Shulgan-Tash Zapovednik was originally a component of the Bashkirsky Zapovednik. It was made an independent conservation organization in 1986. The chief purpose of the conservation of the area was to protect the Buryzyan honeybee populations that frequent the meadows here. Staff at Shulgan-Tash engage in scientific research as well as practical application so as to conserve ecosystems of the park. At the same time Shulgan-Tash promotes tourism with fantastic accommodation, nature trails and bee-keeping demonstrations.
Shulgan-Tash Zapovednik in the Ural Mountains is located between the Nugush River and Belaya River. A number of smaller rivers flow through the park and into the Belaya. Kap Cave is one of the main geological features of the area. Visitors enter the cave through a massive archway. The 3 levels of Kap Cave each have their own set of galleries, halls and corridors, forming an immaculate labyrinth. Impressive stalagmites and stalactites have formed over the years. Exciting cave drawings have been discovered in the cave depicting various animals and symbols. Interestingly, the cave remains an important Bashkirian place of worship.
As Shulgan-Tash Nature Reserve is the meeting place of forest and steppe biomes. The terrain is chiefly broadleaf forests, light coniferous forests, mountain steppe and rolling meadows. The lower mountain slopes of Shulgan-Tash are where you will find English oak, aspen, birch, small-leaved linden, mountain ash and ground cherry. Higher up the slopes are oaks, Russian elm, Scotch elm, and Norway maple. Growing in canyons are white birch, aspen and weeping birch. Stunning wildflowers bloom in the meadows toward the end of June. Amongst this magical display are willow bell, oxeye daisy, yellow bedstraw, pot marjoram, lesser starwort and Maltese cross.
Due to its fantastic landscape and wonderful diversity of plant life, Shulgan-Tash Zapovednik is a grand wildlife haven. Keep your eyes open for bears, badgers, otters, moose, wild boar, hedgehogs, mountain hare, Siberian chipmunks, bats and others. Birdwatchers will be throughly pleased with the 198 bird species that call the park home. Amongst these feathered residents are greater greenshank, Eurasian dipper, common crane, corn crake, Northern shoveler, woodcock, great spotted woodpecker, great gray owl, tawny owl, Eurasian scops-owl, osprey, white-tailed eagle and black stork, to name a few. Be sure to pay a visit to the unique Shulgan-Tash Nature Reserve whilst touring Russia.