SAMURSKIY NATIONAL PARK WAS ESTABLISHED IN DAGESTAN
In the early 90's of last century, it was planned to create the South Dagestan Reserve to protect the broad-leaved forests of the Dagestan foothills, the Samur River Delta, sections of the Samur ridge and the Kara-Syrt massif conservation. But this ambitious goal was not achieved.
Samurskiy National Park was included in the Concept of protected areas system development until 2020 and in the Governmental Environmental Plan because it’s an important territory for landscape and biological diversity of the Southern Dagestan conservation. The Persian Leopard Reintroduction Program has become an additional incentive for creation of the protected area, because this territory is the potential habitat for this Red Data Book predator. Moreover, Samurskiy National Park is necessary to maintain an effective functioning of the Samur-Yalama transboundary wildlife corridor.
Two expeditions to explore the territory took place in May 2016 with WWF-Russia support. Obtained data became the basis for of the Samurskiy National Park feasibility study elaboration. It consists of two sectors: first one (10,133 ha) based on the existing Samurskiy Sanctuary in the Samur River Delta to conserve unique Liana forests, whereas second one is entirely new. Latter sector (namely Shalbuzdag, 38,139 ha) is situated in mountainous part of Dagestan in close proximity to Shakhdag National Park (Azerbaijan).
Samurskiy National Park was established on December 25, 2019 in the Akhtyn, Derbent, Dokuzparinskiy and Magaramkentskiy districts territory of the Dagestan Republic. Its total area is 48,273 ha.
There are 1,073 plant species and 469 vertebrates have been identified in the Samurskiy National Park already. Of them, 166 species is listed in the Red Data Book of Russian Federation.
The Samurskiy National Park conserves unique ecosystems, and provide conservation and restoration rare and endangered species of plants and animals’ populations of this territory, taking into account the way local population life. Also, the National Park occurrence will ensure the natural resources rational usage through development of eco-tourism for socio-economic growth of the region.
The National Park will provide a migration corridor between Russia and Azerbaijan.