World Heritage Russian sites of WH

Magadansky Reserve

Magadansky Reserve  
Status of Property: State Nature Reserve

Area: 0.884 million ha

Situation: Inscribed on the Russian Tentative List

The following organizations took part in preparation of the nomination: Natural Heritage Protection Fund, Dresden University of Technology, the Magadansky Reserve, Geography Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Biological Problems of the North of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Likhachev Cultural and Natural Heritage Institute


Primary landscapes of the Okhotsk Sea coast. The Koni peninsula  View of Kava river valley

Njasha lake  Kolyma river within the Seimchansky cluster


The Magadansky Reserve consists of 4 separate clusters 200-500 km away from each other: Kava-Chelomjinsky (bogged watershed of rivers Kava and Chelomja), Olsky (western end of the Koni peninsula), Yamsky (Pjagina peninsula and Yamskie/Yama islands) and Seimchansky, the most remote cluster from the Sea of Okhotsk coast (Kolyma head water). These clusters of the total area of 883 800 ha present the significant part of landscape and biological diversity of the Okhotsk-Kolyma region - the vast and poorly developed part of the Russian Far East which by its area can be compared to many European countries. Moreover, by many aspects the Reserve is representative for the whole North-Eastern Eurasia.

Among geological and geo-morphological monuments stands out the glacier relief zone of the Koni peninsula where mountains of 1300-1500 m high form cirques and rocky ridges. Numerous are Alpine lakes and waterfalls. Of great interest are river fluvial plains at the Kolyma head water area formed in a thick alluviation strata - the so-called alluvial flood plains.

Very specific ecosystems almost not present outside the North-Eastern Eurasia are being preserved within the Reserve's area: continental larch sparse forests, Bering cedar tundra, Alpine and sub-Alpine landscapes of the Kolyma highland, mixed Erman's birch forests of the Sea of Okhotsk coast, broadleaf flood plain forests.

Several relic flora centers have been revealed within the Reserve's area. The most outstanding is the isolated Siberian spruce massif in the Yama river valley 900 km away from the main areal. In total no less than 700 vascular plants species were noted with some species inscribed into the Red Book of Russia (e.g. Magadania olensis).

Terrestrial mammals are presented by 40 species including wild reindeer, elk, bighorn sheep, brown bear, common otter, sable, Kamchatka marmot. The most northern reproductive lair of eared seal also inscribed into the Red Book is located at Yamsky islands. In the coastal waters of Koni and Pjagina peninsulas are noted the significant accumulations of seals (sea calf, ringed seal, sea hare). At local rivers (Yama, Chelomja, etc.) are located the largest spawning grounds of chum salon and silver salmon of the northern part of the Sea of Okhotsk.

Wetlands of Kava-Chelomjinsky cluster and rocky sea shores with adjacent islands are favorite bird habitats (in total over 180 species, including 150 nesting species). At Yamsky islands are located one of the Far East largest sea bird colonies (auk, fulmar). A line of species has been inscribed into the Red Book of Russia and the World, for instance, such rare prey species like Steller's sea eagle, white-tailed eagle, peregrine, fish owl, osprey and golden eagle.

Composition of high-productivity taiga and water-marsh complexes with transitional marine ecosystems, including islands rich with biodiversity, forms the unique natural line (transsecta) - from the continent to the ocean shelf, which makes this corner of wild Far East nature truly unique.