The State Nature Zakaznik of federal importance ‘Tlyaratinski’ was established by the Order No 491 dated 16.12.1986 of the Main Management Board of Hunting Economy and Nature Reserves at the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, in accordance with the decree No 441-p dated 23.09.1986 of the Council of Ministers of the Dagestan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic to preserve, restore and reproduce commercially valuable game animals and their habitats in the highlands of the Greater Caucasus.
Allocated to Daghestan Nature Reserve by the Order No 360 dated 3.11.2009 of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Ecology of the Russian Federation.
The Zakaznik is situated in Tlyarata district in the upper reaches of the Avarskoe Koisu River (the Dzhurmut River Basin) and covers the northern slopes of the Greater Caucasus Range and the south-western spurs of the Lateral Range. On the south it borders on the Lagodekhski Reserve of Georgia and Zakatalski Reserve of Azerbaijan. The area of the Zakaznik is 83,500 ha. The protected area is located within the absolute altitudes from 1,500 to 3,932 m.
It is represented by a nival alpine zone with glaciers and snowfields, alpine and subalpine meadows, birch crooked woodlands, pine, mixed and deciduous mountain forests, meadows and shrub thickets, rocky slopes with xerophytic vegetation, small outputs of rocks and cliffs river valleys. Cultivated landscapes (settlements and fields) occupy small areas. Most of the Zakaznik is located above the forest zone and covers typical landscapes of the Eastern Caucasus highlands. Along the south-western edge of the Zakaznik (on the border with Georgia), there extends a chain of extremely beautiful alpine lakes (‘Plateau of Dormant Lakes’).
Currently, it is a biological (zoological) sanctuary and is intended to preserve and restore valuable commercial, as well as rare and endangered objects of wildlife and their habitats. Main protected species include the Caucasian red deer, East Caucasian tur, bezoar goat, Caucasian brown bear, chamois, lynx, Persian leopard, stone marten and other fur-bearing species, the Caucasian Snowcock, the Caucasian Grouse and many species of birds of prey which are included in the Red Book of Russia. According to preliminary estimates only in Tlyaratinski Zakaznik there are over 600 species of higher plants including 17 species listed in the Red Data Books of Russia and Daghestan.
There occurs more than 160 species of vertebrates, of which 20 species are entered into the IUCN Red List, Russia and Daghestan Red Data Books (the bezoar goat, Persian leopard, Golden Eagle, Griffon Vulture, Caucasian Grouse, Peregrine Falcon, etc.). Designated to be an Important Bird Area as a breeding habitat of endemic Caucasian and stenotopic bird species typical for the alpine biome (the Caucasian Grouse, Caucasian Snowcock, Alpine Accentor, White-winged Redstart, Wallcreeper, Yellow-billed Chough, White-winged Snowfinch, Great Rosefinch, Caucasian Chiffchaff).
Land-surveying of the Zakaznik was not conducted; cadastral land files are not available. The Zakaznik territory includes more than 20 rural settlements and several agricultural enterprises of Tlyarata district. There are also pastures assigned to agriculture activity of Gunib and Charoda districts. Forest management is provided by the state agency ‘Tlyaratales’.
Majority of violations of nature conservation legislation in the Zakaznik are related to the illegal shooting of ungulates, cutting down of forest, unsustainable grazing and contamination of rivers with household waste.
The Zakaznik territory is guarded by one staff-worker of the Daghestan Reserve.