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The Republic of Buryatia

Barguzinsky State Biospheric Nature Reserve

Государственный природный биосферный заповедник «Баргузинский»
Фотобанк Лори

The Barguzinsky Reserve is the oldest of its kind in Russia, and in the past it has played a major role in saving a valuable fur animal, the Barguzin sable, from complete extinction. This is also the only nature reserve to have received the status of a state reserve in the times of the Russian Empire. The reserve is considered to be a benchmark of pure and virgin nature of the mountains and taiga areas near Lake Baikal.

The reserve can be seen to have been established on May 17, 1916, when the governor-general of Irkutsk issued a decree to that effect. Since 1997, the day of the establishment of the Barguzinsky Nature Reserve, December 29 according to the Gregorian calendar, is celebrated in Russia as the Day of Reserves and National Parks.

In 1986, the Barguzinsky Reserve was granted the status of a biosphere reserve and was included into the International Network of Biosphere Reserves by UNESCO. This reserve is a part of the Lake Baikal World Heritage Site, along with other nature reserves and national parks belonging to the «necklace of reserves» (Barguzinsky, Baikalsky, Baikalo-Lensky Reserves and the Trans-Baikal National Park).

The reserve is located a considerable distance of human impact, so the level of the pollution of air, water, soil, and snow in the reserve are some of the lowest in the country. However, this is what makes this mysterious land fascinating and attractive for sophisticated travelers.

The reserve is located on the western slopes of the Barguzin Ridge, at an altitude of 2,840 meters above sea level, and includes the north-eastern coast of Lake Baikal and a part of the lake itself. The ridge and the Reserve got their names from the Barguzin River.

The reserve protects all natural systems. The animals living in the territory number a total of 41 species, including moose, musk deer, varying hare, brown bear, shrew, and black-capped marmot. The waters of the reserve are inhabited by Baikal omul, whitefish, sturgeon, grayling, salmon, flax, and other species of fish.

The most famous tourist destinations in the reserve include, for example, the valley of Shumilikha River with mountain lakes, and the Karasevoye and Khariusovoe lakes.

Tourists who come to the reserve visit Cape Monakhovo, the hot springs in Zmeyevaya Bay, the Chivyrkuysky Gulf, and the Davsha settlement. Those who prefer active leisure climb to the summit of the Holy Nose Peninsula and the pass over the Barguzin Ridge.

Visit Buryatia, Tourist Information Center /

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Address: The Republic of Buryatia, Barguzinskiy District

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