Pribaikalsky Game Reserve: the Guard of the Baikal Taiga
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January, 27

Pribaikalsky Game Reserve: the Guard of the Baikal Taiga

Do you know that in addition to the Pribaikalsky National Park, there is also an eponymous game reserve? It was established in 1981 to preserve and restore the population of wild animals of Lake Baikal.


The full name of the protected area is the Pribaikalsky State Natural Biological Game Reserve of Regional Significance. It is located in the Baikal region of the Republic of Buryatia, 100 kilometers to the north of Ulan-Ude. The reserve occupies the central part of the Morskoy ridge near Lake Baikal, stretches for 30 km along the lake’s coastline; its area amounts to 73,170 hectares. By the way, forests constitute 93% of the entire territory of the game reserve.

Peculiarities of the Territory

Landscape-ecological zoning was performed at the Pribaikalsky Game Reserve two decades ago; as a result, the entire territory was divided into three parts:

• Strictly protected area. Any economic activity is completely prohibited on this territory.

• Specially protected area. This territory includes areas with limited forest use. These are: water protection zones, places of aggregation of wild animals, wood-grouse courtships.

• Production area. It is allowed to harvest wood and secondary timber here. The territory can also be used for tourist camps and cultural-and-recreational activities.

Another peculiarity of local space organization is a protected area (more than 23 hectares) between the game reserve and hunting lands which functions as a kind of “buffer” between them.


The Pribaikalsky Game Reserve is rich in many species of amazing animals. Roe deer, wild boar, elk, Far Eastern red deer, musk deer, Siberian striped weasel, lynx, sable, squirrel and muskrat inhabit the protected territory. Even bears, wolverines and badgers can be met there.

Each of these animals is of great value for the Baikal region. That is why the staff of the game reserve create all conditions, so that to preserve the population of the above-mentioned species.


The territory of the game reserve is no less interesting from the ornithological point of view. The permanent inhabitants of the protected area are hazel grouse, wood grouse, black grouse and, of course, ducks. The Pribaikalsky Game Reserve is also home to yellow-breasted bunting, red-throated loon, bustard, Japanese quail, pygmy owl, boreal owl. And even eagle owl and white owl fly in the neighborhood of the game reserve. Besides, such birds as black stork, Eurasian bittern, whooping swan, osprey, white-tailed eagle, are listed in the Red Book of the Republic of Buryatia.

Go to the Pribaikalsky Game Reserve with a camera and you will definitely not regret it! You will have a chance to take unique shots of beautiful and graceful birds that do not live anywhere else.

Description of the Forest

If you want to take a walk through a thick Siberian forest, then you should certainly visit the Pribiakalsky Game Reserve. The most part of its territory is occupied by coniferous taiga. The most common tree species are pine, fir, and larch. Aspen and birch also grow there.

Almost half of the protected area is occupied by bilberry and cowberry grounds. However, it is allowed to collect these only in specially designated areas.

Surrounding Attractions

There are many interesting places to be visited around the game reserve.

Talanki Bay

Perhaps, this is the most attractive place for travelers. You will see long beaches with golden sand and crystal-clear water of the sacred Baikal. The landscape is complemented by a dense taiga forest; the walks along this forest will fill you with the sense of peace and harmony. Besides, pure natural air will help your body to recover, have rest and recharge, because everyone knows that the Baikal air is special.

Kolok Lake

It is not just an amazingly beautiful water reservoir, but also a real natural monument of the Republic of Buryatia. The lake is located in a small intermountain trough, in the spurs of the Morskoy ridge (the upper reaches of the Itantsy River). Kolok is a trademark of the Pribiakalsky Game Reserve, since it can be seen right at the entrance to the protected area. In summer the water in the lake is very warm; swimming there is a real pleasure. Kolok is rich in fish and attracts true fans of fishing. The lake is full of pike, perch, Siberian roach and even grayling. By the way, it is easy to get to the lake, because an excellent earthen road leads there.

The Mouth of the Kika River and Dukhovye Lakes

If your dream is to enjoy all the magnificence of untouched wilderness, then you should definitely go to these places. This wetland complex is an excellent habitat for rare birds and animals listed in the Red Book. These include osprey, black stork, white-tailed eagle, otter and others.

Please remember that any activity on the territory of natural game reserves is allowed only upon written permission of the administration. It is strictly forbidden to fish, graze cattle, cut and burn trees, leave any garbage, organize tourist camps within the protected area without prior agreement. Our task is to try our best to preserve and multiply the natural wealth of the Baikal region.

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