“LAKE BELE” section
The total area is 5285 hectares.
The section is situated in the Shirinsky district of the Republic of Khakasia, in the Chebakovsko-Balahtinskiy Hollow. The protected territory embraces southeastern, northern and southwestern surroundings of the Maly stretch of Bele Lake, northern surroundings of the Bolshoy stretch and a small part of its basin and a shallow-water strait.
Landforms. The landforms of the section are composed from hills and knolls with a characteristic inclination to the southeast and cuesta- or cone-shaped form of knolls. The lake consists of two stretches (small and big), connected by four-kilometer-long shallow strait, which has different width along the whole length. In high-water years all the low areas of the northern coast of the strait become flooded with water, making numerous coves, spits and islands of sand or sand with detritus. The lake itself is without drainage with the various degree of mineralization. The total area of its basin is 7.7 thousands of hectares. The reserve occupies the basin of 500 hectares (6,7% of the lake’s area).
Soils. The soil covering is represented by variety of common and southern humus in aggregate with solonetzic, saline and meadow soils. For all soils the wide spread occurrence of detritus and gristly forms is typical. The maximum development detritus reaches near Lake Bele. The soils of the meadow complex are represented by meadow humus, meadow, saline and solonetzic soils in the high-water beds, terraces above the flood plains and the offshore territories.
Flora and fauna. In the «Lake Bele» section more than 343 higher vascular plant species are recorded. Among them there are 3 plant species listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation (2008), 18 – in the Red Book of the Republic of Khakasia (2002).
There are 7 fish species, 5 reptile species, 138 bird species, 15 mammal species, including 2 mammal species listed in the appendix of the Red Book of the Republic of Khakasia.
The saline composition of the water of Lake Bele is close to the sea water, but in spite of this, the aboriginal population of perch, adapted to live in such water, inhabits in the lake. Some specients reach 3-4 kg in weight, the average size of the fish does not exceed 1-1.5 kg.
In spring and autumn the lake become a recreation place of many thousands of birds of passage. The flocks of red-breasted goose, gray goose, lesser white-fronted goose, swan goose, whooper swan, hook-nosed scoter and other birds of passage stay on protected territories. Demoiselle crane makes spring-summer and summer-autumn crowds in adjoining and protected territory., which run to 1,5–2 thousands of birds In August and September they form pre-flying away gathering of ruddy shelducks, which run to 4-5 thousands of birds.
The shallow strait of Lake Bele is the Key Ornithological Territory of the Russian Federation and Asia.