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Bashkir Shikhans are included in the Tentative List of World Heritage Sites

In 2023, Bashkir scientists together with the Natural Heritage Protection Fund and the Institute of Geography of the Russian Academy of Sciences will prepare the nomination dossier for Toratau, Yuraktau and Kushtau Shikhans. Further, the documents will be provided for examination to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre.

According to a preliminary assessment, the Bashkir (Sterlitamak) Shikhans are of outstanding universal value in accordance with criterion viii (outstanding examples representing major stages of earth's history/significant on-going geological processes/significant geomorphic or physiographic features).

Toratau, Yuraktau, and Kushtau Shikhans are part of the great ancient reef system formed 299-272 million years ago that can be traced from the Caspian Sea to the Arctic Ocean. The Bashkir Shikhans uniqueness is that the ancient reefs of the Lower Permian period can be studied in natural exposure and contain various perfectly preserved fossil remains. Other ancient reefs around the globe are either poorly exposed or overlain by a layer of sediment. The shikhans were brought to the surface as a result of the Alpine cycle of tectogenesis during the last 5 million years.

Currently, the Tentative List of the Russian Federation includes 7 natural sites (the Commander Islands, the Magadan Nature Reserve, the Great Vasyugan Mire, the Krasnoyarsk Pillars, the Ilmensky Mountains, the Kytalyk National Park, and the Bashkir Shikhans) and 3 mixed natural and cultural sites (the Bashkir Urals, the Testament of Kenozero Lake, and the Oglakhty Range).

Tentative List of the Russian Federation on the UNESCO website:



Шихан Куштау