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Kuldur

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Kul’dur Nature Park is located in the northwest part of the oblast on the southern slope of the Lesser Khingan range, with mountains and hills ranging in elevation from 280 to 1001 meters. The territory includes the upper Kuldur River basin down to its confluence with the Karadub and Karagai Rivers. The town of Kuldur is located within the park’s boundaries, five resort complexes, a metal beam factory and a ralway station, Brusit. The park covers 36,700 hectares, of which 35,300 are covered by forest. Wetlands and marshes cover less than 3% of the territory.

The vegetation is characterized by a diversity of communities: dark coniferous forests, larch forests with dwarf Arctic birch (Betula nana) and shrubs, spruce/fir forests with Korean pine, Korean pine/broadleaf forests in the south, birch/aspen communities, willows and alder, and also grassy meadows and mossy swamps. In the vicinity of the town of Kuldur one finds the border between the boreal and East Asian biomes, and associated high species diversity: Japanese yam (Dioscorea japonica), iris, Daurian lily (Lilium dahuricum), Siberian ginseng (Eleutheroccus senticosus), shrubby cinquefoil (Potentilla fruticosa) and twenty more Red Book species.

The park’s fauna is also diverse, with four zoogeographical types represented. Boreal species include brown bear, waxwing, three-toed woodpecker (Picoides tridactylus), viviparous lizard (Lacerta vivipara), Siberian newts, burbot (Lota lota), swallowtail (Papilio machaon) and others. Mountain areas are inhabited by Angara-type species such as ermine (Mustela erminea), red vole (Clethrionomys rutilus), Siberian jay (Perisoreus infaustus), willow tit (Parus atricapillus), and also Okhotsk-Kamchatka species like musk deer (Moschus moschiferus), sable, nutcracker (Nucifraga caryocatactes), crossbill (Loxia curvirostra) and pine bunting (Emberiza leucocephala). At the same time, Amur-type fauna can be found in the valley broadleaf forests: Himalayan black bear (Solenarctos thibetanus), yellow-throated marten, Ussurian wild boar (Sus scrofa ussuricus), Machurian wapiti (Cervus elaphus xanthopygus), Manchurian hare (Lepus brachyurus mandschuricus) raccoon-dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides), Eastern blue magpie (Cyanopica cyanica), Amur chicken-snake (Elaphe schrenki), Amur grayling (Thymallus dahuricus) and others. The intermingling of these four zoogeographical zones creates an unusually high diversity of species with rather low numbers of each one. The territory also includes thermal hot springs.

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