Steppe under protection
Towards the establishment of Tarbagatai National Park in Kazakhstan
Tatiana R. Utyasheva (Terra Center for RS and GIS, Almaty), Nikolai N. Berezovikov (Institute of Zoology, Almaty) and Maksim A. Verzilov (Terra Center for RS and GIS, Almaty)
In 2009, the Terra Center for Remote Sensing and Geographical Information Systems prepared a project plan for establishing the Tagbagatai National Park in Eastern Kazakhstan, the principal purpose being to protect the unique mountainous steppe ecosystems. The park will comprise six portions totalling 145,000 ha, while the buffer zone will cover a further 175,000 ha. The park’s geographical location is shown on a map.
A summary is given of the proposed park’s flora and fauna according to its altitudinal zones. The Tarbagatai Mountains is home to 1,640 species of plants with 167 of them being endemic. The vertebrate fauna of the proposed park is made up of 376 species including 40 rare and endangered species listed in the Red Book of Kazakhstan. The desert-steppe communities of the Arkaly and Karabas Mountains provide habitats for many endangered species, especially the Karaganda argali and various birds of prey, while the inter-mountain valley serves as a stopover point for migrating great bustard.
The proposed park is believed to have a good potential for ecotourism development. Involving local communities in the provision of tourism services may help to mitigate against any conflicts that might arise between their interests and the purpose of the protected area. At present, the project plan is undergoing a state environmental impact assessment. It is planned to submit this in late-2012 for approval by the Government of Kazakhstan.
© 2010-2015 Steppe Bulletin
Work bulletin on conservation of steppe ecosystems and sustainable use of steppes
ISSN 1726-2860 (print version ISSN 1684-843)
Edition’s address: 630090 Novosibirsk, а/я 547. SibEcoCenter. Steppe Bulletin
Tel./fax: +7 (383) 363 49 41 Mobile.: +7 913-453 06 01 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org