Kazakhstani natural parks Katon-Karagai and Akzhaik have been designated as Biosphere Reserves by the International Coordinating Council of the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program at its 26th session in Sweden, Tengrinews reports citing UNESCO Press.
Kazakhstani national parks along with other 13 national parks from around the world were added to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves list. Earlier in 2012 and 2013 Korgalzhyn and Alakol were named Biosphere Reserves. “There are four UNESCO biosphere reserves in Kazakhstan. Addition to the World Network of Biosphere Reserves promotes preservation of unique nature as well as contributes to the development of economy and tourism in Kazakhstan,” the press release said.
Katon-Karagai is situated in Kazakhstan on the boarder with Russia, China and Mongolia. The main sites are Markakol lake, Belukha and Berkutaul mountains. The local population mainly consists of brown bears, elks, foxes, bobcats, Siberian stags, ermine, black stork and others. The total territory of the natural reserve is 1,631,940 hectares.
Akzhaik, a national reserve in Atyrau Oblast in westnern Kazakhstan, extends to 396,346 hectares occupying Ural river delta and Caspian Sea shorelines. The reserve is considered one of the most important routes of the bird migration from Eurasia to Eastern Africa. According to the UNESCO report “the region is a nesting ground for about 70 waterbird species (along with hosting), including a rare bird, the Dalmatian pelican (Pelicanus crispus), with more than 600 nesting pairs in the colony (12% of the global population)”.
By Gyuzel Kamalova