Karatau state nature reserve is the youngest among Republic reserves. It is founded by the Republic of Kazakhstan governmental order №240 from March, 1st, 2004. Reserve territory is located within Turkestani region of the South Kazakhstan district and makes 34,3 thousand hectares.
The climate of the territory is continental, droughty. The coldest month is January (average temperature-5°C), the hottest – July (+25-27°С). Duration of the warm period with mid-day temperature is above 5°С is equal to 220 days, non-frost period – up to 160-180 days. The mid-annual sum of precipitation is about 400 mm, in the top parts of mountains – up to 500 and even 700 mm in some years.
Reserve flora totals more than 400 species of plants. It differs by high originality, representing a unique conglomerate of the most ancient and new endemic species, races, and forms. Not less than 25 % from the total quantity of species are in the category of rare. Only Karatau endemics in modern territory of the reserve are 53 species, 10 more – predictive for Karatau and Western Tian-Shan. 42 species are included in the Red book.
In total, about 30 species of mammals, including three Red booked – Karatau mountain ram, a stone marten, and a porcupine are registered in reserve. The fauna of birds of the reserve is interesting and various – here is registered about 80 species. The predatory are especially remarkable: a saker falcon, a golden eagle, an Egyptian vulture, an eagle-dwarf, a serpent eagle and bearded vulture which are included in the Red book of Kazakhstan. For the bearded vulture, as well as for one more Red booked species, found on the nest in the valley of the Biresek river, a paradise flycatcher, the reserve territory is northern border of natural habitat.
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