First stage of research project by Russian Geographical Society "Steppe World of Eurasia" held in Dagestan

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Makhachkala, April 27, 2015. The expedition of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Steppes (Orenburg, Orenburg region) headed by Director Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexander Chibilev conducted the first stage of their research within the large project of the Russian Geographical Society "Steppe World of Eurasia" in Dagestan on April 19-22, chairman of the RGS’ Dagestan office Eldar Eldarov told RIA Dagestan.

They made some landscape and biogeographical observations in the valley of the Kuma and Sukhaya Kuma rivers, in the Nogai Steppe, and the foothill and intermountain plains of Eastern Dagestan.

The expedition marked the Kuma River which flows into the Caspian Sea, the Juniper Woodlands Ravine, the section Dagestan of the Sarykum Dune State Reserve, and other objects.

In many geography textbooks, the Kuma River is regarded as the boundary between Europe and Asia. According to Chibilev, this river does not divide anything, its left and right banks are exactly alike, and it just flows in an artificial bed along the Nogai-Kalmyk Steppe.

The Juniper Woodlands stow is a unique grove of juniper oblong in the Terek sands in the south of Nogai region - a unique landscape and botanical natural monument of the lowland Dagestan and European Russia, which deserves the status of a nature reserve of federal importance. The stow is home to the giant mole rat – an endemic of the Northern Caspian Area listed in the Red Book of Russia and Kazakhstan. The Dagestan section of the State Reserve of the Sarykum Dune is the highest relic dune among single sand mountains in the world.

The second stage of the RGS expedition in Dagestan will be held late April to early May, after the group returns from Azerbaijan.

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