Aktau-Buzachinskiy Nature Reserve

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.

Satellite view of Aktau-Buzachinskiy Nature Reserve and the Tub-Karagan Peninsula to the left.
Map Data: Google, © 2021 Landsat / Copernicus

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.

View from space of the Tyub-Karagan and Buzachi Peninsulas.
Aktau-Buzachinskiy reserve shown in the bottom centre. Sarytash Bay is in the middle, with Kochak Bay to the left, and Tyub-Karagan to the right. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov)
Tyub-Karagan Peninsula and Sarytash Bay seen from space.
The reserve shown at the top, with the Tyuleniy Islands extending west from the coast. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov)
Photo from space of the Dolgiy Peninsula.
The Dolgiy Peninsula, with its westernmost tip turned into a ephemeral island due to fluctuations in the Caspian's sea levels. Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center (http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov)

Coordinates:

  • Krasnyy ‘Red’ Dolginets (RUS—Красный Долгинец): 44.958317308043554, 51.10077061598228
  • Dolgiy Peninsula (RUS—Полуостров Долгий): 44.907134180315616, 51.139164834902616
  • Aktumsuk Bay (RUS—Залива Актумсук): 45.02422537807856, 51.2580922176108
  • Kimbelek Salt Marsh (RUS—Кимбелек Сор): 44.581829419367594, 51.670655259540816

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