Naurzum, Kazakhstan

Naurzum One - Nature Reserve

The Naurzum State reserve was opened in 1966 with the purpose to preserve the natural state of rare and unique natural complexes, fauna and flora of the steppe zone in northern Kazakhstan. The total area of the reserve is 191,381 ha but in 1999-2004 the Kazakhstan Government increased the territory of the reserve by 106,687 ha. In 2008 the Naurzum reserve as a part of the “Saryarka – Steppes and Lakes of Northern Kazakhstan” object was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Naurzum reserve is located between the rivers of Tobol and Turgai. Furthermore the territory of the reserve is crossed by the rivers of Dana-bike and Naurzum-karasu. During high water these rivers connect with the lakes forming large floods. The Naurzum reserve is one of the most affluent in Kazakhstan. In addition to large rivers and numerous lakes, there are springs and small brooks flowing from the mountains. A chain of fresh water lakes of Aksaut and saline lakes of Sarymoin are considered to be the reserve’s largest basins.

The reserve’s flora includes 687 species of plants, a phenomenon rare enough for steppe and semi-steppe zones. One can found relict pinewoods which have not changed much for several hundreds of years. There also grow such rare species of plants as Shrenk tulip, which entered into the Red Book.

The reserve’s fauna features with an abundance of animal kingdom. Every year, the reserve is visited by 282 species of birds, 158 out of which are nidificating in the reserve territory. The most widely presented there are predators - 28 species, 18 out of which are nidificating in the reserve, among them are the golden eagle, imperial eagle and steppe eagle; harriers — pale harrier, Montagu’s and marsh harrier; falcons — saker falcon, black kite, hawks. Such number of bird species is determined with a great number of basins and sources in the territory of the reserve. 23 bird species are entered to the Red Book.

As far as is it concerns mammals 42 species of they live permanently in the reserve. Among them are the elk, roe deer, wild boar and marmot. There also live such predators as the wolf, fox, corsac, lynx. Badgers live near the lakes. The most numerous group of animals in the steppes is presented with rodents - the large-toothed souslik, red-cheeked souslik, little souslik, hamster, and also eared hedgehog, jerboas, brown hair.

The lake is also inhabited with 10 species of fishes, among them are the goldfish and Chinese carp, lake minnow, carp, dace and peled. The fans of eco-tourism, hunters and inveterate fishers will take great enjoyment in visiting the Naurzum reserve.