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The unique largest freshwater lake in the north-east of Asia received the status of a special nature protection zone in Chukotka
In the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, on the borders of the Anadyr and Chaunsky regions, a state nature reserve of regional significance “Lake Elgygytgyn” has been created. Olga Safonova, Chairperson of the Committee for Nature Management and Environmental Protection of the Department of Agricultural Policy and Environmental Management of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, said that a special nature protection zone with an area of 140 thousand hectares will allow preserving the largest freshwater body of northeast Asia in its original form.
Lake Elgygytgyn is unique in its origin. According to scientists, it was formed about 3,5 million years ago during the late Pliocene period.
- There are two main hypotheses of the origin of the lake depression - "endogenous" and "meteorite". At the same time, the latter is confirmed by the almost perfectly round shape of the pit and the great depth, which reaches 169 meters, - said Olga Safonova.
“In addition, Lake Elgygytgyn has never completely evaporated. Therefore, it is believed that the sediments of the reservoir carry a continuous paleoclimatic chronicle, starting from the time of its formation, Safonova added.
Today Elgygytgyn is the habitat of three endemic char species (Boganid, smallmouth and long-finned char). All of them are included in the Red Data Books of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and the Russian Federation. At the same time, smallmouth and long-finned furs do not have other places of distribution, therefore they are included in the list of "Threatened fish species" of the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
In addition to Lake Elgygytgyn, there are 27 specially protected natural areas on the territory of the district, including the Beringia national park, the Wrangel Island nature reserve and the Swanny reserve, which have the status of federal significance, as well as 21 natural monuments of the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug and three state reserves regional significance - "Chauskaya lip", "Avtotkuul", "Ust-Tanyurersky".