Naurzum Reserve, Kazakhstan
The Naurzum Reserve is situated on the territory of Naurzum and Semiozyorski regions of Kostanay Oblast, 190 km to the south of Kostanay, in the Turgay Narrows, where the Tersek, the Sipsin and the Naurzum Tracts join. The largest portion of the latter tract is occupied by the Naurzum Coniferous Forest. It is possible to consider pine forests of the reserve connate, as they have been preserved practically unchanged since the tertiary or the beginning of the quaternary periods. And may the birches of Naurzum be less slim than those of Russia, nevertheless, they are fine, even those that grow near the saline lakes. It is the special kind - the Kirghiz birch - endemic of Northern Kazakhstan. It grows on a comparatively small territory and is met nowhere else in the world. The emblem of the Naurzum Reserve is the hissing swan. But equally the grave eagle could be considered as the emblem of the region, for here its population reaches about 30 couples. The most graceful animals of the reserve, the beauty of the Naurzum Coniferous Forest, are roe deer. Each summer elks dwell in the reserve, but they leave it in winter.