(full name P. G. Smidovich Mordovian Preserve), a preserve in the Mordovian ASSR, between the Moksha River and its right tributary, the Satis River. Area, more than 32,000 hectares. The preserve was organized in 1935 for the protection and study of the natural complexes in the southern part of the Oka-Kliazma forest area. The soils are principally sandy. Karst phenomena are characteristic of areas with limestone bedrock. Pine forests predominate. Groves of birch, aspen, linden, and, less frequently, spruce are encountered. In the floodlands there are meadows, oak groves, and alder thickets. Indigenous mammals include the muskrat, hares (the blue hare and, less frequently, the European hare), the pine squirrel, the red fox, the brown bear, the European mink, the European marten, the badger, the Eurasian otter, the lynx, and the elk. Birds encountered include the capercaillie, hazel hen, black grouse, eagle owl, and black stork. Imported mammals in the preserve include the maral (Cervus elaphus maral), Japanese deer, and wisent. In the late 1930’s, work was begun to restore the beaver population, which had been exterminated; beavers are now numerous in the Moksha River basin.
REFERENCESFauna Mordovskogo gosudarstvennogo zapovednika im. P. G. Smidovicha [collection of articles]. Moscow, 1938.
Zapovedniki Sovetskogo Soiuza. Edited by A. G. Bannikov. Moscow, 1969. Pages 177–86.
L. K. SHAPOSHNIKOV