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Flora and Fauna of the Khamar Daban Mountain Range

The flora and fauna of the Khamar Daban Mountains is amazingly rich, and unlike in most of the other regions around Lake Baikal visitors have the chance to catch sight of one of the mammals or birds. Actually, almost all kinds of mammals known to be living at Lake Baikal such as sable, wolverine, brown bear, reindeer, maral deer, Siberian deer, Siberian musk deer, and wild boar can be found here. This abundance of species continues with the birds: eagle, snowy owl, Ural owl, black kite, nuthatch, Siberian tit, and about 250 more species live in the region.

The main reason for the diversity has to do with the strict regime of guided walks in the Baikalski Reservation: you may only enter the area with rangers. On the other hand, the climate is, for Siberian measures at least, extremely mild – the average temperature in January is about -10 ° C. With an average rainfall of 700 mm it is also a region of high precipitation (compared to the Isle of Olchon with an average annually rainfall of 165 - 220 mm). Furthermore, the reservation is favourably located: It extends from the shores of Lake Baikal with its protective river valleys up to the alpine regions of the Khamar Daban Mountains.

Up to these high altitude areas close forests cover the region, mainly fir forests but also large stands of Siberian cedars. Around the tree line the vegetation is more sparsely – crippled pines, grass as well as moss and lichen dominate the scenery.

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