STEPPE AROMA OF THE KORGALZHYNSKY RESERVE
The Korgalzhynsky reserve in the Central Kazakhstan, in the southern part of the Tenizsky hollow is located, a half of the reserved territory the Teniz-Korgalzhynsky system of lakes occupies, other half – a big complete site of the steppe.
The Korgalzhynsky national Natural Park was organize on April 16, 1968. Firstly Square of the reserve made 177 200 hectares, including 147 600 hectares of water. After a number of increases in its territory, especially after expansion of the reserve in 2008, the modern area made 543 171 hectares. The Korgalzhynsky reserve the biggest in Kazakhstan.
The huge flat and treeless spaces without civilization signs carpeted steppe herbs in combination with unexpectedly arising blue, blue, and at times green water areas of lakes create sharp contrast of perception for the person, especially city dweller, cause big emotional lift, feeling of unlimited freedom. The esthetic perception of the nature amplifies a peculiar steppe aroma, which changes the shades depending on time of blossoming of herbs.
The biodiversity of the Korgalzhinsky reserve is unique. It includes more than 500 species of the higher plants, about 2000 invertebrate and vertebrate animals, including 14 species of fish, 6 species of amphibians and reptiles, 350 bird species and 43 species of mammals. Wetland of birds makes 112 types.
The main richness of the reserve are birds. They brought it such popularity and the international recognition. The lake Teniz – the only lake of Kazakhstan, in 2000 is brought in the international network «Live Lakes» where the most unique lakes of the world enter. In the 2007th lakes of the reserve are included in the international network of key ornithological territories of IBA. In the 2008th its territory is included in the List of the World natural heritage of UNESCO. In 2012 UNESCO as the first biospheric wildlife reserve in RK again recognizes the reserve.
The Korgalzhinsky Reserve – a real paradise for the person who likes to watch the feathery. Unforgettable impressions leave the exciting show of mass flight and big congestions of waterfowl on lakes. From spring to late fall it is possible to admire swans, river and nyrkovy ducks, sandpipers, geese, herons. Korgalzhynsky lakes – fresh, are famous for the fish fauna – a pike, gold and silver crucians, a pike perch, a tench, a perch and other species of fish. The stern – many fish-eating birds is many seagulls, cormorants, pelicans. Moreover, a curly pelican – a Red Book look on reserved lakes concentrates to 20 percent from world population. It is also possible to see also other rare birds: spoonbill, black-headed hokhotun, savka.
On desert islands of the huge salty lake Teniz bring baby birds ancient, as the lake, seagulls – black-headed hokhotun and a sea pigeon. There is the most northern place of nesting of a pink flamingo in the world, a bird, exotic for us.
Reserved lakes are unique and have huge value as the wildlife reserve for the nesting and fading waterfowl.
The Korgalzhynsky reserve is not only lakes as it was already noted above, a half of its territory is presented by a huge western steppe site which is very important for preservation of the unique reference natural steppe ecosystems which underwent in other parts of Kazakhstan of degradation in its various degree. They are habitats of mass and rare species of plants, including a Red Book look – a tulip of Shrenk who is of great importance as reserve material of selection fund.
In the spring, during blossoming of ephemeral plants – tulips, irises, a geranium, the Adonis Volga, a lumbago, the steppe represents an unforgettable show, thousands of multi-colored sparks light up on a green carpet. Air is pure and fresh, given to drink by dense aroma of the blossoming herbs and a wormwood. Little later beautiful white garlands of small flowers cover the meadowsweet. In the summer the steppe decorates a feather grass which at a wind worries and waves as if the gray-haired sea.
The steppe is the house for many rare birds and mammals: steppe eagle, steppe lunya, crane belladonna, bustard, strepet, groundhog, korsak, steppe creeper, etc. The territory located to the West from Teniz – traditional places of an okot of saigas. Tourism isn’t a primary activity of the national natural parks, in difference, for example, from national parks. Creation in them excursion tracks and routes for carrying out adjustable ecological tourism is
allowed in the order established by authorized body on specially allocated sites which aren’t including especially valuable ecological systems and objects.
The Korgalzhynsky reserve – especially protected natural territory.
But proximity of the capital – Astana, the international popularity of the reserve as UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site, peculiar landscapes, rich fauna, the modern visit center, largest in the republic, attract here annually thousands of inhabitants of our republic and foreign tourists which number grows every year.
In six years of the work visit center of the Korgalzhynsky reserve became by right the ecological and educational center not only for local population, but also for residents of Astana and other nearby settlements. It is the business card of the reserve where visitors can receive all most important information on this unique territory, the important part in promotion and informing the population on importance of preservation of wetlands «Teniz-Korgalzhynsky system of lakes» and reserved steppe sites – habitats of rare species of animals and plants is assign to it.
Coming to the Korgalzhinsky reserve, tourists, accompanied by guides-conductors go along the ecological routes laid in a security zone of the reserve. One, such as byodvocher, watch selectively bird species, interesting to them, for example, for white-winged and black larks who meet only in steppes. – give another a flamingo, the third dream to see a saiga. Someone is lucky less; someone has more, after all the reserve not a zoo. The majority of them very positive is pleasant to our guides to work with foreign tourists; they learned to appreciate the wild nature, having lost it in the countries.
That pleases us, as among tourists meets more and more those who well knows birds and animals, tries to learn more about the reserve and its inhabitants during excursion, grieves about the nature.