Support The Moscow Times!

Russia Creates New Nature Reserve in Urals Steppe

The Shaitan-Tau will preserve the area's unique oak forest steppe, the decree said.

The Russian government on Sunday authorized the creation of a new nature reserve to protect the wood-grown steppe of the southern Urals.

The Shaitan-Tau reserve in the Orenburg region will cover 67 square kilometers, according to the government's website, making it slightly larger than Manhattan Island (59 square kilometers).

The Shaitan-Tau (Turkic for "Devil's Mountain") will preserve the area's unique oak forest steppe, the decree said.

The reserve comprises a still-untouched ecosystem that hosts relict plants, rare falcons and endangered butterflies.

It also attracts geologists and paleontologists thanks to its 500 million-year-old limestone deposits full of fossils.

Russia has more than 100 strict wildlife reserves, including 10 natural UNESCO World Heritage sites.

The country has also signed the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, which obliges participants to allot 17 percent of their total land territory for nature reserves by 2020.

But environmental groups say Russia's current plans for new reserves fail to meet the UN obligations, and two of the UNESCO sites are in danger of losing their status due to state-endorsed human activity there.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more