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The area of Daursky Nature Reserve has almost doubled

09 august 2021
On August 4, 2021, by the Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation, the area of Daursky Nature Reserve in Zabaikalsky province was enlarged by 39 thousand hectares due to the addition of 11 new sites.

The materials of a comprehensive environmental survey of new sites to upgrade their status to national level were prepared by specialists of Daursky Nature Reserve with the assistance of the UNDP / GEF / Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia and WWF Russia.

Daursky NR is located in the south of Zabaikalsky province, at the junction of Russia, Mongolia and China. It was created on December 25, 1987 to preserve and study the unique wetland, steppe and forest ecosystems of Dauria. Mongolian gazelle and relict gull live on its territory, as well as other rare species like swan goose, great bustard, white-naped crane, marmot.

The initial project (July 1986) assumed that the reserve would be a single site located on an area of ​​about 200 thousand hectares, including the water area of ​​the Torey Lakes and adjacent steppe territories. However, during the process of creation, the area was reduced to 44,752 hectares. The reserve was formed on 5 cluster plots, 4 of which have an area of ​​less than 1,000 hectares and are surrounded by agricultural land used for grazing and hayfields. In 1992, in the process of preparing for the formation of the international Russian-Mongolian-Chinese protected area "Dauria", the reserve received 3 more small fragmented sites with a total area of ​​1,038 hectares on Adon-Chelon rocky massif. More than 75% of the area of ​​the reserve was the Barun-Torey lake water area.

“The process of enlarging was not easy and very long. And we are glad that it ended in favor of nature. The boundaries of the reserve will include 11 new sites located in the Borzinsky and Ononsky districts of Zbaikalsky province. This will make it possible to strengthen the protection of natural complexes, rare wildlife species and to unite previously separated territories. The total area of Daursky Nature Reserve has almost doubled and now amounts to 84.1 thousand hectares,” comments Alexey Cherepanov, director of the Daursky NR.
Comments Peter Osipov, director of WWF Russia Amur branch: “The decree of the Government of the Russian Federation has completed many years of work to increase the area of the Daursky Nature Reserve. An important circumstance is that it includes mainly steppe ecosystems, which are very few in the PA system of federal level. These are habitats of Mongolian gazelle, the population of which has been restored and increased over the past 30 years thanks to the efforts of the staff of Daursky NR, well-organized protection work, and to the “Valley of dzeren” federal refuge created in 2011. Now, with the addition of new sites, this work should become even more effective. WWF has been supporting the work of Daursky Reserve for over 15 years. With the expansion of its territory, the role of Daursky reserve and Dauria International Protected Area (DIPA) as an outpost of nature conservation and international cooperation in this transboundary region significantly increases."

In accordance with the Ramsar Convention, Daursky Nature Reserve is a wetland of international importance as part of the Torey Lakes wetlands, a key ornithological territory in Asia, a key crane area, it is a part of the UNESCO World Biosphere Reserves Network, and in 2017 is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as part of the Russian-Mongolian site “Landscapes of Dauria”.

Moreover, the reserve is part of the only trilateral Russian-Mongolian-Chinese transboundary reserve “Dauria” in Asia.

Most of the newly included sites are adjacent to the main territory of the reserve, combining small clusters into single areas. The exception is two small areas in the valley of the Borzya River is a breeding site for white-naped cranes. The Adon-Chelon has become a single large cluster. An extensive steppe massif with a total area of ​​more than 15,000 hectares, which united two clusters of the reserve, appeared near the northeastern coast of Zun-Torey Lake.
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