a preserve located in the spurs of the Chatkal Range of the Tien-Shan in the Kirghiz SSR; established in 1959 for the conservation of forests of nut and fruit trees. Area, 23,900 hectares (1974). The lowest elevation is 1,200 m above sea level, and the greatest elevation is 4,247 m (Mount Mustor). The largest lake, Lake Sary-Chelek, has an area of 507 hectares.
The Sary-Chelek Preserve has more than 1,000 species of plants. English walnut and apple forests predominate up to an elevation of 2,100 m. The subalpine zone, consisting of fir and spruce forests, is found at elevations between 2,100 and 3,000 m. Higher up there are meadows of various grasses.
Common animals include the wild boar, roe deer, mountain goat, argali, Eurasian brown bear, badger, porcupine, long-tailed marmot, snow pheasant, chukar partridge, Himalayan whistling thrush, penduline tit, and dipper. There are many waterfowl on the lakes in the spring and autumn. English pheasants and Daurian partridges, which at one point disappeared from the region, have been reacclimatized. In 1962 wisents, red deer, and fallow deer were introduced into the preserve. Commercially valuable fishes in the lakes and rivers included Old World minnows; the common carp and the domesticated carp have been acclimatized.