To Preserve Unique Natural and Cultural Heritage

Today in deciduous forests zone of the west side of the South Urals was formed agglomerate of protected area of different range and departmental belonging. The following nature complexes  Shulgan - Tash Bashkir State Reserve (22 000 ha),  Bashkiria National Park (82 000 ha) under the Ministry of Nature Protection and the biggest in the region Altyn Solokh wildlife preserve (91 000 ha) being on the stage of becoming subordinate to the Ministry of Ecology RB are direct neighbors. Just ten kilometers from the south border of the National Park are compactly situated  Muradym Gorge Natural Park (24 000 ha) and Yk State Nature Reserve under the Ministry of Ecology RB. All above-mentioned protected areas preserve rich natural and outstanding cultural heritage. Namely, in Shulgan - Tash nature preserve they are unique Paleolithic petroglyphs of Kapova cave and ancient national trade wild-honey beekeeping or apiculture. In the territory of Altyn Solokh wildlife reserve as well as in Bashkiria National Park wild-honey beekeeping is restored. There are well-known historical and ethnographical objects of the Bashkir culture the mountain ridge Masim, Babsak-beys burial mound, Lake Jylkysykkan, and many archeological monuments. In Staro-Muradymovsky cave of the nature preserve Mesolithic paintings were discovered.

Situated on the place where meet natural zones and areas, the area with well-preserved meleuzovsky, burzansky, kugarchinsky forests is remarkable for biological and landscape diversity, low population density, bright ethnographic manifestations. Right here form considerable part of rivers flow, two reservoirs are built, tourism is actively  developed. In 2009 the four objects of the seven were acknowledged as wonders of Bashkortostan: Bashkir honey, kurai, Bashkir epic Ural-batyr, Paleolithic paintings. They consist priceless national heritage of our Bashkortostan.

To upgrade international prestige of the republic and improve preservation and safety of this unique natural and cultural heritage can be realized if the above-mentioned wildlife preservation areas get a status of Bashkir Urals biosphere reserve complex, following the UNESCO program MAB Man and Biosphere. For example such reserves were organized and today are efficiently functioning in neighboring regions: Tatar Stan, Mariy El, Sverdlovsk, Nizhegorod, and Samara oblasts.

Biosphere reserve systems development all over the world is due to anthropogenic impact on the environment as well as to ensure sustainable use of natural resources and preserve biodiversity  in close cooperation with local population. Today in the region ecological risks connect with the climates changing, water content decrease, crossbreeding of native bees, hydroelectric generating complexes, traffic stream increase, spontaneous development of tourism, forestry crisis, unemployment, and forced criminal use of nature. Water supply, sewerage system, pasture, collection of refuses and salvage matters also should be put in order. At the same time the region is oriented on development of ecologic tourism and bee keeping. Obviously nature conservation agencies and institutions and local population with municipal officials should raise the level of development up to the world standards altogether. Under depressive districts conditions when rural municipalities are short  of adequate financing for covering self-government social and economical role of nature conservation agencies must or may be more active.

Safety, study, organization of regulated excursion use of  Capova (Shulgan-Tash)  cave with world famous rock paintings give a jump-start to republican ecological tourism. Museum and excursion complex is developed attracting thousands of tourists, an increasing number of tour operators. Our specialists make sure of informational content-richness of excursions, of real ecology education demonstrating as model of harmonious environment when provision of the necessary facilities goes with conservancy of the wild. Nature reserve acted as an initiator of agro tourism in the region as well as international cooperation in the field of conservancy of cultural and natural heritage. Wild-honey beekeeping secrets came in handy for Poland where reserves  wild-honey beekeepers took repeated training sessions. We have an experience of using excursion caves in Slovenia and Slovakia.

As a scientific and research institute, this nature reserve creates favourable conditions both for permanent employees  and outside scientific researchers as well. Online database of the reserve accumulates biological monitoring findings of latest 50 years.

It should be mentioned that nature reserves activity oriented on rational development of ecological, scientific, agricultural, ethnographic, and adventure tourism in forestous and mountainous zone  in process of economic and recreation use conserves productivity and natural attractiveness of landscapes.

As for estimations of international experts  worked in the reserve in 1990s part of the planned biosphere reserve was worth to be entered the list of World Heritage Site. At that time the experts were more impressed by wild-honey beekeeping and virgin deciduous forests than rock paintings. According to Bashkortostan Republic regulation of August 3, 2010 and Governmental Regulation of December 7, 2010 On improving preservation of natural and cultural heritage objects in the territory of Bashkortostan creation of Biosphere reserve complex and designation of part of the reserve with petroglyphs in Shulgan-Tash cave by UNESCO as World Heritage Site for cultural landscape matters were invisaged by the activites calendar according to Communique - Agreement on Cooperation between Bashkortostan republic Government and UNESCO.

From long-term outlook preparation of weighed up five-year plan of management of five protected areas of different departmental belonging is an important and difficult task. On it depends nature conservancy and social-economical efficiency of the biosphere reserve able to hold worthy place in ecological system of the republic of Bashkortostan. 

In development of the region the role of Shulgan-Tash nature reserve, founded in 1958 is appreciable. Owing to fifty-years effort of the staff were preserved Burzyan wild bee and wild-honey bee keeping, vanished elsewhere in Europe. Purposeful advancement of exclusive product to market made wild-honey bee-keeping rentable, and it returned to local populations life. Gainful bee-keepers of Burzyan, Zilair, Meleuz, Ishimbai, and Beloret districts are returning to trade, gone in 50-100 years ago. Today in the republic there are about 70 wild-honey bee-keepers, 15 of that - Shulgan-Tash nature reserve employees.

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