Do you know what is wonderful about visiting nature reserve? It is to know that the place is providing for wildlife to live and flourish and to know that the place is an ecological mecca on the planet that remains pure. Most importantly, it is to see wildlife that we rarely encounter on a daily basis as well as learn how much we depend upon nature.
Most nature reserves are like conventional parks but allow recreation for human activities like hiking, camping, and birdwatching. These park-like reserves take proactive actions by saving some of Earth’s most precious ecological assets before it actually becomes a need.
Nature reserves also maintain the soils with native seed species which do not exist in areas that have been soaked and filled with chemicals. In these lands, we will get a sense of how abundant and varied wildflowers, birds, and insects can be when many places are left as nature intended. Without these places, we grow complacent to what we should protect or what we should be experiencing.
Russian Nature Reserve, Orenburg
Nature reserves are popping up in Russia. Recently, Russia has 103 nature reserves and 42 national parks. Also, there are more than 1,200 sanctuaries and nature parks which can only survive by being allowed protection through federal or regional status. These parks and reserves represent unique species of plants and animals in Russia, which decreasing by number with each passing year.
Orenburg Nature Reserve is one of the many. It covered four regions that spread along the border between Russia’s Orenburg Region and Kazakhstan. It is the one and only nature reserve that preserves Russia’s last remaining wild steppe ecosystems. These broad lands burst into bloom each spring, providing a home for a multitude of insects, mammals, and birds. It also preserves sites of great archaeological and historical significance like one from the seventh century B.C. as the nomadic Sarmat tribes lived in these steppes.
In case you want to know more about it, I have rounded up 7 beautiful facts of Orenburg Nature Reserve in Russia. Happy reading!
- A Multitude of Animals
Because of its geographical zone, Orenburg Nature Reserve is home not only to the traditional steppe species but also to those that live in the forest and semi-desert ecosystem. Up until now, there are 48 species of mammals, 7 reptiles, 193 birds, 6 fish, 5 amphibians, and around 1,000 insects.
- A Variety of Vegetation
There is a variety of endangered and rare species that are endemic to the Urals spread widely in Orenburg Nature Reserve such as endemic species of pinks, milk-vetches, Hedysarum, and Oxytropis. They all grow widely on the foothills of the Ural mountains. Other milk-vetches and viper’s grasses are endemic to the saline soils of the semi-desert and the dry steppes of northern Kazakhstan and southern Siberia.
- The President Has Been There
During his trip to the Orenburg Region, President Vladimir Putin paid a visit to the Orenburg Nature Reserve that serves as a breeding ground for some endangered horses. During this visit, he took time to participate in a program to restore the population of Przewalski’s horses by joining reserve employees in releasing a few horses into their natural habitat. He led the horses from a fenced enclosure out into the steppe.
The program for the Przewalski horse is a triumph of international co-operation and scientific expertise because the horse is almost entirely extinct in the wild for about 50 years and the horse disappeared from the Russian steppe in the 19th century. This program for preserving the Przewalski horse has been successful to date it is planned that a semi-free population of the horses will live in the Pre-Ural Steppe site.
- There is A Guesthouse For Visitor
Those who wish to spend some days in the reserve area; there is a guest house to rent. The guest house is a barn-shaped building that faces across grassland toward a stony peak. Do not forget to pack slippers for use in the guest house because Russian people always take off their shoes before entering the house. The house is plain but still cozy. There is a kitchen with a wood stove, more guest rooms, and a bathroom.
In the front yard, there is an ancient set of swings, beautifully designed as small boats. The property used to be a summer venture back in the Soviet Union era and these children’s rides are a relic of that era.
- Burtinskaya Steppe
Burtinskaya Steppe means “Place of Wolves” in the Kazakh language. It will be a nerve-wracking as well as exciting experience to try to lay eyes on these secretive animals. There are approximately three different packs on the nature reserve. The smallest pack is just a pair and the largest one has more than nine members.
The landscape in this steppe is a transition between the forested mountains and the bare grasslands. Rolling hills are smothered in short grass but the springs and the river valleys erupt with thin patches of colorful trees.
- The Climate
The climate of the Orenburg region is generally humid but in summer, the temperature is hotter than that in other places. The climate is indeed characterized by great swings in temperature, both diurnally and seasonally. So, Orenburg region has both warm summers and cold winters.
- It Provides Eco-education
As a state nature reserve, it is mostly closed to the general public. However, the scientists, as well as those with environment study as their subject, are allowed to make arrangements with park management for some visits. Orenburg Nature Reserve provides an eco-tourism route in each of its four sectors and these are open to the public. If you want to pay a visit, make sure that you have required permits in advance. Also, note that visits must be in the presence of an eco-tour guide.
So, those are 7 beautiful facts of Orenburg Nature Reserve in Russia. Are you ready for some eco-adventure?