Established in 1982, the Aktau-Buzachinskiy Nature Reserve (Актау-Бузачинский Заповедник) covers an area larger than Greater London. Animals living in the area include the Ustyurt mouflon, Brandt’s hedgehog, Persian gazelle, foxes, caracal, steppe polecat, Pallas’ cat, whooper swans, occasional saiga herds, wolves, Caspian seals, and Dalmatian and eastern white pelicans.
In total there are at least 15 reptile species and 30 types of birds of prey, such as vultures and white-tailed eagles. Its southerly extent stretches for 30 km from eastern Sarytash Bay to Kochak Bay and into the Kimbelek Salt Marsh. The remainder of the reserve extends 60 km north along the Dolgiy Peninsula until Aktumsuk Bay. On the peninsula’s northwest coast are the remains of Krasnyy Dolginets, an abandoned village and collective fishing farm. It’s also the birthplace of decorated Red Army soldier Sisembaev Sham (1919-2004). According to Soviet maps, there may be a few more ruins on the road leading north to Aktumsuk.