A Blue-Green Oasis in the Heart of the Kazakh Steppe: The Korgalzhyn Nature Reserve



This article presents a brief history of the Korgalzhyn nature reserve in Kazakhstan in the context of the political and environmental history of Kazakhstan and the Soviet Union. It offers an overview of some of the highlights of the flora and fauna protected in the reserve, which are of international significance. The article draws on two visits to the reserve by the author. Full discussion of the reserve’s biodiversity is beyond the scope of the article.

Author Biography

David Moon, University of York/University College London, UK

David Moon specialises in Russian, Eurasian, and transnational environmental history. His most recent books are The American Steppes: The Unexpected Russian Roots of Great Plains Agriculture, 1870s–1930s (Cambridge UP, 2020); The Plough that Broke the Steppes: Agriculture and Environment on Russia’s Grasslands, 1700–1914 (Oxford UP, 2013); Place and Nature: Essays in Russian Environmental History, edited with Nicholas Breyfogle and Alexandra Bekasova (White Horse Press, 2021). He is professor (emeritus) at the University of York and professor (honorary) at the University College London, UK. He was visiting professor at Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan, in 2018–2020.

Flamingos on Lake Tengiz in the Korgalzhyn nature reserve.