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    Zabaykalsky Territory

Zabaikalsky territory, in the south-east of Siberia is about 430000 sq. km. Zabaikalye is located far from the big economic centres of the country's west and is close to the Russian Far East.

Zabaykalye is a mountainous area. There are plateaus, hills and mountain ranges: the Argynsky and Nerchinsky chains, the ranges Kodar, Udokan, and Kalar.

There are numerous rives in the area. The Shilka and the Argun rivers flowing over the territory are the in-flows of the Amur river. Zabaikalsky territory has a lot of lakes such as Leprindo, Leprindokan in the North and the group of Ivano-Arakhlei lakes in the central part. Rivers and lakes are abundant in fish: pike, salmon, trout, grayling, perch and others.

Zabaikalye is a land of vast forests, mainly pine, birch and larch. These are the most common trees in the area. Besides, in taiga tourists can see elm, asp, alder. There are evergreen trees such as pines, fir-trees, silver fir trees, Siberian cedar.

Zbaikalsky territory boasts a diverse fauna. There are bears, wolves, foxes, hares, elks, lynxes, sables, squirrels, chipmunks, red deer, musk deer, north deer. Among birds there are sparrows, ravens, magpies, tits, pigeons, woodpeckers. They are not migrated birds, they live here all the year round, some birds such as swallows, swifts, wagtails, cranes, herons, larks fly away to warm lands in autumn and come back again in spring. The first spring flowers are blue crocuses, primroses and violets, then we can see butter cups, king cups, forget-me-nots, dandelions, bluebells, pinks, lilies and foxgloves.

The climate of Zabaikalsk is subcontinental, that is winter is long and severe, with little snow and sunny dry weather, summer is short and warm.

Zabaikalsky National Park is one of the most beautiful places on Lake Baikal. Established to protect the unique natural ecosystems of the Baikal watershed, the multi-functional conservation area protects part of the western slopes of the Barguzin Mountain Range on the eastern shore of Lake Baikal. The parks coniferous forests host a wide array of wildlife, from brown bear to Manchurian wapiti to musk deer to capercaillie. The endemic Baikal seal frolics in the lakes waters, feeding on the abundance of fish. The national park is included in the Lake Baikal World Heritage Site.

Most of the park is mountainous landscape, made up of mid-level and high mountain ridges. The park boundary follows the water divide of the Barguzin River basin, located outside the park. Aquatic ecosytems of Lake Baikal occupy 13.8 percent (37,000 ha) of the park. The national park includes the Chivyrkuisky Bay and part of Barguzin Bay on Lake Baikal, as well as a section of the lake shore to the north of these bays.The water temperature of Lake Baikal seldom rises above 14 degrees Celcius. Average annual precipitation ranges from 350 mm near the coast to 450 mm in the mountains. The prevailing winds are from the west and southwest.

Plant communities in the park are distributed according to vertical zoning along the mountainous terrain. The bottom belt of forests is primarily made up of larch forests with an undergrowth of mountain pine. Mixed pine and larch forests occupy areas higher up. Dark coniferous forests of fir, spruce, and Siberian pine are found from 400-500 m and 1000-1200m above sea level, changing to larch and sparse spruce forests higher still. From 1400-1500 m above sea level, mountain tundra ecosystems, alpine meadows, and rocky slopes dominate the terrain. Bogs are numerous in the northern part of the reserve and around the mouths of rivers.

Internet sites used for the article:

www.wikitravel.org

www.unexpo.org

www.wild-russia.org

www.wander.org.ru

Tags: Russian tourism Russian regions Zabaikalsky Territory Russian history Siberia 


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