Nature Conservation in the Aral Sea Region: Barsa-Kelmes as an Example

  • L. A. Dimeyeva
  • N. P. Ogar
  • Z. Alimbetova
  • S. W. Breckle
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 218)


The territory of Barsa-Kelmes Nature Reserve includes the former island of Barsa-Kelmes, the dry seafloor and the area adjacent to the former islands of Kaskakulan and Uzun-Kair. The highest point, at 108 m above sea level, is located in Barsa-Kelmes. The territory of the nature reserve had expanded in 2006 by almost ten times (160,826 ha), including territories of the dry seafloor. The area now consists of two cluster areas: (1) the former island of Barsa-Kelmes with the surrounding dry seafloor; (2) the former islands of Kaskakulan and Uzun-Kair with the surrounding dry seafloor These are the main habitats of onager (kulan; Equus hemionus onager) and Persian gazelle (jairan; Gazella subgutturosa), to where they migrated after the area became dry. The flora and vegetation represent typical combinations of plants and vegetation types of the region as well as unique trends of the successional development on the Aral desiccated seafloor. The flora of vascular plants (76%) reflects the plant diversity of the Kazakhstan part of the Aral Sea coast. There are 14 endemics and three species from the Red Data Book of Kazakhstan among them. Barsa-Kelmes Nature Reserve is the only one in the world located in a zone of an ecological catastrophe of a global scale. Monitoring studies are a now basis for long-term observations of natural processes.


Biosphere Reserve Floristic Composition Saiga Antelope Halocnemum Strobilaceum Haloxylon Aphyllum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This research was funded partly by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF grant 0330389, 2002–2005). The information on vegetation of transects in Barsa-Kelmes for 1989 and 2005 was kindly provided by Dmitry Eliseyev (St. Petersburg, Russia).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. A. Dimeyeva
    • 1
  • N. P. Ogar
    • 1
  • Z. Alimbetova
    • 2
  • S. W. Breckle
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of Botany and PhytointroductionAcademy of ScienceAlmatyKazakhstan
  2. 2.Nature ReserveAralskKazakhstan
  3. 3.Department of EcologyUniversity of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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