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Pearls of nature

Central-Wood Reserve

Central-Wood National Reserve was organized in 1931, and in 1935 obtained National status.

The reserve is situated in the southwest part of Tverskaya Oblast, right on a watershed of the rivers Volga, Western Dvina and Dnepr (i.e. the Caspian, Baltic and the Black Sea basins). Geographical coordinates: 56026'-56039' North and 32039'-33001' east of Greenwich. The woodland lies at the interfaces between Nelidovsky, Andreapolsky and Selizharovsky Regions of Tverskaya Oblast, 30 kilometers from the town of Nelidov; its area is 24,4 thousand hectares (including 46061 hectares of fenced-off area).

The reserved territory occupies a watershed between the two largest rivers of the European part of Russia - the Volga and Western Dvina. The largest rivers of the reserve itself are: the Mezha, Tyudma, and Zhukopa. There are two forestries in the structure of the reserve - the Southern and the Northern forestry.

The reserve's fate proved to be rather complicated. In 1951 Central-Wood National Reserve was closed down under the pressure of timber enterprises. This temporal closure cost a lot: the reserve's territory was reduced to 2/3 of its former size; the remained woods lost 600 hectares, which were disforested. Central-Wood National Reserve was reorganized only in 1960 with the main task of preservation and study of fir forests.

The main riches of this nook of Tveskaya Oblast - untouched primeval woods and their fauna. UNESCO registered this reserve as biospheric in 1985. It is included into the international system of biospheric reserves, carrying out global ecological monitoring. In 1985 Central-Wood National Biospheric Reserve founded Toropetsk Biological Station. The other station inherited its name from Lake Chistoye (Clear), its waters being surprisingly clear and transparent, so the station was named 'Chisty Les'(Clear Wood).

The reserve's territory represents slightly hilly and superfluous divide plain with very smoothed forms of relief. On the whole the reserve lies at 200-280 m above sea level. The climate is temperate-continental with rather warm summer and moderately cold winter. Average monthly temperature of July is +17,5C; in January - 9,5C. Annual rainfall - about 600 mm. The soils are mostly podsolic and swampy-podsolic. The watershed position of the reserve resulted in wide development of surface swamping processes. The most beautiful swamp in the reserve - Katin Moss.

According to its vegetation character the reserve is referred to coniferous-deciduous zone, which represents a complex combination of woods of fir and broadleaf trees, south taiga fir groves and small areas of deciduous woods. The flora is not especially rich in its specific structure, but at the same time it preserved features of floristic complexes of glacial epoch. The woods of the reserve have many valuable plants: various berries, bee plants, herbs, hazel, etc. There are more than 10 species of edible berries.

There are 56 species of animals in the reserve. Such big predators as bear, lynx, wolf, and many species of small ones - marten, fox, mink, ermine, weasel, and otter, in riverside areas, are met here. The biggest animals of our woods - elks, as well as, wild boars and roe deer are also found here. Representatives of rodents group - hares and squirrels - are numerous. Beavers build their lodges along the rivers Tyudma and Mezha. Raccoon dogs, which were brought to Tverskaya Oblast from Ussuriysky Territory, bred very fast and populated the whole Oblast.

The fauna of the reserve is rich and various in species. But the most remarkable among them - birds, they constantly attract attention. 202 species of birds are found within the reserve's territories. Wood-birds prevail here, the other groups of birds, for example, water-birds, are rare, since they belong to different natural habitat.

Central-Wood National Biospheric Reserve is a scientific institution, and its subject of investigation - various natural objects: fauna and flora, soils, climate, geological conditions, etc. Such well-known scientists, as I.S. Vasiliyev, L. Grave, .. Rode, P.B. Yurgenson and many others carried out researches here.

Since 1992 the reserve is involved into Nature Annals scientific research program. The basic direction of this work is improvement of gathering, processing and storage of scientific data, its further classification and creation of databases. Besides, large extent of examinations is carried out within the framework of other programs and individual grants. Ecosystems of fir-and-deciduous woods of Middle Russia Height are being fully studied. The reasons of natural stability and a way to increase of biological efficiency of woods are being discovered. Special methods of increase of animal populations and their rational use are being developed. Scientific articles and theses of researchers of the reserve are being published in special annuals and periodicals.

Moscow scientists accomplish research works in the territory of the reserve, the Botanical Institute attached to the Russian Academy of Science has its permanent establishment here; students of institutes of Moscow, Tver and other cities of Russia do their practical works in the reserve. There is a meteorological station and natural museum.

Address: Zapovednik Post-Office, Nelidovsky Region, Tverskaya Oblast, Russia, 172513

E-mail: senforest@glasbet.ru

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