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Pearls of nature


"Shulgan-Tash" reserve, the smallest, but the most known of reserves of Bashkortostan.

By a caprice of Nature, here, on only 22,5 thousand hectares, different picturesque nooks, characteristic for northern, central and southern Bashkiria are found. Historically, traces of stays of many ancient tribes crossed here. And considering this territory geographically, the ecological reserve is in the centre of 'reserve' of national culture of Bashkir people.

The reserve is located in Burzyansk Region at the western foothills of the Southern Ural. Its relief is a chaotic web of low ridges, dismembered by numerous brooks and small rivers. From the south and northwest its territory is framed by canyons of the rivers Belaya and Nugush. Landscape - a mosaic of areas of pine and larch taiga, relic fir groves, deciduous and small-leaved woods, dry and water-meadows, limestone and slate rocks, mountain steppes.

Shulgan-Tash, a grandiose karstic grotto complex, amazes each visitor; the size of its investigated part is 2,8 km, the volume exceeds 85 thousand cubic metres. Colourful figures of mammoths, horses, rhinoceroses, magic symbols, drawn by unknown artists 14 millenia ago won the world fame to Shulgan-Tash.

Originality of this nook of Bashkiria compelled attention of scientists long ago.

The first, so to say, popular scientific, article about Shulgan-Tash was published in 1762. In the end of 1920's an offer to create a special protective zone in the area of natural habitat of unique species of bees was suggested. The state hunt control authority survived the territory planned for the reserve in 1948. And in 1958 Pribelsky Area of the Bashkir National Park was established; which lately, in 1986, was transformed into an independent reserve "Shulgan-Tash".

The nature of "Shulgan-Tash" is magnificent. But such a fame of the reserve is not only due to natural reasons, it is also the result of self-sacrificing labour of its collective and help of many friends of the reserve from Burzyansky Region, Bashkortostan, Russia and distant foreign countries.

During last, not easy for the science in Bashkortostan 10 years, 56 scientific works about the nature and archeology of the reserve were published (their total number exceeds 200). More than 100 educational articles in newspapers and magazines, 10 videofilms and reportings appeared as well in these 10 years. 40 thousand visitors, tens of lectures at schools, clubs, and enterprises. The reserve is running own publishing office.

The beekeeping department carefully preserves an ancient traditional craft of Bashkir people. In natural and artificial dwellings a special, native form of melliferous bee is protected. Today about 150 bee families are kept in special containers, where they undergo strict natural selection; 170 bee families occupy three bee-gardens, which are aimed to preserve the safety fund of bee families, for experimental and selection works, reproduction of thoroughbred bees for realization to farms of a mountain and wood zone.

In 1997, under the initiative of the reserve, on the territory of 93 thousand hectares the State Reserve 'Altyn Solok" was founded and intended for bees protection.

Address: Irgizly Village, Burzyansky Region, Bashkortostan Rep., Russia, 453535
Ph. (34755) 3-22-17
e-mail: inrus42@poikc.bashnet.ru

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