Daurian Steppe greatness

Pallas cat kitten in Daurian Steppe greatness
Pallas cat kitten in Daurian Steppe greatness

In Russia, there are many places where you can feel the greatness, the power and beauty of nature. The Daurian Steppe greatness – the endless expanse of “sea of ​​grass” and velvet sleepy hills, sonorous singing larks, “columns” of curious marmots and graceful dancing cranes … And yet numerous herds of Asian antelope – gazelle, ready at any moment to dart away with the wind speed. Some scientists believe that Daurian Steppes – the most ancient on earth. Over the millennia, through them lies one of the world’s largest migration routes of waterbirds. For many of them Daurian steppe is the only place of habitat. At the end of the 80 lakes were full of birds: millions of geese, shorebirds, cranes stayed here during migration.

Bird paradise
Bird paradise

But today everything is different: in these vast expanses the birds disappear. Daurian Steppe – one of the most extensive in the world, they do not recognize national borders, and lie at the intersection of three states – Russia, Mongolia and China. But Dauria – is not only the steppe.

Since 2003, the reserve included Adon-Chelon – mountain steppe with bizarre granite rocks buttes. Among the stones – beautiful crystals of schorl (black tourmaline), rock crystal and others. The Luminaires tops of hills with massive outliers in stark contrast to arranged around a slightly hilly plain.

Adon-Chelon field of pegmatites chamber has been officially known since 1828, when it was first described in a diary of IA Kulibin. However before that, judging by the references, Adon-Chelon as a source of black and smoky quartz, field, probably developed by prospectors. Smoky quartz exported to China, where from it were machined the lens for light-shielding glasses. Along the way, apparently, were mined aquamarine, heliodor and topaz.

Most of the reserve is occupied by lakes from small to vast, where the water merges with the horizon, and bordering the sandy beaches or thickets of reeds and canes are a haven for thousands of ducks, geese, white swans, nimble waders and restless gulls.

Daurian Steppe greatness
Daurian State Biosphere Reserve

Bright sunny birch and aspen groves and bizarre rocks of Adon Chelon, island pine forests in the endless steppes, from afar look like a medieval army of nomads – all this – diverse Dauria. Mountain steppes of Adon-Chelon admire with their grasses. They had long been a refuge for argali mountain sheep, which were met here in 1772 by the famous traveler PS Pallas. There is a wild cat manul, Daurian hedgehog and other rare species.

The main attraction of the Dauria Nature Reserve are Torey lakes (Barun-Torey and Zun-Torey) – the largest lakes of Transbaikal. It is here that weave their nests birds, including the famous white-naped crane. Torey lakes can be considered remnants of ancient sea that existed here during the period from 150 to 80 million years ago. A feature of the lakes is their periodic filling and drying that occurs on average once every 30 years. So, in the XX century lakes dried up four times.

Endorheic salt lake in the south of the Trans-Baikal Territory include Torey lakes. Located within Torei depression. During the high water content of the lake area is 300 square kilometers. In dry years it is almost completely dry. At high filling connected with lake Barun-Torey. Mineralization varies depending on the volume of water – 1,000 mg / l to 10,000 mg / l. Partially included in the Dauria Nature Reserve.

Undrained bitter-salty dry lake in the south of Transbaikal (Chita region). The length of the lake basin approx. 50 km, a width of 20 km. Freezing from November to April, the winter freeze to the bottom.

At first glance, the nature here is modest, does not know excesses, but Daurian Steppe greatness does not leave indifferent even the most discerning travelers. To preserve the unique wetlands, steppe and forest-steppe ecosystem of Dauria – the main task of the reserve.

State Nature Biosphere Reserve “Daurian Steppe Reserve” in south-eastern Transbaikal. Organized December 25, 1987 mainly for the protection of birds nesting.

Daurian Crane – proud, beautiful bird able to win the heart of any traveler. Number of belladonna decreased due to drying of lakes. On the reserve nest four species of cranes – White-naped, gray, Japanese and belladonna.

In Dauria, not all animals are affected by the disaster. For example, the Mongolian marmot or tarbagan. From this Groundhog depend all the other inhabitants of the steppe. Tarbagan – carrier of the plague. Many hunters were infected with a deadly disease. And in the end, the Soviet authorities took drastic measures. They have created a special service to combat the epidemic. Burrows were filled with poison. As a result, animal, who lived millions of years, got into the Red Book.

Gazelle – small graceful antelope, very fast and noisy. They are born travelers. But, despite their large number, sometimes as quickly disappear as appear. With their arrival steppe suddenly comes to life, like living waves the herds move through it. Everywhere you hear their chatter, animals talk to each other.

The fauna of the reserve include 4 species of fish, 3 species of amphibians, 3 species of reptiles, 315 species of birds and 52 species of mammals. More than 100 species of birds listed in the Red Data Books of different ranks. Of the 52 species of animals – 4 included in the Red Book of Russia.

Among the insects most well studied Lepidoptera or butterflies; Just Daurian Reserve registered 1096 species of vascular plants. The list of the Reserve currently has 446 species. Reserve retains more than 28 plant species, listed as a regional Red Book and 3 – in Russia.

Daurian Steppe Reserve is one of the few Russian reserves of the steppe zone, which plays an important role in the preservation of nature of the Eco region. In 1994, constituting the bulk of the reserve Torey lakes received the status of wetlands of international importance. Since 1997, the Reserve is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.