Lena Pillars Nature Park

on the map

Region of the Russian Federation: Sakha (Yakutia) Republic

Area: 1.27 million ha

Criteria: (viii)

Site Status: inscribed in the World Heritage List in 2012

Status of Territories composing the Site:
Lenskie Stolby Nature Park (678 000, Sakha (Yakutia) Republic, Khangalas District, Pokrovsk, ul. Ordzhonikidze, 56)

Lena Pillars Nature Park is in Central Yakutia, in the middle course of the river Lena.

The park received its name from a unique ridge of rocks in the form of pillars and towers some up to 100 meters high that stretch along the Lena for tens of kilometers. These are composed of Cambrian limestone rock formed more than 500 million years ago.

The rock’s fanciful shape of rocks is a result of thermokarst and erosion processes connected with permafrost development. Small areas of desert landscape —  the unique blowing tukulan-sands isolated and independently developing sand ridges and slopes practically not fixed by vegetation are also found here.

The “Lena Pillars” is a collection of natural complexes differing in origin and morphology combining ancient karst forms, now disintegrating, and contemporary sediments. In this area scientists have discovered burial places of prehistoric animal bones: mammoth, bison, Lena horse and woolly rhinoceros.

The park’s fauna comprises Siberian, south-taiga and Arctic fauna. 21 species of rare and endangered “Red List” plants grow there. There are 31 fish species. 101 bird species nest here. On the whole the fauna is typical of the mid-taiga Palearctic subzone with a prevalence of such animals as sable, brown bear, squirrel, elk, chipmunk and others. Musk deer, northern pika, mountain-forest form of the reindeer are inhabitants of the mountain-taiga complex. A number of species like Manchurian deer, field vole, some representatives of cheiroptera and insectivores are characteristic of south-taiga fauna and this is the northern limit of their range.

Larch-pine or pine-subshrub forests in combination with steppe sections are common on southern slopes, with larch and spruce on northern ones.

Climate here is acutely continental with temperatures down to -60оC in winter and up to +35оC in summer.