Volga-Kama State Nature Biosphere Reserve Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment held in 1960. Since 2005, the reserve is part of the Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.
The reserve is located on the territory of the Republic of Tatarstan and consists of two parts: Raif, an area of ??5921 hectares, located in Zelenodolsk district of the Republic, 25 km west of Kazan, and Saralinskogo, an area of ??4170 hectares, located in Laishevo District, 60 km south of the capital of Tatarstan, on the banks of the Kuibyshev Reservoir (area of ??the protected water area of ??1300 hectares).
The reserve is located in the forest belt; Forests cover more than 90% of its territory.
The main part of the site is to Raifsky fourth (Dnipro) terrace of the Volga. In the central part of the river flow - Bag and its tributary Ser-Bulak, in the summer, usually intermittent.
According to the texture of the soil is distributed vegetation: deciduous forests of oak (Quercus robur) and limes (Tilia cordata) - coniferous-deciduous forests of lime and spruce (Picea x fennica), and then pine (Pinus sylvestris) - coniferous forests of spruce and pine - pine forests. Thus, in a small area is simulated latitudinal zoning almost all forest belt east of European Russia.
A variety of micro-relief and moisture regime determines the diversity of forest associations; presents the most complete near pine - from lichen to sphagnum. In addition, the valleys of the rivers and wetlands are associated with alder (Alnus incana, A. glutinosa) and birch (Betula pubescens). Secondary forests of birch (B. pendula) and aspen (Populus tremula) occupy small areas. With regard to fauna, land features is the presence of many taiga species.
In the relief Saralinskogo area, which is an advanced in Kuibyshev reservoir peninsula, there are three height levels, corresponding to three different age Volga terraces. On the territory of Saralinskogo area dominated by two forest formations - pine forests on sands and broad-leaved forests on light loam. In the band grow sandy loam mixed, pine and deciduous forests. Pine forests are represented by two main types - lichen pine forests on the tops of dunes and pine forests, zelenomoshnikami (cowberry, to a lesser extent - blueberry) on flat and low areas. Large areas occupied derivatives pine - reed grass, fern, Landysheva. Deciduous forests make up the Lime forest and oak forests. Many in the area of ??secondary birch and aspen. The distribution of derivative forests due to the intensive exploitation of Saralinskogo forest reserve to the organization; For the same reason there disappeared spruce.
Nature Museum and Arboretum reserve open to the public from Monday to Friday from 9-16 hours.
Tours are conducted only by employees of the reserve for groups by appointment.
The vegetation cover of the Volga-Kama reserve compose plants characteristic of the taiga zone, the zone of deciduous forests and forest-steppe species. Converge on the reserve areas of western Europe and eastern species, originating from the Urals and Siberia.
Total in the reserve are more than 600 species of algae, 44 species of liverworts, 1 species antotserota, 162 species of mosses, 4 species of moss, 6 species of horsetails, 13 species of ferns, 3 types Ophioglossaceae, 5 species of conifers and over 800 species of flowering plants . Many species are rare and endangered in the region - 19 species of bryophytes plants and 93 species of vascular plants listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Tatarstan. Species such as red Cephalanthera, paltsekornik Traunshteynera, neottianta cucullata, feather grass in the Red Book of the Russian Federation.
Representatives of conifers - Scots pine and spruce Finnish - act on the reserve as a leading tree species. Flowering plants, in addition to forest ecosystems (broad-leaved and small-leaved forests), determine the shape of the forest-steppe communities, meadows, fens, coastal communities and dominated in the aquatic environment. Green mosses play an important role in moist coniferous forests and sphagnum mosses - on transitional swamps. The vast number of species of algae represented planktonic forms.
Old mighty forest Raifsky area with lots of swamps and wide expanses of water Saralinskogo area with a maze duct give shelter a large number of species of animals - ranging from tiny shrews and to giant elk, from tiny warblers to the mighty sea eagle.
Just a reserve is home to over 50 species of mammals, 230 species of birds, 6 species of reptiles, 11 species of amphibians, 41 species of fish and thousands of species of invertebrates. Many of them are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Russian Federation. Thus, in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation are included: 1 species of mammals - noctule giant; 14 species of birds - Black-throated Diver, osprey, imperial eagle, golden eagle, white-tailed eagle, saker falcon, peregrine falcon, oystercatcher, curlew large, black-headed gull, tern small, owl, gray shrike, blue tit white; invertebrate species 5 - odorous Krasotel, common hermit carpenter bee, Mnemosyne, ordinary Apollo.
Fauna Raifsky area is mixed: along with the types of deciduous forests, is home to the taiga species. Widespread common shrew, voles, mice and yellow-forest. On the territory of the site are common squirrel, marten, fox, hare, moose, bats, grouse, grouse, jay, many species of songbirds, lizard, Anguis, moor frog, toad. Every year comes to bear, the lynx. In 1996, the area was reintroduced beaver. Ichthyofauna reservoirs Raifa has 17 species.
Fauna Saralinskogo area, compared with Raifa, has a more southern character. Conventional species are forest dormouse, hare, badger, wild boar, roe deer, black kite, partridge, viper, sand lizard, green toad, frog and others. For semi-aquatic habitats characterized raccoon dog, American mink, gray heron, marsh harrier, kingfisher, various types of gulls, terns and waterfowl, too, marsh frog, fire-bellied toads. K channels and bays Saralinskogo area confined to the largest reservoir of spawning habitats bream, carp, pike, perch, roach. Only protected waters inhabited by 40 species of fish.
In areas of high density of nesting white-tailed eagle. White-tailed eagle emblem chosen Volga-Kama reserve represents its uniqueness, strength and beauty.
At the reserve identified about 700 species of fungi, mainly macromycetes (species, forming large fruiting bodies, which are commonly referred to «mushrooms»), of which 38 species brought in the Red Book of the Republic of Tatarstan and 4 types - in the Red Book of the Russian Federation - sarkosoma spherical, Lingzhi mushroom, Hen-of-the-wood, tinder branched.
A wide variety of fungi associated with old-growth forest reserves and a variety of habitats. At the same time, apparently due to the large variety of species of fungi, their number of individual species in the reserve is relatively low. The exceptions are some of the wood-destroying fungi, due to large reserves of deadwood on the conservation area.
The reserve is known 242 species of lichens, of which 17 species brought in the Red Book of the Republic of Tatarstan and 1 type - Lobar pulmonary - in the Red Book of the Russian Federation. Lobar and a number of accompanying her lichens form a community is an indicator of old-growth forests. Optimal conditions for these lichens exist in areas with oceanic climate; we have these kinds of, apparently, are relics of the Atlantic period.
role of landscape lichens play on dry soils - to the tops of sand hills are associated with lichen forests («belomoshniki»), ground cover that compose mainly species of the genus Cladonia.