The “ROSTOVSKY” wildlife preserve is the unique wildlife etalon, attracting the visitors by the sea of blooming feather grass, silent salt lakes, peculiar vegetation and animal life world. The “Rostovsky” wildlife preserve steppes are precious for mankind. The ploughed up steppe can be restored only within hundreds of years.
The island of the wild nature is the Manych steppe, impressing the visitors at any time of the year. The steppe is beautiful in spring due to the blooming primrose carpets, and the air filled with amazing warbles of the many larks! The steppe is wonderful is summer due to the silver silk threads of feather grass, the king of the steppe herbs. A fantastic view can be observed at the rookeries of the Manych islands with the mixed colonies of the nesting pelicans, spoonbills, herons and gulls. The representatives of the fowl kingdom gather in migratory flocks by the water bodies and damp gullies in autumn, at this period the peculiar fowl kind – the demoiselles, can be observed here. A remarkable poetic view to see is the herd of protected wild mustang horses, galloping across the snowy steppes in winter.
The “Rostovsky” state wildlife preserve has the federal significance, its own administration and security, is supervised by the Federal nature management service; the wildlife preserve lies in the southeastern part of Rostov region. The protected area, established in Rostov region due to the intensive land utilization in the European steppes and the deficit of the preserved virgin land zones, is divided into 4 separated parcels, situated in Orlovsky and Remontnensky districts. The total wildlife preserve area is 9531.5 hectares. The parcels are conditionally called, starting from the west: Ostrovnoy, Starikovsky, Krasnopartizansky and Tsagan-Khag.
The Ostrovnoy parcel lies in the Orlovsky district and has the area of 4591 hectares. The parcel comprises of the island Vodny (Southern) at the northwestern part of the Manych-Gudilo lake, island Gorely and the nearby lake area of water, and the 10 hectares of the mainland lake shore in front of the eastern part of the Vodny island, the area is surrounded by the pioneer camps and resort areas.
The Starikovsky parcel is situated to the east of the Orlovsky district, the parcel area is 2115,4 hectares. The Krasnopartizansky parcel is located 5 km to the southeast from the Starikovsky parcel at the Remontnensky district. The total parcel area is 1768,4 hectares.
The Tsagan-Khag parcel lies to the south of the Remontnensky district. Its total area is 990,0 hectares. The parcel comprises of a saline land, flooded with water in spring.
The protected zone establishing around the wildlife preserve is extremely relevant for its protection and scientific researches. The protected zone will minimize the agricultural load to the preserved area, provide the security for the seasonal fowl gatherings within its boarders, and fire safety during the hot and dry times of the year.
The steppe vegetation, formed at the above the flood plain Manych terraces, has its specific peculiarities. The Manych steppes are the invariants of the moderately dry, dry and desert steppes. There were 411 kinds of plants, registered within the wildlife preserve territory. There are also 6 rare kinds, protected by Russian regulations, here: Shrenka tulip, Bellevalia sarmatica, feather grass, Ukrainian feather grass, yellow iris, Calophaca wolgarica. The territory has the rare and endangered species, included into the Red Book of Rostov region: Tulipa biebersteiniana, Tulipa biflora, Stipa lessingiana, Stipa sareptana, Astragalus calycinus, Astragalus physoides, Astragalus dasyanthus, Althenia filiformis, Crambe aspera, Ephedra distachya, Iris humilis, Tamarix gracilis, Tamarix meyeri, etc.
The wildlife preserve territory has 3 kinds of amphibious, 8 kinds of vermigrade. The fowl is the most multiple, in specific and quantitative regard, group of vertebrates, inhabiting the wildlife preserve area. According to the research data, the wildlife preserve and the nearby territories are inhabited by: 217 fowl species, 127 of them are nesting within the area, 61 of them can be observed during the migration period, 16 of them stay here for winter. There are over 50 species of mammals here. The area is rich in rare and endangered species, included into the Red Book of Russian Federation - the nearby steppes are inhabited by steppe Saga, Hungarian ground beetle, Armenian and steppe bumblebees, etc. Among the rare insects, listed in the Red Book first edition, can be named: Bolivaria brachyptera, Ascalaphus macaronius. The wildlife preserve is inhabited by a variety of feathered, listed in the Red Book, that can be observed here during migration and nesting, such as Pelecanus crispus, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Phalacrocorax pygmaeus, flamingo, spoonbill, deadly nightshade, bustard, eagle-owl, Larus ichthyaetus, Sterna albifrons, etc.
The wildlife preserve area establishing contributed to the natural ecosystem regeneration within its territory. There is the relevant increase in the number of migrating and nesting birds, such as demoiselle, gray goose, red-breasted and white-fronted geese and many other bird species, that is, probably, conditioned by the creation of a quite zone within the protected area territory.