Located in the center of the Todzha depression inRepublic of Tuva, founded in 1985. Has an area of 300.4 hectares. "Azas" is a reserve, a brief "biography" of which sounds like this. In this article we will try to tell you more about this wonderful place.
"Azas" is a nature reserve created in 1985 on thethe base of the national reserve "Azas". The main goal is to protect and study the unique and typical ecosystems of the Todzhi depression and surrounding mountains, protect the animal and plant life of Southern Siberia.
The reserve "Azas" is located in the formercovering glaciation, which created a unique relief. The bottom of the basin increases from 850 to 2000 meters from west to east. It is surrounded by uplands, reaching a height of 2900 meters.
The mountain rivers of the reserve are marked by rapids, clamps and waterfalls. Their waters are impeccably clean and transparent - through them you can see the pebble bottom. The largest rivers of the reserve are Sorug and Azas.
The climate is moderately wet and sharply continental. Winter in these places is calm and very cold. Summer is pretty cool - summer frosts also happen.
The minimum temperature of January can reach -54 ° С, but in the last 15 years it has not fallen below -49 ° С. The average daily air temperature in January is -28.7 ºC, in July +14.6 ºC.
In the geological structure of this territoryPaleozoic and Proterozoic rocks - conglomerates, sandstones, limestones, gneisses, crystalline schists, porphyrites, granite intrusions. In the east, they are blocked by a thick layer of tuffs and basalts.
The reserve "Azas" is distinguished by a largediversity of vegetation. It is represented by various types - meadows, steppes, bogs, tundra. The highest vascular plants are represented by 909 species, most of which are found in Eurasia and Asia.
The territory of the reserve is inhabited by more than 20 speciesdifferent ferns, located in places with high humidity. The family of pine trees includes 5 species of trees, including larch, cedar and Siberian pine.
A significant role in the formation of the landscape is played by birch (fluffy and dangling) and tree-like willows, which grow on stony soils along the banks of rivers and lakes.
"Azas" is a nature reserve of Russia, under the protection of which there are also flowering plants. These include the Venus shoe, the orchis shlemosnosny, the saussure of Dorogostaisky.
"Azas" is a nature reserve in which there aremore than 200 medicinal plants - spiraea (medium and dubkovolistnaya), needle hips, berry bushes, thick bean, Siberian mountain ash and others.
To the decorative species growing on the territory of the reserve, it is necessary to include a large variety of buttercup and composite, all kinds of orchids and most lily.
In the lakes and marshes one can find sedge andmarsh cranberries. More than 6% of the territory of the reserve "Azas" is covered by marshy light forests. To edible types of berries, except cranberries, are growing in the mountain taiga forests of blueberries, cowberries and blueberries, and in the valley forests - black currant, which reaches a height of 3 m, red currant, along the creeks grows ramson or onions victorious.
The vegetation cover of the reserve is the predominance of mountain taiga forests (mostly cedar and deciduous forests), on the slopes - steppes predominate, tundra-goltz communities are formed at the foot of the slopes.
Tundra shrubs are represented by juniper communities with predominance of the Adams rhododendron.
The fauna of the reserve is typical for this mountainous region. Today it is represented by 51 species of mammals, 23 of which are considered rare or disappearing.
The most varied in these lands is the detachmentrodents. In the deciduous, cedar and mixed forests there is a common squirrel. In the high mountains among the tundra and meadows live gopher colonies of long-tailed. In the spring, the chipmunk awakens in the reserve. This animal is considered quite rare here.
Small rodents are represented by red-gray andred voles, a vole-housekeeper, an Asian forest mouse. Often there is muskrat, but its population is small due to the lack of feed, due to the deep freezing of water bodies.
This animal should be told in more detail.The first mention of Tuvan beavers appeared at the end of the XIX century - they were found in the upper Yenisei. Local residents argue that this animal was revered as sacred, so hunting for it was banned. At the same time, in the early 1960s, the population of beavers living on the Azas River was only 24 individuals. Today this figure has increased more than 3 times.
Beavers prefer to settle on sites with great depth, slow currents and high banks. Undoubtedly, for them the supply of food resources is important.
The reserve "Azas" is a place where beavers survive in very severe conditions - a limited food base, lack of sufficient space for equipping burrows. This explains their low fertility.
In the reserve, the number of wolves does not exceed 60individuals. They feed on marals and roe deer. The constant inhabitants of the reserve were brown bears, which in the early summer choose their places with grassy vegetation. In autumn they go to the taiga, sometimes prey on ungulates.
The sable population is small - no more than threeanimals per 1000 hectares. He eats berries, nuts, rodents. But weasel and ermine are represented here extensively. Sometimes you can meet a wolverine, and in the aquatic environment there live the American mink and the river otter.
The whole territory of the reserve is inhabited by moose, which are under special protection.
Lakes are inhabited by black-throated loons, the Anseriformes inhabit small and medium-sized taiga lakes.
The thickets of water and coastal vegetation of Lake Azas are good for nesting ducks. Of these, the most common are wiggly, mallard, teal-whistle, broad-eared, gray duck.
Representative of birds of prey is a goshawk, common buzzard and sparrowfish, hunting for small birds - tits and sparrows.
Kites settle in the valleys of the taiga rivers and on the lake Azas. White-tailed eagle is the largest bird of prey in the reserve. They arrive in early April. Their numbers are stable and do not cause concern.
In the open and forest swampy areas, a gray crane settles.
"Azas" is a nature reserve, photo of which you cansee in our article, has become a permanent habitat for 9 species of owls. The largest predator among birds is the long-tailed owl. Much more rarely you can find a swamp owl, the hawk flies into the reserve only during seasonal migrations. In the spring you can hear the eagle owl. Small owls live in dark coniferous forests.
In late May - early June, huge swarms of swiftsfeed on the surface of the water. In the reserve are common white-tailed, black and needle-tailed swifts. Among the rare and endangered birds on the territory of the reserve there are an osprey, white-tailed eagle, a black stork, a golden eagle, a saker.
To the group of amphibians that inhabit the reserve "Azas", there is a Siberian angler and a sharp-pointed frog that are spread over moistened places.
Reptiles in this area are few in number, and lizards are quite rare (sandy and viviparous), common mordant and common viper.
The reserve "Azas" is the most beautiful high-mountainouslandscapes with volcanoes, canyons, circuses, mineral springs and countless lakes. The territory of the reserve includes 18 sacred places, which is worshiped by the indigenous population - Todinsk-Tuvans. A special attraction of these places are the Arzhaans (Beech-Sorug, Oorash).
The reserve developed touristroutes that acquaint guests with high-altitude and taiga ecosystems, with cult rituals conducted at therapeutic sources, with the daily life of reindeer herders.
Lake Azas is a natural monument of this land. It is located at an altitude of 944 meters. It can be visited during a day trip.
Large reserve lakes of the reserve - Kadysh and Mana-Khol are of no less interest. Their maximum depth reaches 100 meters.
In the highlands are picturesque volcanoes, on mountain rivers - waterfalls and canyons. This landscape contrasts with the colorful Alpine meadows.