Oka Terrace Preserve

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Oka Terrace Preserve


a preserve in the southern part of Moscow Oblast, primarily on the left-bank terraces of the Oka River below the city of Serpukhov. Its area in 1974 was 4,900 hectares.

The Oka Terrace Preserve was established in 1945 to preserve a natural region that is unique in the central European part of the USSR. It forms the boundary between coniferous-broad-leaved forests and the forest steppe. In the forested areas, northern and southern species of grassy and woody plants grow together, and there are small sphagnum marshes with typical northern plant species, such as sundew and cranberry. These areas also have steppe flora, represented by feathergrass, sheep’s fescue, fritillary, ground cherry, and others, which has penetrated north along the Oka valley. The southern boundary of the spruce range in the suburban Moscow region passes through the preserve. Small stands of oak are located near pine forests with lichens and mosses. In low-lying places, alder groves with chokecherry and hop form almost impassable thickets.

Animals in the preserve include numerous moose, the roe deer, the wild boar, the badger, the fox, the marten, blue and European hares, the squirrel, and the common dormouse. Birds include the capercaillie, hazel hen, and black grouse. Beavers have been reacclimatized to the region, and the otter, which dwells outside the preserve in oxbows of the Oka River, is occasionally encountered. A wisent nursery was established in the preserve in 1948. It contains pens of breeding herds of Białowieża and Caucasian-Białowieża wisents and a small group of North American bisons. Young are born each year, and, upon reaching 1½ to 2 years of age, they are transported to other regions of the USSR. A herd of 15 to 20 young wisents live unpenned in the preserve.


Zapovedniki Sovetskogo Soiuza. Edited by A. G. Bannikov. Moscow, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.