Lake Baikal - is a lake in Eastern Siberia, the maximum depth is more than 1600 metres, the length of Lake Baikal is 636 km, the width is from 25 to 80 km. There is the Olkhon island near the northwest shore of lake Baikal. Olkhon is the heart of ancient stories and historical legendaries.
Chivyrkuisky Bay is located in the north-west of Lake Baikal and included in the Zabaikalsky National Park in the Republic of Buryatia.
The Zabaikalsky National Park is located in the central part of the western shore of Lake Baikal. This is a goltsy mountain-taiga zone where alpine meadows and alpine tundra of the Barguzin Range and the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula, mountain coniferous forests of the Baikal Depression slopes, dry pine forests of sand lake plains with dunes along the shore of the Barguzinsky Bay encroaching on bogs of the Chivyrkuy Isthmus alternate. The Chivyrkuisky Bay is separated from Lake Baikal by the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula on the west, by the Svyatonossky Isthmus on the south and by the mainland on the east and the north-east.
The area of the Chivirkuisky Bay is 270 square kilometers.
Average depth of the Chivirkuisky Bay is 6-8 meters, but maximum depth closer to Lake Baikal is several tens of meters. In contrast, the depth of the Barguzinsky Bay located on the other side of the Svyatonossky Isthmus is up to 1000 meters or more.
Settlements - the Chivirkuisky Bay is poorly populated, but there are two settlements on the Bay shore: Kurbulik and Katun which are located on the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula. Total number of houses is about 40.
Variety of landscapes within the small territory of the Chivirkuisky Bay is unique, it became one of the reasons for establishing of the national park with sandy dunes and glasswort bogs, beaches and lakes, undisturbed taiga of Siberia and alpine meadows, snowy mountains and the Chivirkuisky Bay basin.
The Svyatoy Nos Peninsula is a narrow isolated rock massif which width is up to 20 km and its length along the shore of Lake Baikal is 53 km. The peninsula is connected with Lake Baikal by lacustrine-boggy Chivyrkuy Isthmus. The local name of the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula is Myagkaya Karga. The Svyatoy Nos Peninsula comprises two linked ranges named by V.E.Bush in 1930 year : Southern and Northern. A.P.Kropotkin considered the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula as a fragment of mountain chain crossed Lake Baikal from the Barguzin Range to the Tunkin Goltsy.
According to V.M. Galkin (1973) the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula once used to be a part of the mainland, but split off from the south-eastern end of the Barguzin Range as a consequence of the total displacement of the Baikal Depression to the west. Therefore, the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula originally was an island later joined to the mainland by an alluvial isthmus: the Chivyrkuy or Svyatonossky Isthmus. It could have been happened 7-8 thousand years ago. The depth of sand bed sediments in some parts of the Chivirkuisky Bay is up to 750 meters. Nowadays, the Barguzinsky Bay is located on the south-western side and the Chivirkuisky Bay is located on the north-eastern side of the isthmus.
In spring, in the nesting period on bogs of the Chivyrkuy Isthmus there is a chatter of tens of thousands birds.
Flora of Chivirkuisky Bay:
The flora of the Chivirkuisky Bay has many endemic species, rare and relic plants. Various species of steppe phytocenoses are of a relic origin, valuable are plant communities of high-mountain complexes with Alpine shrubs on the Ushkanyi Islands and the Svyatoy Nos Peninsula.
In the territory of the national park there are revealed over 10000 ha of natural plantings that are of special value, including pine forests (Pinus silvestris), larch (Larix gmelmii), cedar (Pinus sibirica) being over 200 years old. Communities of mountain pine (Pinus pumila and Betula divaricata) are considered to be extremely valuable. Chosenia arbutifolia as a rare species at the western boundary of its area is viewed to be of a special interest.
According to the anticipatory estimation flora of the park comprises over 700 species of vascular plants. Here are noted the habitats of many species listed in the Red Book of the Russian Federation and Siberia, including 19 endemic species and 9 species seldom found in Baikal; Borodinita tilingii is among the latters.