Region of the Russian Federation: Republic of Karachaevo-Cherkessia
Status of Territories composing the Property: Teberdinsky State Nature Biosphere Reserve
Area: 121 414 ha
Status: inscribed in the Tentative List of the Russian Federation in 2004 (as "Western Caucasus" WH property extension)
Teberdinsky Nature Reserve is located on the Main Caucasus Ridge just in 40 kilometers to the East from the Caucasus Nature Reserve inscribed in the World Heritage List in 1999. The reserve area represents the typical mountain terrain with the heights that vary from 1260 to 4047 meters above sea level. The highest point of the reserve is the Dombay-Ulgen Mountain. The foot of the ridge till the heights of 2000-2300 meters is covered with fir tree forests that are replaced by beech crooked forests and birch forests near the upper forest boundary. Higher the zone of the Alpine meadows is located. The zone of the modern glaciations is above it. Above the surface of glaciers the sharp peaks and crests with sheer slopes without ice and snow are towered. The relief sharpness causes the intensive development of the snow-slips.
The climate in the Nature Reserve is warm and humid. The small annual and daily amplitudes of the air temperature approximate it to the marine one. But in correspondence with the vertical zonality on the territory of the Nature Reserve three climate zones (mountain-forest, mountain-meadow and nival) could be marked out. On the territory of the Nature Reserve 157 lakes and 109 glaciers are concentrated. The most large-scale glaciers are valley glaciers that reach in length several kilometers and an area of several square kilometers. More than 30 escapes of mineral waters could be seen here.
The animal population of the Teberdinsky Nature Reserve had been formed as a result of the complicated interpenetration of the processes of local speciation (west Caucasian tur, Caucasian grouse, parnassius nordmanni) and faunistic influences from the side of mixed coniferous-broad-leaved forests of the Western Europe (wildcat, edible dormouse, common blackbird); forest zone of Eurasia (lynx, brown bear, Tengmalm's owl); uplands of Central Asia (Alpine chough, cinereous vulture, snow vole) and the Mediterranean (chamois, ring ouzel). Besides there are typical such glacial relicts as Nocaracris cyanipes etc. Three species of fish (brown trout, gobio and stone loach) inhabit the water bodies of the Nature Reserve. Teberdinsky Nature Reserve refers to the key ornithological territories of the International importance. 203 species of birds are registered there. 90 species nest there. One of the most remarkable birds of the Reserve is Caucasian grouse. It is the Caucasian endemic and is inscribed in the IUCN Red Data List and Russia Red Book. Another representative of the Gallinaceae, the snow cock inhabits the highest floor of the mountains where Alpine meadows border with sub-nival belt, in the most severe mountain conditions. 46 species of mammals inhabit the Nature Reserve. Among them is tur - one of the most typical representatives. Chamois is another representative of the mountain Ungulata. It (like tur) excellently moves on slopes but holds the forest belt, although in summer time it is not rare on the sub-Alpine and Alpine meadows. The number of the red deer on the Reserve territory is relatively small (just 50-60 heads). The wisent is the pride of the Nature Reserve. It is the largest wild animal in Europe.