
Up to 20,000 national tourists annually visit the biosphere reserve and its Nature museum (1997). The north-western part of the biosphere reserve has been set aside for a breeding center of European Bison (Bison bonasus). This biggest European mammal used to live in the broad-leaved forests but was exterminated by man in wild nature. The breeding center played an important role in rescuing the population. Long-term ecological research and monitoring on 92 experimental plots have been carried out since 1979. Oka River Valley Biosphere Reserve was split into Okskiy and Prioksko-Terrasnyi Biosphere Reserves in 2000.
|Major ecosystem type||Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Mixed pine forests with birch (Betula sp.), oak (Quercus robur) and lime (Tilia cordata); sandy terrains with pine (Pinus sp.) and spruce (Picea sp.) forests with elements of taiga and sphagnum bogs supporting species such as Andromeda polifolia, Oxycoccus quadripetalus and Drosera rotundifolia; relict meadow steppe with Aconitum anthora, Carex obtusa, Dentaria tenuifolia etc.|
|Transition area(s) when given||Not defined|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||+110 to +180|
|Administrative authorities||Director of Prioksko-Terrasnyi Zapovednik, reporting to the Federal Ministry of Natural Resources|
|Last updated: 3/1/2007|