Taymyr Biosphere Reserve
Taymyr Biosphere Reserve – located in the basins of the rivers Lagata and Upper Taymyr. It also includes two areas of the northernmost “forest islands” on the planet – Ary-Mas and Lukunskiy. It was established on February 23, 1979, to preserve typical tundra landscape of the Taymyr Peninsula, migration routes of the Taymyr population of wild reindeer, and nesting locations of semiaquatic birds (including the red-breasted goose). It is one of Russia’s largest reserves located in the north of the Krasnoyarsk Region, on the Taymyr Peninsula. The T.B.R. is formed of clusters and includes four plots. The area is 1,781,928 ha; a subdivision includes 37,018 ha of the Laptev Sea. The flora is mostly represented by low-bush, suffruticous and moss tundra, and tundra bogs. In 1995 by decision of MAB UNESCO, the reserve was awarded the status of the biospheric one. All the territory of the reserve is located in the permafrost zone. Temperature below zero and snow occur even in July. In winter, ice cover around 2 m wide is formed over the water.
The reserve enjoys 21 species of mammals (let alone some pinnipeds and cetaceans entering the waters of the Arctic area) and the world’s largest herd of wild reindeer. 430 species of higher plants (tracheophytes), 222 species of moss, and 265 species of lichen grow in the territory of the reserve. The number of bird species is 116, with 74 from them breeding; over 15 species of fish are found in rivers and lakes – salmons, mainly of whitefish family: broad whitefish, nelma, muksun, vendace, Arctic whitefish, and omul; chars are found in lakes (lacustrine and fluvial). Burbot, Siberian grayling, peled, and Siberian smelt are also common. One of the most remarkable species of bird fauna in tundra lowland is the red-breasted goose. Over 20 years ago, a trial on musk oxen acclimatization was started in Taymyr tundra. Now about 8,000 of these fascinating animals (first species were brought from Canada and the United States) are spread around eastern Taymyr.