a preserve situated between the cities of Sochi and Maikop (Krasnodar Krai) mostly on the northern slopes of the Glarnyi Range in the upper reaches of the Bol’shaia Laba and Belaia rivers; part of it extends to the southern slopes in the upper reaches of the Mzymta, Sochi, and Shakhe rivers. Area, 262, 500 hectares (1970).
The preserve was established in 1924 to maintain the typical nature complexes of the northwestern Caucasus. Fir forests predominate, thriving at elevations of 1,000 to 1, 900 m; beech forests are widely found at 900–1, 200 m. The southern slopes to 900 m are covered with oak forests, with some hornbeam, pear and apple, wild myrobalan, common and Norway maple, linden, and ash. The upper margin of the forests zone contains elfin woodland, including birch, mountain ash, redwood maple, and beech. At 1, 900–2, 500 m there are luxuriant subalpine and short-grass alpine meadows. Above 2, 800–2, 900 m, in the subnival zone, individual herbaceous plants are found among the bare rocks; yet higher, in the nival zone, the mountains are covered with perennial snow and ice. Among the particularly interesting animals are the tur, chamois, deer, wild boar, bear, pine and stone marten, long-clawed mole-vole, Caucasian blackcock, and Caucasian snow pheasant.
Work is being done in the Caucasian Preserve to reestablish the Caucasian wisent, which had been destroyed earlier. In 1940 wisent-bisons were introduced—hybrids resulting from the crossing of the wisent and the bison. Later, by replacing wisent-bison males with pure-blooded wisent, a herd of wisent was obtained (more than 600 head in 1970) with an insignificant amount of bison blood. Included in the Caucasian Preserve is a relict yew and box grove (301 hectares, near the city of Khosta).
REFERENCESBannikov, A. G., K. Iu. Golgofskaia, and V. A. Kotov. Kavkazskii zapovednik. Moscow, 1967.
Zapovedniki Sovetskogo Soiuza. Edited by A. G. Bannikov. Moscow, 1969.
L. K. SHAPOSHNIKOV