November 1 is the day when Kronotsky Nature Reserve celebrates its birthday. Established 87 years ago, this specially protected natural area is one of the oldest and most well-known in Russia.
Initially created to save the sable populations, Kronotsky Nature Reserve has taken on the most challenging task of protecting the unique geographic landscapes and natural resources of Kamchatka. The nature reserve’s path was neither easy nor smooth: some important and gratifying discoveries, such as the Valley of Geysers discovered in 1941, came along with the upsetting incidents of irrational use of natural resources in this area – oil exploration in the 1930s – 1950s or poaching in the 1990s. In addition, the nature reserve was abolished twice in its history. One of such periods saw unrestricted tourism, which led to the degradation of the area’s fragile ecosystems, and we nearly lost the jewel of Kamchatka – the Valley of Geysers.
Today, Kronotsky Nature Reserve is a territory that guarantees the protection of the local geographic landscapes and successfully preserves the populations of rare animals and plants. FSBI "Kronotsky State Nature Reserve" is an environmental organisation, and its team’s key tasks include nature conservation and study, awareness-raising, obtaining public support for the implementation of environmental projects, and contributing to the sustainable development of Kamchatka Krai.
On the occasion of its birthday, the nature reserve team shared the highlights from the past year:
A unique project, one of a kind in Russia, has been launched – Nature Protectors School. A team of reputable nature conservation experts from all over Russia have already trained four groups of eco-volunteers from Kamchatka Krai and other regions. Upon the completion of the training program, the graduates can give competent and efficient help to specially protected natural areas, as well as devise and organize environmental projects. In addition, the School offers advanced training for wildlife inspectors and guides.
With the help of federal specialists in nature conservation and ecotourism, our nature reserve team and Kamchatka Krai authorities set out to create tourist and recreational clusters "Geysers and Volcanoes of Kamchatka" and "Protected Kamchatka: the land of people, volcanoes, and salmon." We make the precious natural resources of the region more accessible to tourists without harming valuable ecosystems!
A new geyser has been registered in Kronotsky Nature Reserve. Thus, there are now 58 springs in the Valley of Geysers!
One of the oldest nature reserves in Russia, Kronotsky State Biosphere Reserve was established on November 1, 1934. It is part of the international network of biosphere reserves and the "Volcanoes of Kamchatka" group, listed in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Sites.
Kronotsky Nature Reserve is located on the eastern coast of Kamchatka. There are 25 volcanoes on its territory (8 of which are active) and a number of unique natural sites. In the very heart of the reserve, there is Kronotskoye Lake, which is the largest freshwater lake on the peninsula (246 sq km). This is where a new species of chars formed.
In the Pacific marine protected areas, there is the only steller sea lion rookery near the Kamchatka coastline. This is the largest species of the Otariidae family, listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Also, there are the gray whale migration routes running along the coast. This nature reserve is the only place on the peninsula where a large herd of wild reindeer has been preserved.
Kronotsky Nature Reserve became world-famous due to the discovery of the Valley of Geysers, one of the five largest geyser fields in the world and the only one in Eurasia. There are also thermal lakes, pulsating hot springs, steam-gas plumes, water and mud pods, and, of course, geysers – there are almost 60 of them in the Valley.
Last but not least, the nature reserve has unique spruce forests that have never seen felling or fires.
Unique natural sites:
The Valley of Geysers
The Valley of Death
The Uzon volcano caldera
The Fir Grove
The Larch Forest of the Kronotskoye Lake Basin
Chazhminsky and Tyushevsky hot springs
Shchapinsky spruce forests
FSBI "Kronotsky State Nature Reserve" takes care of three specially protected natural areas of federal importance: Kronotsky Nature Reserve, the Koryak Nature Reserve, and South Kamchatka Nature Park.