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Ecotourism in Russia: Agrakhansky Reserve
June 12, 2019 00:35


(Source: http://strana.ru/media/images/uploaded/big_incut24894851.jpg)

The Terek River, going down from the northern slopes of the Caucasus for more than 600 km, flows into the Agrakhan Bay, forming a wide, muddy delta. This place is a kind of oasis among the dry Dagestan plains. It is here, in the southern part of the Agrakhan Bay of the Caspian Sea, where a sanctuary protected since 1983 with a total area of ​​390 square km  is located.

It was created in order to preserve rare species of birds and mammals, as well as to restore the populations of valuable game animals.  About 200 species of birds inhabit the reserve (40 are listed in the Red Book), many protected animals live here, such as Caucasian otter, red deer, reed cat, etc.    There are no settlements in the reserve, with the exception of several farms. Since 2009, Agrakhan is a part of the Dagestan Nature Reserve.



Unique ecosystem

The reed is the most common gulf plant. In its bush there are many amazing creations of nature. Marsh turtles experiencing hundreds of droughts in their lifetime, frogs settling in creeks, snakes, birds. The latter are especially numerous.  Among the inhabitants of the bird kingdom there are various herons (Egyptian, yellow, gray, frogs), bright loaves, elegant spoonbills - decorations of the bird settlement.  Large accumulations of curly pelicans appeared on Agrakhan just a few years ago, at the moment in the reservethere is  the largest wintering of these birds in Russia. Colonies of small and large cormorants, endangered worldwide, have hundreds of nests in the reserve. 



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Because of the moderate Agrakhan winter, many birds remain here for the whole year. Inundated forests along the Terek are peculiar corridors through which  animals come  here: red deer, raccoon-like dogs, jackals, wild boars. However, it is extremely difficult to see them - the surrounding reeds hide all life from the observer.



Threats

The spawning grounds of fish are visited by poachers - however, guards often stop violations. The climate of Agrakhan includes long periods of drought, especially during the hottest summer months, so there are frequent fires in the reserve.
By the beginning of autumn, when many backwaters in the Terek dry up, the locust destroys the last green leaves.

How to get there

Agrakhansky reserve covers parts of Kizlyar, Babayurt and Kirov districts of the Republic of Dagestan. Nearest localities: Novaya Kosa, Orazgulaul, Main Kut (Babayurt district), Staroterechnoye (Kizlyar district). The distance to the city of Makhachkala is about 100 km.

You can get to the village of Starorechenskoe by bus from Makhachkala or Kizlyar. You can get to the village of Novaya Kosa along the 215 (Astrakhan — Makhachkala) highway, then - along the Krainovka-Makhachkala road.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russian National Parks ecotourism Russian regions Dagestan Republic  

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