Lena Pillars Nature Park
Region of the Russian Federation:
Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Status of Territories composing the Property: Lena Pillars Nature Park
Area: 1,272,150 ha
Status: inscribed in World Heritage List in 2012
Lena Pillars Nature Park is located in the Central Yakutia, in the middle stream of the Lena River.
The park received its name due to the unique ridge of rocks — magic stone sculptures in a form of pillars and towers that stretch along the Lena on dozens of kilometers. The height of some of them reaches 100 meters. This natural monument is composed from Cambrian limestone — the rock formed more than 500 million years ago.
Fanciful shape of rocks is a result of thermokarst and erosion processes connected with the development of the permafrost. Besides on the territory of the park one can meet small plots of the desert landscape — the unique permafrost ecosystems, as well as blowing sands-tukulans — isolated and independently developing sand ridges with practically not fixed by vegetation slopes.
Lena Pillars represents the complex of different by morphology and origin natural-territorial complexes combining ancient, destroying recently outlier karst forms and contemporary colluvial sediments.
In the area of Lena Pillars scientists discovered burial places of ancient fauna bone remains: mammoth, bison, Lena horse and woolly rhinoceros.
The representatives of the Siberian faunistic complex with the elements of South taiga and Arctic fauna make up the base of the rather rich fauna of the park. 21 species of rare and endangered “Red List” plants grow in the park. In the basin of the middle stream of Lena River the fish fauna counts 31 species. Nesting of 101 bird species is determined on the territory of the park. Fauna as a whole here is typical for the middle taiga subzone of Palearctic with the distribution of such animals as sable, brown bear, squirrel, elk, chipmunk and others. Musk deer, northern pika, mountain-forest form of the reindeer refer to the inhabitants of the mountain-taiga complex. A number of species like Manchurian deer, field vole, some representatives of cheiroptera and insectivore are characteristic for southern taiga fauna and here the northern limit of their distribution lies.
The larch-pine or pine-subshrub forests in combination with steppe plots are common for Southern. Larch forests with spruce are located on the Northern slopes.
Climate here is acutely continental with low (till-60°) temperatures in winter and high temperatures – in summer (till +35°).