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Markakol nature reserve.
Sights of reserve Markakol.
The unique trans boundary block of protected natural territories with total area of more than 5,6 million hectares is located in Altai mountains, in the territory of three states. In Kazakhstan the first was Markakol nature reserve founded in 1976 (102 thousand hectares), occupying water area of the lake with the same name and Azutau and Kurchumsky adjoining range slopes.
The richest landscape and biological variety of this nature reserve made it well-known in the countries of near and far abroad. Markakol Lake is located in the depression and is limited with Kuchum Ridge from north and Azutau Ridge from south. The lake has 38 km in length, 19 km in the width and 27 m in depth.
They feed 27 large and small rivers but from the lake only Kalzhir River flows out. Markakol is a fresh-water lake and the water is soft. But its main treasure is uskuch from salmon fishes. Markakol Lake is the only habitation of this fish in Kazakhstan.
Picturesque rocks are covered with mainly larch forests, and in less extent with fir forests. Sub-alpine meadows are rich with flowers, rare medicinal herbs (golden and maral root, virgate Hedysarum, leather bergenia and others).
The fauna of the reserve is rich and diverse. In forests there are brown bears, elks, fox, lynx, maral (Siberian deer), glutton, sable, ermine, hawk, black grouse, rare red dog, black stork, herring gull and many others.
Lake waters is the habitat of endemic species of fishes, such as Brachymystax lenok savinovi and Thymallus arcticus brevicephalus, mountain slopes are presented by various taiga and meadow complexes including about 1000 kinds of higher plants, 239 kinds of birds, 58 kinds of mammals, 4 kinds of reptiles, 2 kinds of amphibians etc.
Many kinds are among rare and entered into the Red Book of Kazakhstan. Here are the following ornamental plant and herbs, as well as 19 kinds of birds, including: Haliaeetus albicilla, Grus grus, and Tetraogallus altaicus.
According to ornithologists, nested population of Pandion haliaetus, interesting fish-eating predator, is the largest in Kazakhstan. Most typical for Markakol are broad-Ieaved forests, fir woods (dark coniferous taiga) which occupy small areas and Siberian -pine which can be met as single specimen, as it is the southern border of its natural habitat.
“Central Asia Mountains”. 2009, Almaty,Publishing house “Mektep”. Authos Aldar Gorbunov, Anna Ivachenko, Sharipa Bisarieva.