Region of the Russian Federation: Republic of Bashkortostan

Site Status: inscribed in the Tentative List of the Russian Federation in 2012 as a mixed (cultural and natural) object

Status of Territories composing the Site:
Shulgan-Tash State Nature Reserve (453535, Republic of Bashkortostan, Burziansky District, Irgizly Village, ul. Zapovednaya 14), Altyn-Solok enthomological preserve

Area: 45,000 ha

The natural and cultural complex “Bashkir Ural” is located on the western macro slope of the Southern Urals within the limits of the mountain forest zone of Bashkortostan Republic. The main part of the complex is slightly affected by the human activity (the standard population density here makes up just 2.3 persons per square kilometer). It includes Shulgan-Tash Nature Reserve and Altyn-Solok preserve. About 90% of the complex territory is covered with forests.

Main directions of complex activities are conservation and research of Burzyan wild hive bee in conditions of the ancient Bashkir craft – the forest bee-keeping as well as such unique natural complex as Shulgan-Tash (or Kapova) cave. The length of all cave channels is more than 2.9 km. The cave has three horizons. The Subsurface Shulgan River that created the cave still flows inside it. In 1959 more than 150 Paleolithic cave drawings of global importance were discovered in the cave. Drawings were made mainly with ochre – the natural pigment on a base of animal fat. Their age is nearly 14 thousand years and they represent mammoths, horses and other animals, complicated signs and anthropomorphous figures. There exist rare images made by coal.

Many rare and endangered plant and animal species are preserved in the complex besides bees. 31 species of animals are inscribed in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, 67 species – in the Red Data Book of Bashkortostan Republic. All typical forest animal species of the Russian central strip dwell here. The population density of brown bear here is unusually high. The bird fauna is also diverse.

Rich landscape mosaics stipulates the high diversity of flora. 14 plant species are inscribed in the Red Data Book of Russia, 57 species – in the Red Data Book of Bashkortostan. Relic and endemic species comprise nearly 10% of complete flora. The most rare plant associations are relic spruce forests and mountain stony steppes. The East European broad-leaved, light coniferous forest-steppe and dark coniferous South taiga forests border in this area.