Kaluzhsky Zaseki Nature Reserve - Guarding Flora and Fauna
The broadleaf forests of Kaluzhsky Zaseki Nature Reserve or Kaluzhsky Zaseki Zapovednik have enjoyed protection for many years. Thus today it remains an important area of ecology with diverse plant and animal life. A visit to the beautiful landscapes of Kaluzhsky Zaseki will prove truly rewarding.
When Slavic people began to reside in this region back in the 8th and 9th centuries the trees in the area were chopped down for construction or removed for agricultural purposes. Despite this efforts were made even back then to preserve the beautiful broadleaf forests which acted as a natural defense system. Local princes over the years continued to build up the defenses of the forests with moats and barricades, creating a remarkable defensive complex. However, when such defenses were no longer needed Kaluzhsky Zaseki's forest were used in the logging industry. During the 1980s, two scientists stumbled upon a practically untouched tract of broadleaf forest. The scientists took steps to preserve this original forest and in 1992 Kaluzhsky Zaseki Zapovednik was established.
Kaluzhsky Zaseki Zapovednik is perfectly situated in Central Russia's Uplands, just 250km from Moscow. The nature reserve is made up of two parts – North and South. The terrain has is flat and features low hills and moraines. The soils the park vary throughout, thus contributing to biodiversity in the area. Kaluzhsky Zaseki has 8 streams which flow into Oka River, a tributary of the Volga River.
The zapovednik of Kaluzhsky Zaseki is the northernmost point of Russia's broadleaf forests. Tree species found in the forest include pedunculate oaks, Scotch elms, common ash, small-leaved lime, common maple and birches. To the north of the nature reserve coniferous forests come to the fore and include trees such as pines and spruces. Spring brings with it bountiful growth on the forest floor with long-rooted onion, mezereon shrubs, ferns, lily-of-the-valley, Siberian iris, early-purple orchid and other lovely floral plants flourishing. The abundant rainfall of Kaluzhsky Zaseki means that mushrooms are plentiful with some 189 species.
Although the influence of man has resulted in low numbers of wild animals outside of Kaluzhsky Zaseki Zapovednik, within its bounds animal life is rich. Beautiful species such as moose, red deer and roe deer are common residents. The park even has its own herd of 13 bison. Other animals to look out for are wolves, foxes, lynxes, raccoons, beavers, river otters and European badgers. The magnificent forests of Kaluzhsky Zaseki are the ideal home for birds. Species calling the park home include the curlew, common snipe, great snipe, black stork, white stork, common crane, short-toed eagles, marsh hawks, booted eagles, goshawks and black kites. Kaluzhsky Zaseki Nature Reserve is a treasure chest of natural wonders.