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The Oka State Nature Reserve

Акиншина Ольга Эдуардовна, учитель английского языка
МБОУ Спасская cредняя общеобразовательная школа
г. Спасск, Рязанская область

The Oka State Nature Reserve was set up in 1935 in Central European part of Russia to ensure nature protection in an area typical of the Meshchera Lowland. The lowland’s total area is 23,000 sq. km. It lies northeast of Moscow stretching over the territory of Moscow, Vladimir and Ryazan regions.
You’ll find here all the natural complexes typical of the Meshchera land. The territory is overgrown mostly with pine and fir woods, birch and old oak groves. But most of the forests are mixed consisting of such tree species as pine, aspen, linden, maple. The Meshchera land’s main wealth is water. Small forest lakes, endless marshes, forest streams and brooks are typical of this area. In spring time the Oka valley turns into a huge sea. Spring flood in Meshchera is an exciting natural phenomenon.
Its wildlife is rich. 55 species of mammals and 243 species of birds live in the area. The Oka reserve was founded to protect desman, one of the endemic mammals of Russian fauna. Elk, beaver, fox, hare, lynx live in the area. White-tailed eagle, crane, falcon and other rare birds written down in the Red Book are found here.
Special attention is paid to study and protection of rare species of animals. It has European bison and crane breeding centers which are famous outside Russia. They have been set up in order to breed and release rare species to live in their natural habitat.
During the last years a lot of work has been done on environmental education. Nature museum is the center of environmental education. It displays the main representatives of local flora and fauna. One of the forms of environmental education is environmental tourism.


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