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      Biosphere Reserve Information

Russian Federation


Photo: Yu.F.Marin
  General Description   The Visimskiy Biosphere Reserve is located in the forests of the central Ural Mountains north-west of Yekaterinburg. Situated in the natural border between Europe and Asia, the site plays a significant role in maintaining the ecological balance of the region. The virgin southern-taiga mountainous spruce-fir forests (with Picea obovata and Abies sibirica) represent the most characteristic ecosystem in the region. Visimskiy also includes human-derived meadows ('yelan') and secondary forests.
Only 15 people live on a permanent basis in the biosphere reserve (2000). Communities and towns around the biosphere reserve borders are mainly engaged in agriculture, forestry and mining. The region is of special significance for ancient religious groups (Starovers branch of Russian orthodox Christianity) for whom nature plays an important role. Sites especially devoted to performing religious rites are located in the area.
The biosphere reserve plans to create conditions for developing recommendations for optimal use of natural resources and sustainable development in the region, where historically mining and metallurgy, as well as timber harvesting have prevailed. It is also envisaged to create a center for ecological education and for biodiversity monitoring.
  Major ecosystem type   Boreal needleleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Dark coniferous virgin forests including Picea obovata, Abies sibirica, Dryopteris austriaca etc.; secondary mixed forest with Betula alba, Picea obovata, Abies sibirica, Aconitum septentrionale etc.; human-made meadows including Deschampsia cespitosa, Calamagrostis arundinacea, Geranium sylvaticum etc.; clear-cuts of different ages and secondary forest with Betula alba, Populus tremula, Pinus sylvestris etc.; rivers and creaks with Potamogeton perfoliatus, Lemna minor, Elodea canadensis etc.; grazing areas; hay production areas
  Location   5725'N; 5940'E
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   179,606
  Core area(s)   33,496
  Buffer zone(s)   46,110
  Transition area(s) when given   100,000
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +310 to +754
  Year designated   2001
  Administrative authorities   Director of Visimskiy Federal Nature Zapovednik, reporting to the Ministry of the Natural Resources of the Russian Federation

Last updated: 01/03/2007

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